There is fabulous 3 min ad for canon going round the traps right now and I thought it was a very thought provoking concept.
Six photographers all create a portrait of the same person wearing exactly the same clothes in the same venue – the only difference being they are told something different about who he is.
When you see the interpretations, I am sure that you will agree that the outcomes raise a very interesting question.
What influences the way we see things?
We are constantly bombarded with different messages about people and just like the photographers in the mini film, the lens that we view things from can have a huge impact on our experiences.
I wonder what would happen if we could put all of those views from past experiences, titles, the way we dress, or reputations aside for a moment and experience things in the moment – the way that we see it, right here, right now.
This can be anything from music, to movies, holiday destinations or people to invite to a party. One of the things I have noticed constantly (and I am sure you have had this experience) where you can’t believe that others are talking about the same person as your experience has been completely different.
In therapy or programs that I run, it happens constantly. The person referring says some things about the person giving me bit of a’ heads up’, yet when that person who supposedly can’t communicate, is rude, withdrawn, or has the most horrible behaviour walks through the door I see something else. This happens with all ages. Its like I have a different lens that see the person not their behaviour or reputation that comes with them. I realise I am in a privileged position where my clients can be who ever they need to be and can let the barriers down while exploring their life – I also see them occasionally for a couple of hours! But I also think its because I experience them in the moment so that we can get on with what we are there to do – connect to life.
The results in this Canon ad, highlight something very real in our lives – not just what the ad says about the photographer but also about how we define ourselves, the characters we play and how the story is lived.
If you notice the model Michael is slightly different with each persona. It’s like he is wearing that personality and that certainly reflects what is projected out. We do this all the time, we constantly play certain roles in our life but when we are told that we are a certain way, our behaviour then dictates it.
For instance when we are told they we quiet all the time, or successful, loud, smart, creative – whatever it is, we then believe that role and it shows in our demeanour, attitude and behaviours. The story plays out.
One particular thing that I see all the time is when people take on ‘strength’ as a characteristic. When something huge happens and everyone reiterates how strong they are, leaves no room to be anything else. For the record, I think that the greatest strength is in vulnerability but that’s another story in itself.
The point is, to be aware of our influences and our perceptions but also what we take on from others about ourselves. Value the person that you see in front of you, not the perceptions of others, past experiences or the type of role that they play in society.
We often judge and see through different lenses, but at the end of the day we are all human and most of us experience some sort of fear, disappointment, lack of confidence, heartbreak but also the joy, energy and exuberance for life.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could all connect with one another with a lens of possibility and connection. Imagine the influence we can have if we praise others rather than being negative and ripping them down.
I would love to hear from you around these thoughts – what do you think about the video click here to watch it and what do you think about perspective and the lenses that we look through.
Feel free to share away
Til next time, take care of you