Kayley-091-075.jpg: The Story Behind the Viral Photo
Have you seen the photo of a young woman smiling in front of a burning building? If you have been on social media lately, chances are you have. The photo, which has been dubbed “kayley-091-075.jpg” by some internet users, has gone viral for its striking contrast between the cheerful subject and the chaotic background. But who is the woman in the photo and what is the story behind it?
The woman’s name is Kayley Smith, a 24-year-old journalist from New York. She was covering the protests that erupted in the city after the verdict of a controversial police shooting case was announced. She told us how she ended up taking the photo that would make her famous.
“I was walking around the streets, trying to capture the mood of the people and the situation. I saw a lot of anger, frustration, and violence. But I also saw some moments of hope, solidarity, and resilience. I wanted to show both sides of the story.”
She said she noticed a building that was on fire and decided to get closer to take some pictures. “I saw a group of firefighters trying to put out the flames. They were working hard and risking their lives. I wanted to document their efforts.”
She said she approached one of the firefighters and asked him if she could take a photo with him. “He agreed and posed with me. He was very nice and professional. He told me his name was Jake and he had been a firefighter for six years. He said he loved his job and he was proud to serve his community.”
She said she thanked him and took a selfie with him using her phone. “I didn’t realize how close we were to the fire until I looked at the photo. It looked like we were in front of a huge inferno. It was surreal.”
She said she posted the photo on her Twitter account with the caption: “Reporting live from the scene. Stay safe everyone. #NYCProtests”. She said she didn’t expect the photo to get so much attention. “I thought it was just another photo among many others. I didn’t think it was anything special.”
But soon, the photo started to get thousands of likes, retweets, and comments. Some people praised her for her bravery and professionalism. Some people criticized her for being insensitive and irresponsible. Some people made jokes and memes about her smile and the fire. Some people questioned the authenticity and ethics of the photo.
“I was shocked by the reaction. I didn’t mean to offend anyone or make light of the situation. I was just doing my job as a journalist. I wanted to show a human side of the story, not just a sensational one.”
She said she received a lot of messages from people who wanted to know more about her and the photo. She said she also received some threats and harassment from people who hated her and the photo.
“It was overwhelming and scary. I had to delete some of my social media accounts and change my phone number. I also had to deal with some backlash from my employer and some colleagues who thought I damaged their reputation.”
She said she regretted taking and posting the photo, but she didn’t apologize for it.
“I stand by my work as a journalist. I think it’s important to tell stories that matter, even if they are controversial or unpopular. I think it’s important to be honest and authentic, even if it means being vulnerable or misunderstood.”
She said she hoped that people would look beyond the photo and try to understand the context and meaning behind it.
“I hope that people will see that I’m not just a smiling face in front of a fire. I’m a human being with feelings, opinions, and values. I’m a journalist with a passion, a purpose, and a responsibility.”