The Real Twins
Twins identity stolen by The Daily Mail
There are few things in life more frustrating than being a photographer and having your wife photographed by someone else. Especially when you’re getting live text updates and you can feel the distress in every emoji 💩 🧟♂️ 😥
This was reality for me in April. Spadge & her twin sister Rosie were having their photos taken to go with an article in the Daily Mail; an article about a recent study they participated in about gender nonconformity of identical twins (Genuinely fascinating btw).
The photoshoot went terribly — from the styling, to the direction, to the photographer’s (lack of) competence. Rosie & Spadge were instructed to wear clothes they didn’t like, which didn’t fit, and were caked in loud makeup. This was not them. All tattoos were also photoshopped out of the final image.
After that shoot, I promised them we’d put this right, we’d re-do the photos in a way that makes them feel not only comfortable in themselves but proud of their identities. Something that’s obviously so important.
If you are a journalist or a photojournalist, you have a duty to be honest and accurate. Journalistic objectivity applies as much to the photographer as it does to the writer of an article. You should always strive to represent your subject in a fair and factual way, I think that extends to makeup, clothing, and even how you pose your subject. But let me tell you what this absolutely applies to — permanent changes someone has made to their body.
Like them or not, removing someones tattoos is fundamentally changing their identity and you are no longer reporting news, you are portraying fiction as fact.
This is unacceptable, especially without someones permission. So I don’t know who the people in the photos in your article were Daily Mail, but they definitely were not my wife and sister-in-law.
Photography can be a harmful weapon if we let it. Think about your images, and the impact they can have on people — let’s use our powers for good.
Spadge has written about this in a lot more detail, and I highly recommend reading it. We also vlogged the shoot. Check it and the photos out below!