This story is the confluence of a lot of different trends we talk about in photography including photography and whether or not a photograph is “authentic” and what that means.
In the first case, this is a tale about an Instagram influencer that is suspected of pulling some tricks – even product placement – for the “likes.” In the second case, it is whether or not her “motorcycle accident” photo was staged – there was a professional photographer on hand after all – and what staged photos mean for the medium.
After all, we’ve covered stories about award-winning photographers who were later found to have staged their submissions, thus losing their award. That trend isn’t just reserved for Instagram.
A lifestyle blogger and Instagram influencer from Nashville, Tennessee, named Tiffany Mitchell finds herself under increased scrutiny after Buzzfeed ran a story about her recent motorcycle accident photos which are not only pretty good pictures but also prominently feature products such as Smartwater.
It doesn’t help that she was traveling with a photographer when the accident happened which makes the more conspiracy theory minded among the Internet skeptical – and rightly so. FStoppers says she told Buzzfeed that she “would never turn a very important personal story like this into a brand campaign” and asked them to not run the story because of potentially negative press.
All of this prompted a response from Smartwater which said it had no sponsorship deals with her. This didn’t stop the speculation though as other users pointed out that her helmet changed in the before and after photos.
We’ll let you decide.
As always, we’d love your comments.
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