It’s a common occurrence: You’re out with a group of friends and you hand over your phone to one of them to take a picture of you for memory’s sake.
You want to upload the perfect photo to social media but after scrolling through your camera roll, you are horrified by your friend’s awful photo-taking abilities.
Often, our friends who are not so gifted in photography end up becoming our designated photographer in our life’s most precious moments — “faux-tographers” of sorts.
University of Georgia student Anthony Keeling experienced this first-hand.
As a model, Keeling knows about the art of photo taking. He and his friend, Ricky, were vacationing on a cruise to the Bahamas, and Keeling wanted photos of himself with the warm, blue water of the Caribbean and colorful homes in the background.
He had the surprise of a lifetime when this tweet about Ricky’s not-so-great photography skills went viral on Twitter -- being shared and liked over 50,000 times:
Do yall understand how hard it is being the friend that takes perfect pics for everyone but when it's my turn to get some this is what i get pic.twitter.com/3yQoLIAqiP— anthony ??????? (@anthonyhkeeling) June 22, 2017
11Alive talked to Keeling about his now viral tweet and life after going viral:
Why do you think this Twitter post went viral?
I think it went viral because of how relatable it is. I didn’t expect 50,000 people to like this picture or have Buzzfeed pick up the story at all. Most people take good pictures, so I was surprised to see how many people commented their bad photos underneath my post. I know the ones who related the most are the ones who never get good pictures.
In this society, people say that we are very “filtered” and image-conscious. What are your thoughts on that?
I used to struggle with my self-image all of the time — you know, wanting to change myself or my body. Especially with modeling, it is a “dog-eat-dog world." Some people let their goals drive them in the wrong direction.
The point of my post was to say that we all want and deserve to have good pictures of ourselves and to be able to feel good about ourselves. We all feel good when our pictures on social media get likes, but that’s really not the most important thing.
What would you tell someone who has self-image issues?
I do agree that we live in a very image-driven world. You’ve been given your body, your face and your personality. You are who you are so you might as well own it. Be who you are and embrace who you are. No matter what, you can always find something about yourself that you like. Just find that one thing that you like about yourself and embrace it because if you are enough for you, that will be enough for others, too.
What has life been like after going viral?
I’m still the same person. It’s cool because people from all over the world and have seen my content. It was weird because one night I went to sleep and I woke up and the tweet had over 20,000 retweets. My friends say that this tweet is “the most Anthony thing ever” because it shows how I really am. I hope that this exposure becomes a positive experience for modeling and my future career goals.