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At the end of today’s New York Times article about boyfriends hiring paparazzi-style photographers to catch their proposals, there’s a quote that I think sums the larger trend perfectly. It’s from Michael Wesch, an assistant professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University. He says, “It’s almost like if it’s not on Facebook, it didn’t happen.”

Creepy as it is to hire someone to jump out of the bushes to take “candid” shots of important moments in your life, it’s really not that surprising. As the Times piece points out, photojournalism-style wedding photography has grown in it’s popularity over the years, and public proposals (on baseball scoreboards, with skywriting, etc.) have been a staple for decades.

The article points to reality TV and the Internet as the culprits of such narcissism, but it’s been in the making for as long as photography has been around. It was only a matter of time before people started to believe that their personal histories were less rich if they weren’t as tirelessly documented as the people and events that fill every facet of the media.

Where does it stop though? Will the same grooms start hiring photographers to document their honeymoons? Will parents hire a photographer to jump out of the bushes on their child’s first day of school? It’s a little sickening, but at least it’s good news for photographers, they’ll never be out of work.

Still, the trend leaves me with one burning question: Do you still post the pictures on Facebook if she says no?_ (image via the New York Times)_
—Kathleen Davis
Assistant Editor