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Self(ie) Aware

By Iridiumphotographics, written 1549552898



Say what? What is Exif Geodata you ask?

With the advent of modern smartphones and cameras, your technology is able to embed data into the image file. Most people won't be aware of this data, which can contain useful information like shutter speed, aperture used, ISO level shot at.. etc.. a whole load of information that can be vey useful down the line to know how the image was taken and which specific settings and equipment was used.

Most people will never look at this data, and to be fair, most will probably never need to. But that does lead to people forgetting that most cameraphones and some cameras will also embed the GPS location the image was taken at, very precisely.

PurplePort, and many other website do not remove this data from the images and upload them as is. It is therefore very easy using a few tools or methods to view this data.

As an example, I looked at a 'selfie' posted by a new member just yesterday to see how accurate this data was. Not only did I have the location the model was in, but I had her actual street name and house number where the image was taken. I looked at another one of another new member today. Same thing! The address was available in detail, right down to the house number.

This, obviously, isn't an ideal situation. As well as the obvious questions about privacy of data and identity theft, if you've posted an image of yourself to a modelling website or Instagram that can be seen by literally thousands of people, in your underwear or topless in your bedroom, do you want anyone and everyone to be able to see where you took it?

Here is an image I took myself to demonstrate what I mean. I briefly uploaded it to PP to check the Goetagging stayed, before removing it.

The image was taken at the studio I use, so there are no privacy issues with this image.

So, what do you do to combat this? Well, there are a few choices.

If you are using an iPhone, then you can either turn off geotagging data by going to 'settings' then 'privacy' then 'location services'. Scrolling down to the photos app will allow you to select 'never' as the option. Can can also turn off this location access for other apps like Facebook or Instagram. But remember, existing images will already be tagged, and turning off Facebooks location data only applies when you upload an image directly from within Facebook using the camera feature there. If you add an image taken using your camera that has location data switched on, Facebook will still get that data.

Android phones have similar settings, but I'm afraid you'll have to google it.

It may be you don't want to turn that location data off though. I know I like it on, as it's useful to look back and see where photos were taken. Your phone can also build 'memories' for you of specific places you visit, which is nice.

So, another option is to use an app that can strip this exif data off for you. And there are a number of apps that will do this for you for free. A google search for your type of phone should produce a number of such programs. One I like for the iPhone is called 'Metapho'. It's free and quite easy to use.

The other option, is not to post selfies to a modelling website in the first place! I always say to people, you only get one chance to make a first impression.. and you only appear in the 'new users' search once on most websites, so get it right first time. Try and get some half decent shots taken of yourself and upload those instead. There will no doubt be people in your area that will be willing to do some Time for Print for you (offer you some free images in return for some modelling time) and these will ensure you have a half decent portfolio from the beginning. Start as you mean to go on! :)

 So that's it. I don't want to scare anyone, but these things shouldn't be ignored. As we become more reliant on technology and obsessed with letting the online world know everything about what we're doing, we need to exercise more and more caution as to what we're actually sharing.

More information on some of these subject is available on these forum posts.




Good luck with your careers!