Social photography: the 'Authenticity Paradox'

Last week, FRUKT popped down to the Hospital Club to check out the latest Curve Live event, hosted and organised by Getty Images. The topic: How is social photography changing the way brands tell stories? 

It was a well balanced panel with Tom Messet, Global Editor in Chief for social media for Nokia, Richard Banks, Principal Interaction Designer at Microsoft Research, Lee Coventry, Art Director at Getty Images, and Richard Gray Teacher of the UK's first iPhonegraphy course all bringing their own perspective to the session. From brand, to sociology, to consumer usage patterns - all was covered around this relatively new from of content creation, brand expression and sharing.

Over the session though, two things really came through:

1. Social photography is massive. A huge passion point with 31 billion photos being uploaded a month (a quarter onto Facebook)

2. The need for brands to communicate authenticity is further underlined with the explosion of this particular type of media

It was point 2 that laid open what you could call an "Authenticity Paradox". As brands strive to be perceived as authentic, often over engineering to create this authenticity can equally nullify it. Lee Coventry noted that at Getty the brief now, increasingly, is for brands to seek the "perfectly imperfect" and that in our overly engineered, broadcast-centric world, maybe we are eroding any sense of genuine meaning not just in a brand sense, but as a society?

Without a doubt though, social photography provides a huge opportunity. However, brands need to avoid the "Authenticity Paradox" applying to them by asking if it's the right place for them to be in the first place. Then it's a question of telling your real story, by staying true to who and what you are.  In fact Tom Messet talked about Nokia as a brand not just telling stories, but creating environments and experiences that allow people to capture and tell your story for you.

Thanks to all at Getty Images for inviting us down for a brilliant evenings insight.

Back to Source