Nope, Not Fake

Some of the most realistic photos that look completely candid really are candid. While other photos that look completely staged are sometimes candid as well.

And of course, some photos that look totally candid are in fact carefully staged.

Occasionally though, you’ll come across a photo that looks staged, and in fact really is staged, but is nevertheless fraught with more peril and bad judgment than any truly candid photo could ever hope to convey.

Here’s one of those.

This photo was taken by a famous photographer named Jill Greenberg for a cover story on Fast Company about five years ago. Because of the technique she used, the photo has a “drawn” look – almost like a portrait. This effect was all the rage five years ago, and Jill helped pioneer it.

Point is, the bear looks kinda fake. The bees on my face look kind of fake. I look kinda fake. Consequently, many people at the time were surprised to learn that the bear was in fact real, and not exactly a pet. Among those people, was me. Shortly after the shoot, the trainer informed me that no one in his experience formed such a strange and comfortable bond with a wild animal completely capable of biting the face from my head. He was impressed. I was appalled.

So I’ve got that going for me.

Behind the scenes:

Fast Company article: