Saturday, 26 September 2009

Toying with Miriam's bra strap (or why Jo Swinson is wrong)

Conference started with the debate on Real Women and, in particular, on a policy proposal to force the details of any airbrushing of photos of adults to be listed with the photo.

Conference ended with a perfect example of why this policy is rubbish.

As Nick Clegg and his wife Miriam left the auditorium there was the usual mad scrum of photographers wanting photos of the couple. Unfortunately, Miriam's bra strap slipped. It happens and no one really cares but it looks slightly embarrassing for Miriam. Most press photographers would not make a big deal of it. They would quickly airbrush out the strap as cropping would take out one of the key players in the photo. The other alternative is simply not to use those photos.

If Jo's policy was in force, you would either not have the image, you would use a version which would embarrass Miriam or you would have to list the airbrushing on the photo and this would cause similar embarrassment.

So Jo - what's it to be?

9 comments:

Julian H said...

I'm willing to guess there won't be a response to this.

Anonymous said...

So which advertisement would you expect that photo to be used in?

The proposals in the policy paper only related to ads, not news photography.

Alex said...

I agree that it's not the most obvious candidate for an advert, but I have sold conference pics for advertising purposes in the past and so it is not beyond reason to suppose that a photo like this might be

Jo Swinson said...

As Anonymous rightly pointed out, the policy only applies to adverts.

Even if this photo were to be used in an advert, any retouching would just need to be declared accordingly. Hardly the end of the world.

As far as journalism goes, while not covered in the Real Women policy, there is an interesting issue about presenting doctored images as fact. Who decides what degree of alteration is acceptable?

Remember the James Purnell incident...

Jennie said...

Why the hell is the sight of a bra strap embarrassing anyway?

OMG THE LEADER'S WIFE WEARS A BRA!!! HOLD THE FRONT PAGE!"!!eleventy!!

Jesus.

Alix said...

Now if Clegg's bra-strap had slipped, that would be another matter...

Jennie said...

Oh don't. You've seen the pictures. I was =><= this close to him. Now I have images.

Alex said...

Thanks for the comments - and Jo for proving Julian H wrong!

The point I made in the original post was that of course airbrushing could have taken place with a declaration but this might cause as much embarrassment as the original photo.

Perhaps it's not the best example in the world but it is a real one and I felt showed where, in my opinion, the policy (which I otherwise support) falls down.

Julian H said...

Echoed! Well played, Ms Swinson, for joining in.