106 year old Armenian woman guards her home in southern Armenia in 1990.

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> World famous “photojournalists” including magnum and nat geo photographers all pose people in their photos. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.

Hopefully this doesn’t come off as too mean but I always assumed that most people *know* that this is how it works and it seems to me that only someone who is sadly naive would think otherwise.

For instance you cant [stage this](http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/files/2013/04/NationalGeographic_1329449.jpg) in contrast to [this.](http://www.fubiz.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Your-Shot-by-National-Geographic-10.jpg)

You really thought that the second pic was just a photographer in the right place at the right time to catch that guy riding by an erupting volcano?

[Or that this very identifiable photo](http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1425850/thumbs/o-STEVE-MCCURRY-NATIONAL-GEOGRAPHIC-900.jpg?1) wasn’t set up by the photographer?

[Look at the photos in this gallery](http://webneel.com/webneel/blog/50-national-geographics-photography-contest-photographs-best-photography-showcase)

You can honestly tell me that your “dedication” to photography was destroyed after you saw these being staged in person? Save for the nature photos these *all look 100% staged.* That’s not to say that a good portion of the nature photos weren’t helped along in some manner or another.

> but the most prominent “liar” I know of is the same man who made the photograph of the Afghan girl. He is so famous and well known, and 3 days into my internship with him I was completely shocked.

I feel like this is an immature response to a simple fact of reality that you willfully ignored until you were faced with it.

If you go back and look through that Nat Geo gallery again it’s pretty easy to feel which of those photos are staged and which ones are most likely real but that isn’t the point. Do those photos, regardless of how they were obtained/created, reflect the reality? I think a lot of the time the answer to that question is yes, they do. The overly “clean and neat” settings for what should otherwise be very “gritty” photos is a pretty instant tell for it’s authenticity but I’ve always looked at that as a way to ensure that the focus of the photo is where it should be.

Like [this picture](http://webneel.com/design/daily/national-geographic-best-award-photograph/0/5?n=7855) for instance, I’d be willing to bet that before that picture was taken the ground probably wasn’t that clean.

There is a lie there, yes but I think there is also a lot of truth as well and it’s the part the photographer wanted to emphasize.

I guess I’m just trying to offer a counterpoint in case any aspiring photojournalists read your comment and get discouraged. There is nothing stopping you from trying to be a photojournalist who never doctors or stages their photos but I think its petty to try and demonize those who do. Especially when I’m fairly sure that these people have never, ever claimed that their photos *aren’t* staged, although I could very easily be wrong about that and I’d welcome someone to correct me if I am.

tl;dr Barely anything in this world is as *authentic* as we like to pretend it is. Sorry if this is news to you.

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