Photos. Photos everywhere, everyday. Of you, your family, even your favourite playground. There will hardly be a day you live your 86400 seconds not spending at least one looking at a photo. But are these photos reflections of the truth? There are many people who could have taken that photo you just saw. Whether the photographer is an insider or an outsider, the subject of the photograph you were looking at could have been portrayed in a drastically different manner.
The insider could be a primary character who is taking part in the situation itself, while the outsider could be one who is looking at the situation or anyone else not taking part in the situation itself. The significance in difference is that as an insider, emotions and feelings about the situation can be portrayed in the picture. However, if an outsider were to take the picture, she would be able to see both sides of the story, a more well rounded point of view, and the picture would be able to remain neutral.
The insider knows the true stories and character of a place. A playground, for example, is commonly known to be a place of fun, joy and laughter since it is where children spend their time playing. However, an insider of a particular playground will know that rowdy, drunk teens sit around smoking at the playground, forcing the children to play somewhere else, he will thus portray the playground in a more ominous manner.
Though it is commonly believed that outsiders give an unbiased point of view, due to the lack of emotional ties with the subject matter, this view can be challenged, take for example a photographer taking a picture of African children. Very often we see images of these children huddled together, looking small and pitiful, their eyes large and doleful due to the angle the photographer has chosen. The photographer here is merely an outsider. He portrays the children how he wants to, according to the stereotyped view he has of them. He could just as well have portrayed them playing with their friends and laughing, but he chose not to. He would have portrayed them that way, since the real truth of the life of children is one filled with play and exploration, which an insider should know and hence would want to capture. This renders the common belief that a photo taken by an outsider is unbiased and therefore more truthful, invalid.
Insiders are the ones who go through the experience as depicted in the image. Insiders are known to look at things in a way that would echo feelings, or experiences from going through what he/she has. Such elements of thought are incorporated into the message intended for the photo to represent and convey to the audience. While outsiders are impartial, public judges to the situation at hand, they are known to shortchange the image of the intended message and its depth and breadth.