Pictures of couples are a tricky thing. Those in them are usually in such a hurry to share with social media that little thought goes towards potential consequences. Think about that awkward Myspace phase in which teenagers kept posting closeup pictures of themselves french kissing. That was embarrassing right? Well so is the moment a Facebook user is caught ‘not in a relationship’ because they and their ex-muse have impulsively untagged all significant pictures between them. It’s the absolute tattle tale sign of the end. The end of couple spam and the beginning of unsolicited private messages requesting the latest gossip. Am I right?
As a photographer, my distrust for couple pictures developed from a high school neighbor who requested portraits. I underestimated her chronic bad luck boyfriend syndrome. A couple check marks on the calendar and I was introduced to a new guy, another portrait request in hand. This happened multiple times. The amount of time and effort put into the first set of images was upsetting, especially because it was done at no cost.
This experience lead me to believe that couples, especially the younger ones, often post pictures of themselves for the wrong reasons. They may want to prematurely validate their relationship, make others jealous of their adventures, post private thoughts directed at each other…etc. Of course, if the couple terminates their relationship – the images risk disappearing. Alternatively, they may stay through multiple relationships as timeline of past conquests. Both scenarios risk causing turmoil among respective friend groups.
As photographer, it may sound a bit weird but I crave the privacy of keeping certain memories to myself. With my boyfriend, I’m always tempted to upload pictures of us on Instagram. However, if something were to go wrong, I don’t want to look through my feed and see painful reminders. Instead, I want to look back at memories that I’m proud of did I don’t mind having lived. That’s why when we started dating I started taking pictures of little things that put us as a couple but not in a big extravagant sort of way.
There’s a lot of people who post intimate pictures of themselves and their significant other, but imagine if they break up… would it be best to delete everything or to keep it for the record? What kind of reaction will the images cause amongst oneself, friends and family? Was it worth the instant gratification and the number of likes achieved within the first 24 hours after posting? That’s definitely something to think about before posting.