“The Hippocratic Oath of a Photographer” from 1937 still helpful for avoiding photo clichés


posted Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 5:51 PM EDT


Way back in 1937, Mehemed Fehmy Agha (or M.F. Agha, as he was better known) published a pointed and hilarious rant in U.S. Camera magazine titled, "The Hippocratic Oath of a Photographer," in which he railed against a range of photographic clichés he hoped to never see again.

As a pioneering art director for Vogue magazine, Dr. Agha was writing from experience, having seen many of these visual clichés -- nudes holding transparent bubbles, old ladies knitting in rockers -- on a frequent basis.

Check out Dr. Agha's poem-like piece below (there's a link to the full size image in the caption) and please share in the comments what visual clichés you hope to never see again. (For me, it's portraits of bloggers lit only by their laptops and shots of people in public places wearing Darth Vader masks.)

For the sake of comparison, check out photographer Martin Parr's list of photographic clichés from April 2011.

(Via Wayneford's posterous, via Reddit)

For full size image, see here