Photographer Asks Teens to Edit Their Photos To Look Social Media Ready

In his latest series, renowned British photographer Rankin gathered a group of teens aged 13-19 and asked them to edit their photo until they look ‘social media ready.’

“In the series ‘Selfie Harm‘ I was specifically looking and experimenting with the apps that are actually targeted at teenagers,” Rankin told Bored Panda. “They are like playing computer games and consequently are really good fun. I’ve personally enjoyed messing around with them but they are very addictive.”

“The program we used was one of many like Facetune <…> but there are hundreds of these apps,” he continued. “The main thing is that we weren’t casting people that used these apps, but found teenagers and asked them to try them out. They were shown how to use them, which literally takes seconds as they are very easy to work out, then they did the editing themselves.”

Rankin hopes that with this project, people will realize the negative effects that social media has on our self-image.

“What you can do on these apps is way beyond what even a great photoshop operator can do. The technology is moving forward very quickly and the idea of being somebody in any way different from the person you are can be exciting, but what are the pitfalls around it. That’s what I’m asking. If you can be even just a ‘more polished’ version of yourself, how hard does it then become to accept who you actually are? This is a mental health minefield and this project is only just scratching the surface of it.”