It's a scene familiar to many of us -- the moment a friend pulls out their iPhone to take a snap, you immediately shy away. Whether because of a bad hair day or a 'bad' angle, you're convinced the picture will be completely unflattering.
But JJ Tiziou would tell you that there's no such thing as an unphotogenic person -- just poor photography.
Tiziou, a Philadelphia-based photographer, is hoping to change how people see themselves through his new project, Everyone Is Photogenic. Tiziou hopes to photograph over 1,000 people at community events around the city, featuring their images in a book, lightbox installation and on billboards.
On the Everyone Is Photogenic website, Tiziou explains the "unphotogenic cycle" that inspired him to begin the project:
If someone sees some bad photos of themselves, they tend to take it as a judgement on their own appearance or self worth. They start to think of themselves as "unphotogenic"... and when a camera next comes around, they are fearful of more bad photos, and therefore less comfortable around the camera... This self-fulfilling fear makes for more bad photos, and a spiral of discomfort that results in a person who is no-less beautiful, but a whole lot less comfortable around cameras.
His goal? To end that discomfort, and to remind his subjects and anyone who sees the photographs just how beautiful everyone is.
Watch the video above to hear Tiziou talk more about the project, and click over to the Everyone Is Photogenic website for further information.
CORRECTION: Tiziou's message is not that there is no such thing as a bad photograph, but rather no such thing as an unphotogenic person. He claims that unflattering photographs are the responsibility of the photographer, and have no bearing on the beauty of the subject.
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