I respectfully disagree with the point of view that “The camera takes your picture and not your soul.” Taking somebody’s picture is a step toward commodifying the person. It is an act which is often a precursor to breach of privacy, confidence, and the integrity of intimacy and personal space. It insults the ability to have truly intimate (by this I do not mean only sexually intimate) relationships which are shared only with chosen people, something which many indiginous groups are conscious of but which modern western culture has nearly wiped out with its idea that we should share anything and everything, and that all innocence and privacy be swept away.(From a comment on the Technium blog)
Sometimes we may like to give a special gift of our personhood, our special magic, a secret to our family or tribal craft, our costumed ritual,A special tradition of leadership, or a mantle of wisdom, or a rite of passage to somebody and know that it is a unique gift that the rest of the world is not to be privy to. I think this is not wrong, and in fact it is a tradition that forms boundaries which are important in every society. The boundary between innocence and taking the mantle of responsibility for example. The camera does in fact take a part of your soul. A unique moment and perspective of your life that will never return. If it is widely shared, sold, commodified…some part of your life, a part of your personhood, privacy and presence, has been given away, without your choice. You have unknowingly and/or unwillingly been forced to share yourself,the image that you have created and/or modified which is your persona. You have been robbed of the opportunity to present the impression you desire when interacting with other people if a preview is given without your knowledge or consent.
True or false? The camera steals your soul
Well, false, of course, but I'd like to share a well-written and provocative little piece that tries to convince you otherwise:
Posted by Ernie Bornheimer