The perils of believing in objectivity…

Reading time: Less than 1 minute

This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help other writers. Today I discuss a video on the perils of objectivity prepared by a group called The Lab, in conjunction with Canon Australia…

For some reason, people tend to assume that writers lose their “objectivity” rather easily and photographers don’t.

If you believe that assertion, let me introduce you to a video that’s recently gone viral. The three-minute film features six photographers and one portrait subject. But each photographer was given different information about the (same) person they were photographing.

The fictional back stories about the subject ranged from him being a self-made millionaire to a hero, ex-inmate, fisherman, psychic and a former alcoholic. Watch the video here and marvel at how each photographer captured an entirely different person.

I don’t find this unusual or the least bit surprising. We all bring our own world-view to everything we write (or produce), fiction or non. I found the comments attached the video to be especially interesting. Some photographers objected to the “trick” and felt it displayed a negative message about the profession of photography.

After seeing the six beautiful and inspiring photos, I could only disagree. We are all unique. We each have our own aesthetic. We all have our own expectations. Rather than try to dampen that down, I think we should celebrate it.