Okay, this is difficult. It’s one thing to use the camera to document my experience and outlook but wholly another to ask someone to photo me. The photo might tell you lots -it documents many things – but it does little to express anything about my outlook. Moreover, this isn’t my photo; I did not create it. But I feel wholly different about this image below.
It might be blurred and monochrome, rather than crisply sharp and in realistic colour but its softness and lack of colour along with my presence being small and surrounded by boxes created by the horizontal and vertical lines express so much more about how I feel. Of course I can’t step outside of myself to determine what either says or evokes in others but do and can know that I am much more comfortable with the latter than the former.
These differences in photographic approaches have been documented by lots of people From Roswell’s Train your Gaze to Durden and Richardson’s Face On. But they mostly focus on the photographer as documenter of another party.
I am having difficultly seeing where this is going just now but will continue to explore.
Angier, R. (2007) Train your Gaze, Published by AVA Publishing 2007
Durden, M. (Ed) Face On: Photography as Social Exchange, published by Black Dog Publishing Ltd. 2000