Recently I posted on our FB page a topic for discussion regarding some of the wild stories told behind certain images. It generated alot of discussion but unfortunately the 'case study' which I vaguely referenced was identified by several photographers who went looking for the particular image. I took the thread down as the photographer then made some comments which removed the anonymity of the thread and then became personal.
The question was this:
If you see an image, does the backstory told add anything for your appreciation of the image itself?
For me , recently I found that I loved a certain image initially but when I saw the backstory that was full of exaggeration and extrapolated truths, it took away something from my opinion of the photographer. I don't like to admit that it also takes away something from the image but for me, it does! I would have preferred just to see the image alone than a story with what seems like untruths.
I appreciate that there are many reasons why the backstory could be exaggerated. None more so than the fact that sometimes memories are affected by the emotion of being at a scene. But I wonder if in many cases, the 'life threatening' experiences reported to obtain a photograph are used as a marketing tool. If so, does it work for you?
I've been seeing more and more of these stories lately . I think it's probably because I'm visiting more of these places as I get more life experience so that I can spot stories that clearly are based on an event but are then reported in an exponentially more dramatic manner.
Probably should have made a poll for this : What is the impact of a backstory for image appreciation?
a) NO difference - I judge an image based on its merits alone
b) Positive impact: A story of hardship makes the image all the more remarkable
c) Negative impact: I don't care what the story, I don't need your hard sell!
d) Variable : If I recognise it as true, it adds something. If I recognise it as lies, it detracts.