Who's The Daddy: Glorious imperfections are what makes our photos special

Family photos - or one family photo in particular - have been in the news a lot this week, for one reason or another.It seems a baffling decision to (poorly) digitally manipulate an image to be sent to the world’s media, especially to picture agencies staffed by experienced professionals at the top of their game who can spot “fake news” at a glance, and when digital photography is time stamped with so much personal information that you might as well have signed the pic yourself with a little note saying what you did.

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that does not affect our editorial judgement.

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Photoshop’s been around for a while now, and if you want to twist the fabric of reality then that’s up to you. But as the Prince and Princess of Wales have discovered with what at first glance appeared to be a pretty standard cutesy Mother’s Day photo of Kate and her three kids, it will snap right back before you know it.

Just from that one image, data experts at media outlets could find the exact location where it was taken, the make and model of the camera and lens that it was taken with, the dates and times the image had been digitally altered and the brand of laptop it had been digitally altered on.National newspapers and international photographic agencies employ sharp, talented, eagle-eyed staff who can smell something fishy a mile off.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

So why yank their chain with a picture so wonky that well respected agencies slapped a “kill” notice on it, which means DO NOT USE? I’ve been doing this job for a long time and this doesn’t happen very often. And I can’t recall it ever happening with a picture provided by the Royal Family.

The magical image of my daughters aged five and two on a family holiday in March 2005The magical image of my daughters aged five and two on a family holiday in March 2005
The magical image of my daughters aged five and two on a family holiday in March 2005

Our photo albums from when our kids were little are filled with pictures with glorious imperfections, the magical image of our daughters aged five and two on a family holiday to Maspalomas in Gran Canaria in March 2005 used on Who’s The Daddy? Retro over on Facebook being a case in point. Sibling rivalry matched only by the feuding Gallagher brothers around the time Oasis finally imploded. That’s what makes them so special.

Or the picture of them aged seven and five, jumping in the hotel pool in Ibiza, both wearing goggles and daughter #2 with armbands with a look of absolute joy on their faces as they leapt in hand in hand in a rare show of solidarity.

I’m sure I could’ve photoshopped out the random bloke minding his own business on a sunlounger by the pool in the background, but that’s part of it - a snapshot of a sunny afternoon in August 2007 that’s hung on our wall ever since.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

When they were really little, digital photography wasn’t a thing - back in the early Noughties the phrase “the camera never lies” really was more or less true. And now, like then, out of 36 pics from a roll of 35mm film, you get three good ones if you’re lucky.

Personally, I blame social media for the endless hunt for perfection, where everyone’s life looks like a highlights reel, whereas the pics on your phone are bloopers.

But unlike the royals, we’re not selling a brand. Well we are a little bit, in this column every week for the past 18 years, but not for very much.

To read more Who’s The Daddy click here

Related topics: