Call it narcissism or a wish to get noticed, looking hot on Facebook has become serious business. In a bid to make themselves look ‘attractive and happening’ on social networking sites, youngsters are approaching professional studios to get a ‘Facebook portfolio’ for as much as half a lakh.
“I have requests for many Facebook portfolios from young people who are not models but want to look like them. They are willing to pay any price to look all glam and lap up compliments for it,” says Rahul Dutta, fashion photographer. Dutta shoots a Facebook portfolio like any other modelling portfolio, with professional makeup, hairstyling, costumes and lighting, and charges around Rs 35,000-Rs 50,000 per shoot.
“A lot of people also want digital retouching like skin marks erased, complexion lightened and their face and figure contoured,” says Umesh Sabharwal of Prem Studio. Some rich kids also bring along their father’s Ferraris and Lamborghinis.
Others, however, go for a natural look. Fashion photographer Shishir Srivastava, says, “The brief that I often get is that the pictures should not look as if they have been shot professionally, but should be ‘normal’ and artistic. So, I shoot at their office, home or a café or inside the Metro,” says Srivastava, who charges around Rs 30,000 for such portfolios.
Youngsters say a glamorous profile picture helps them make new friends and become famous on Facebook. “I have started getting so many friend requests and compliments. I have become quite a celeb,” says Nadeem Mohammed, 24, who got a professional FB folio shot.
It’s crazy, say shrinks
While many Facebook groups and apps such as Profile Picture Analyser and Best Profile Picture encourage users to get the perfect display pic, psychiatrists feel it’s nonsense. “This is not a healthy trend, and reeks of extreme narcissism. Those who do so lack self-esteem. It also indicates that their virtual life is taking over their real lives, which is dangerous,” says Dr Pulkit Sharma, psychologist, VIMHANS.
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