Behind The Awkwardness: Down In The Dumps

April 11th, 2011

“This is me, posing for my father on a Sunday morning, shortly after he separated from my mom. He let me wear whatever I wanted and do whatever I wanted with my hair (opportunities that I made the most of). For some reason, he thought it’d be a good idea to take pictures of me standing in front of a dumpster. I have a whole set of these. I guess he was a bit depressed…”

(submitted by Lucia)


51 Responses to “Behind The Awkwardness: Down In The Dumps”

  1. Otis McGee says:

    People are saying “it’s photoshopped”?
    Wtf?
    What’s to photoshop? Stand your kid in front of a dumpster, take a picture. End of story.
    It’s not like she’s holding a laser-gun on Mars or something.

  2. gabriel says:

    this actually looks awesome IMO

  3. Lise67 says:

    I HATE it when people cry,”‘shopped!” at every little provocation,and I must admit I didn’t see it until another poster pointed it out,but it does look bogus.There aren’t any shadows and the depth of field looks off.Maybe I’m wrong.

  4. Nicole says:

    When I take a photo, I pay attention to what is in the background and make sure it is nice. (no clutter/whatever) My ex-husband thought it was silly to worry about such things. When he would take the kids out, he would be sure to get photos of them in front of dumpsters just to drive me crazy. It was hilarious to me and I still have the pics.

  5. Joshua says:

    This is so obviously fake it’s almost funny. In 20 seconds I could add a velociraptor and Optimus Prime next to her and it wouldn’t make the picture look any more fake.

  6. f-star says:

    this looks photoshopped.

    • Wolfman says:

      yet the poster of the pictures just said what the true story was and they were not photoshopped

  7. tracy says:

    Awww, that made me a little sad :( But he probably didn’t even intentionally use a dumpster as a background; it just happened to be there when he decided to take this picture. Give hugs to your daddy…mine’s been gone since I was 18. You were (and probably are) the light of his life. :)

  8. Jill says:

    This is obviously photoshopped. The perspective is strange, the lighting is completely different on the girl and in the background. She isn’t even in proportion with the items in the dumpster. Sad attempt to get on the internet – if this picture is even of the girl who submitted it.

    • Coco says:

      yes, that’s sad. I hope some day someone creates a site to upload our own photos so everybody can be in the interweb!

      wait….

  9. Carol says:

    Somebody threw out a perfectly fine broom!

  10. Coco says:

    Just commenting because the dumpster caught my eye since I have one right in front of my house from the same exact company, so this is the great and almighty city of…. BUENOS AIRES!!!

    btw, I don’t know if PS or not, it doesn’t look like that to be honest. And yes the size of girl and dumpster is 100% correct, whoever thinks dumpster are equal everywhere… well, guess you should get back your “dumpster expertise degree” because you failed. Big.

    To Lucia: I assume this photo has at least 15-20 years, right? Because there are the old 2 digits phone extensions

  11. Rad says:

    I actually love this one. I think it is a great shot, artistically speaking. The fact that you have several of these is cool. You definitely should scan and print them big, it has a LA street photography/Rineke Dijsktra vibe.

    • Jessie says:

      I completely agree, I don’t find this to be awkward at all. It caught my eye as an artistic shot, and the more I look at it, the more I like it.

  12. Modine says:

    Great picture. Pricelessly awkward. The best thing about this awkward photo is the mileage you can get out of it with your own children. “Quit complaining. When I was a kid a big vacation was a trip to the dump!”

  13. Tori says:

    Is that hair the result of a twist-a-braid? I wonder if I still have mine…

  14. ana says:

    This photo seems fake… look at the dumpster and the girl: they are at different distances…
    anyway the story is hilarious…

  15. Esteban says:

    You look charming and happy. The photo seems like a metaphore for the hope rising in the apocalypse, like the ending of “Mad Max 3″. Lovely!

  16. JenV says:

    OH MY GOD So Good. I think I had that same jacket.

  17. “Dear baby, welcome to Dumpsville, population: you!”

  18. CamdensGramps says:

    I think your Father was trying to show that amid the pile of trash his life has become, you are the bright, exubrent, shining light of love that keeps it all bearable. I hope that someday, if it hasn’t yet, that background will become a beautiful garden that you will just blend into.

  19. Abe says:

    You’ve come a long way, dumpster baby.

  20. Lucia says:

    I see by the comments I might have conveyed a sad feeling in the story…nothing further from my intention! I LOVE the dumpster pics! I think they are hilarious! And going for walks with the camera made Sundays real fun!

    • Tim says:

      I got it, Lucia. You must have had some awesome Dad/Daughter days. Congratulations on having such a great Dad (and I am betting your Mom is pretty great too).

      And as for the picture itself. rather than being awkward it falls in the quirky category. In fact, if it were me I’d have it on my bookshelf at the office. Quirkiness never goes out of style.

      • Ellie says:

        If this were facebook and I could “Like” Tim’s comment, I would. But, its not, so, I have to leave this really long comment just to say all this. :)

    • DeeDeeDeeDee says:

      Thanks Lucia for sharing the photo. I love the back story you submitted with the photo too, I did have a little giggle and felt a little “Aw poor thing!” I think the photo is funny and quirky too. You do look like you are having lots of fun. But what’s even better is the melancholic analogies and the words of encouragement from the posters. Some of them gave warmth to my heart!

      • Lucia says:

        I know! Thanks everyone for the kindness! I wish my parents could read English (we’re Argentineans), they’d love the comments!

    • Shannon says:

      I LOVED the picture! I lived with my dad for a few years (ages 8-10) after my parents divorced. In every picture from that time period I have a Kenny Loggins mullet and I’m dressed in camoflage!

    • Kat says:

      I just notice that you were a SUPER cute kid! With the discerning dress taste of the well educated youngster.

  21. Mary says:

    Maybe it was a subconscious nod to the trashed marriage and all he lost? In any case, consider yourself lucky you have a Dad who let you be YOU!

  22. Shannon McGann says:

    My Dad was very depressed when my parents divorced. When I saw and read about this photo I thought, well maybe he did feel “like a dumpster”…. but YOU are the bright part of his life despite the mess:)

  23. Shan says:

    wow. I don’t have any words.

  24. Heather says:

    you guess he was depressed. My first thoughts were that he was a free spirit! Maybe he was sad and that explains the dumpster background but I love the fact that he let you do what you wanted with your hair and dressed funky!! Too many parents freak out about their kids appearance instead of letting them be individuals – especially on a lazy weekend when youre out and about!! ~ I like it lucia!!

  25. Andrew says:

    Even after 15 years of being a professional photographer I still make odd choices for backgrounds and sometimes fail to even notice them so this is not very awkward to me.

  26. treva says:

    After reading the story, its more sad than anything…

  27. MidwesternMom says:

    awww. that just makes me sad :(

  28. Kathleen says:

    Well, honey, you have a great smile on a pretty face – looks like you were having a pretty good day with Dad!

    • MiteeAfrodite says:

      This is so horribly Photoshopped. I can’t believe they even posted this on here.
      You can see the cut line around her, where she was taken from another photo and put in front of the dumpster.
      The dumpster and her are not to scale at all.
      And there is no shadow surrounding her, even though there are shadows on the dumpster. A sure sign that something has been Photoshopped.
      This probably isn’t even a photo of her. She probably just used some girl she found on Google Images.

      • KP says:

        YES YES YES. Great eye, MiteeAfrodite. Very Photoshopped….
        Such a shame people try to take advantage of this site.

        • Lucia says:

          Not that I care to prove it, but the photo is not photoshopped. Both the photo and the story are real.

          • Kari says:

            I agree it kind of has a photoshop “look” to it, but that doesn’t prove anything. For one, how do you know the dumpster isn’t “in scale” with her? Dumpsters (and girls) come in all shapes and sizes – this one obviously looks like it’s longer and shorter than ones usually parked outside of apartments, etc. – it’s more industrial sized.
            Also, there ARE shadows on her shirt and based on a global light source in this, I don’t expect to see her shadow on the dumpster.
            I can’t definitively prove or disprove a photo on here, but I’ve seen plenty of pictures that I took myself that have a “photoshop look” even though I KNOW I did not photoshop it. I only say all this because I use photoshop a great deal.
            OK… I’m done ranting. Thanks.

          • Lucy says:

            Sorry Lucia, but it does look photoshopped. The top of the dumpster is at shoulder level and you look like a child.

            Unless one is tall, it’s difficult to look inside a dumpster without getting on one’s toes, but you appear to be taller than it.

            But hey, who knows? Maybe your town was full of 4 foot dumpsters.

      • andy says:

        You are seeing things, there are no crop marks.

        And the next person who calls “photoshop” I want them to tell me WHY would anyone photoshop an image such as this.

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