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In this era of Social Media there is much to be aware and of which to beware. This concept was made ruefully apparent in a recent movie release, CATFISH. Via IMDB

“In late 2007, filmmakers Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost sensed a story unfolding as they began to film the life of Ariel’s brother, Nev. They had no idea that their project would lead to the most exhilarating and unsettling months of their lives. A reality thriller that is a shocking product of our times, CATFISH is a riveting story of love, deception and grace within a labyrinth of online intrigue.”

SPOILER ALERT: Ariel’s brother, Nev, comes to find that the woman he was communicating with, along with all of her purported friends, was an extremely elaborate ruse propagated by a single lonely woman, Angela, who seems to have fabricated these fictional people on Facebook as a way to escape the regrets that came with sacrifices she had to make in order to have a family and a stable life.

Why do I waste your time with a silly movie plot? Because it relates to the professional world as well, where “Fake it till You Make it” is frighteningly rampant.

I personally know of photographers whose “client” lists are largely embellishments, if not outright fabrications, and their work gives the “impression” that they are doing incredible things for incredible architects. Whereas the truth behind the images is that it was either a personal or portfolio-building project or the architect had nothing to do with the photography. These embellishments are promoted via Twitter, Facebook and blogs — not unlike Angela in the film CATFISH.

As Guy Kawasaki said in his book Enchantment, “…enchanting gullible people – is immoral.” Sadly, social media is the perfect forum for enchantment, but not in the wrong hands.

So, before you readily go out and hire your next photographer, scratch at the facade and find out how much substance is beneath the surface. You may be surprised that it is largely a facade. Caveat emptor.

All the Best,