Perfect Pictures for the Public..!

It was the strangest photo I’d seen. It showed two men shaking hands with each other, one his face gleaming with a huge smile, the other a look of absolute puzzlement on his face. The gleaming smile was meant for the cameras. The gleaming smile gentleman had turned his face completely towards the camera, to show his whole grinning face for the photo, and the other gentleman, a foreigner had a look of sheer surprise, because while shaking hands and seeking eye contact with the man whose hands he was shaking, that person had turned to face the camera.

I see this happening all the time.

Everything we do is to show ourselves for the camera. The camera was once used to record an event, but today, the photo is the event. Where it appears, in a newspaper or Facebook is the event.

In fact they even have photo events before the actual event, so that the perfect picture appears on Facebook or wherever.

“That’s me getting married!” says the bride.

“Where are the guests?” I ask.

“Oh, this was at the photo session! The guests came later!”

“So you are not actually married in these pics?”

“The marriage came later!” says the bride looking at me curiously, like she’s talking to a fool.

What’s happened to real events? What’s happened to real records?

We stage pics and records for the public, and keep the real ones hidden.  I know many trusts and even companies who have photoshop minutes!

These are not minutes of the real meeting, but perfect pictures not just for the cameraman, but for the public at large.

And the public are fooled. Members of the trust or corporate are fooled. “What a perfect meeting!” they say, just as we look at wedding pics and wonder how perfect they look.

Perfect pictures portray untruths. While going along with an NGO on its rounds I found many cases of leprosy, but according to the records, India projected a picture saying it had eradicated leprosy, so people abroad would have a better image of the country.

With this, funds dried up, and leprosy is on the increase.

This is also happening with other data and records, like poverty and unemployment. We want to give perfect pictures to the world, and when the world shows us the real one, we cry foul.

Real pictures, real minutes, may not be good to see, but when looking at them, we are able to act on the imperfections and start rectifying them.

A picture is a record of a real event, so too, are minutes of a meeting. Let’s stop projecting perfection, or otherwise when cracks appear in a relationship, or elsewhere, we will never know where they came from, because perfect photoshop pics never record reality..!

Robert Clements is a newspaper columnist and author. He blogs at and can be reached at