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Jane Hoskyn Headshot

I'm Tagged, Therefore I am

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"Please send us a headshot of yourself," asked Huffington Post. "Preferably with a white background." What? I can offer plenty of bad photos of me gurning awkwardly in the shadows of people's leaving do's. Headshots with white backgrounds, not so much.

In the old days of paper and print, writers didn't need to worry about finding headshots. You had to be pretty famous to have a picture byline. Now even my cat has one. (At least she does until Facebook rumbles her for breaking the humans-only rule.) You get a picture byline for writing "just did a wee lol" to three Twitter followers. Many people now know their friends' picture bylines better than they know their actual faces. We're tagged, therefore we are.

Adobe's latest software release is bang on trend. The new Photoshop Elements 10 is a program for the tagged generation. You download your Facebook friends list and PE10 automatically tags everyone and uploads the pics with tags in place. Bad luck for those pesky modest types who'd rather not have rubbish photos of themselves slapped all over the internet.

When we're not busy appearing in photos, we're taking them. Digital has made it so cheap and easy to shoot and publish photos that everyone's a photographer now. Is this good or bad for photography? Many pro snappers would argue the latter, and it's a subject I'll be returning to - probably often.

Professional kit does not make a good photographer (another of my pet subjects), but when when weddings are being shot entirely on iPhones, convenience begins to edge out quality, and the traditional photographer's livelihood starts to look pretty shaky. And let's not even start on copyright.

Photography in the digital age is a subject ripe for discussion, so I hope you'll join me for the occasional heated debate in between regular news items and reviews of shiny things.

Footnote: See that black-and-white thumbnail at the top? Cropped from a picture of someone's leaving do. It was that or my passport photo, and you really don't want to see that while you're having your tea.