Snapchat is the best. I find myself perusing people's stories all day long and it's a lovely way to hang out with friends without physically being with them. My favorite thing, though, and based on the app's success since its release in 2011, everyone else's favorite thing as well, is the "realness" of the whole photo experience.
Because images disappear within one day at most, and you don't have the opportunity to edit and "perfect" images as you would on Instagram, people seem far more willing to post images with "imperfections" without a second thought. The standard level of self-consciousenss that comes with presenting our public image does not seem to be nearly as apparent. Maybe it's because the images are ephemeral, maybe it's because we don't have the choice to polish the images. Either way, I have no problem posting a less than flattering image on snapchat because I know it serves to tell my "story."
And that trend towards more physical acceptance and body positivity is starting to creep more and more into our ideals of beauty, which is absolutely fantastic. Even just two years ago we would sometimes receive requests for retouches on actor headshots and business headshots that would have paragraphs of notes attached. And a lot of what people were asking for were adjustments on imperfections only they would be looking for.
Having other people I thought were naturally gorgeous come back and say they felt so many things needed improvement was absolutely heartbreaking. People still sometimes ask if I can make them look like x, y, or z celebrity. We certainly can, but it always makes me sad that people are disinclined to look for their own beauty. Shooting headshots has me regularly analyzing a lot of different faces and I genuinely haven't met anyone I would say wasn't uniquely beautiful.
But more and more recently, something cool has been happening with our headshots and I would like to think it has something to do with this #nofilter movement so aptly reinforced by Snapchat. Instead of immediately assuming retouching is needed on their images, people will instead ask my opinion, which is an amazing departure from automatically feeling that they are not good enough. And when we do get notes, people will often come back and say they feel they asked for too much, that they didn't necessarily want their smile lines removed or their skin made tanner. The departure from hyper-polished images is something I'm so wonderfully excited about because it means that we no longer have to feel so self conscious that we are not living up to a fictional standard. So thank you, Snapchat, I'm going to keep posting those weird selfies!
Are you a Snapchat fan? What do you think about the #nofilter movement? Leave us a comment or tweet us @mjbhomeent!