Anyone who invested stock in FOMO back when Instagram launched would definitely be a billionaire by now. Fear Of Missing Out is avoidable only by not going anywhere near the photo app when alone and having a quiet night in. Checking in with Instagram at such times can only result in discovering which ambrosia-like treats are being sampled, which scenic vistas are being seen up close, and which friends are hanging out without you. These photos alone may not be any reason to feel bad, though, about your relatively tame circumstances. A new series demonstrates how not everything on Instagram is what it seems.
Like a smart companion piece to last year’s Facebook-set short film, What’s On Your Mind?, The Truth Behind Instagram Photos punctures the myth that the picture of happiness equals actual happiness. Created by Bangkok-based photographer, Chompoo Baritone, each photo zooms out beyond the Insta frame to add some much needed context.
The main elements these photos tend to highlight are the effort that goes into taking a picture, and the illusion of being the only person that exists in the entire world. Since every entry on Instagram carries a whiff of carefully designed spontaneity, this series stresses how forced that forced perspective is. For every image of your friend at the beach, or on a tennis court, or out for a run, there are a bunch of people just outside the frame noticing the camera and reacting to it. In other images, such as the above yoga pose, some assistance from beyond the frame turns the photo into a cheat. All pictures shared through social media don’t just crop out bland visual information—they crop out reality.
Have a look through more of Baritone’s photos on the slides above.