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Please, can you take a picture for me?

Di Mary Rinaldi, 9 Marzo 2017

How many times have we heard this sentence, during an excursion, in front of a monument, at a concert, or during a party, in order to immortalize a moment, perpetuate an emotion or a special encounter. Increasingly, from the time of its invention, photography has become a protagonist of our lives, inalienable, irreplaceable, which takes up room, time and energy at significant times, and – let’s be honest – has been expanding to every walk of life! I have seen people (not only Japanese!) take photos of funerals, road accidents, earthquake rubble, houses where sadly notorious crimes had taken place. Until the present day and the photo-fever of these past few years – the selfie. The question in the headline has stopped making sense: armed with slick selfie sticks purposely patented for the new fever of these times, we can all cope for ourselves, without limits or censure, and often without sense; all women from 8 to 88 look alike, with a heart-shaped mouth, heavily made up, beautiful, young, and dismally all the same; men of all ages immortalize themselves in caps, sunglasses, earrings, tattoos, biceps on display, and so on and so forth.
But there it is: a photo leaves a trace, a memory, is a reminder to ourselves and others of who we are, what we are like, what we used to be like and where we were, with whom, to do what, and why. When a photo is sent or posted, a whole lot of unsaid, summarised information travels with the click of a smile or a face. Not to talk about the emotional implications that are evoked and inspired by a photo. But let me stop here, I do not intend to do the exegesis of photography or the hermeneutics of selfies. Let me come to the point, and keep within my sphere of competence. The question I am asking myself is: what may be the reason why so many probable candidates who write to me do not attach a photo of sorts to their CV?
This is the point I was trying to make. In this time of global photography, which spreads and extends all over, such an obvious detail is omitted when preparing a CV to send to a head hunter. Apparently, the obvious is not obvious. I am forced to send reminders, to ask for a photo expressly, to repeat my request, to encourage the undecided or late repliers. Finally I succeed in receiving a photo. Not even every time. Shame..
But there is no end to worse. Just as many times the picture does arrive, and here we have a whole range of… photographic options that leave nothing to imagination. What can we say about the photocopy of a passport photo, not even recent? Or those that belong to the “wanted man” category? Or those with no attention for detail, e.g. crew-neck sweater, deadly expression, heavy makeup, lion-mane hair covering three fourths of the face? Not to mention the full-length photos that raise perplexities: legs cutting out from under an inappropriately short skirt, the snapshot of a beach volleyball match by the sea, small unfocused images in wide-field photos, etc. As in the majority of situations where healthy common sense is all you need, truth is always in the middle. To attach a good-quality colour picture, with a smiling face and a freshly laundered shirt, is the simplest thing you can do. It’s easier to do it right than to do it wrong. And, in the age of selfies, this is quite absurd.

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