An interesting experiment was conducted to portray perceptual differences of photographers while taking a picture. Six photographers were roped in to shoot the same man named Michael. But there was a twist! Each cameraperson was told a different background about the person who was supposed to be shot.
The experiment was conducted by Canon several months ago. The firm, while elaborating this creative exercise, says a photograph is shaped more by the person behind the camera than by what’s in front of it. This experiment, titled “Decoy,” was intended to prove that point and “shift creative thinking behind the lens.”
It reminds us to not judge a book by its cover. Doing good stuff means seeing people as they are, not as we think they are.
This is how six photographers captured Michael through their own perspectives.
The photographers were told that Michael was: a self-made millionaire, someone who has saved a life, an ex-inmate, a commercial fisherman, a self-proclaimed psychic, and a recovering alcoholic. Michael, an actor, did his best to take on the personality of each character.
Take a look at pictures below.
Challenging the experiment
An expert argues that a true test of creative perspectives would have been to eliminate the brief (the backstory lies) altogether and still ask each photographer to take a portrait of this same man. The resulting differences would then be 100% attributed to “the person behind the camera” because they would not have been overtly led to believe very different things about the subject.