I was planning to write a blog post on something else entirely and I found myself hesitating because I couldn’t figure out what image I could use to illustrate it. Because each post needs an image, right? This blog in particular, probably, as it’s meant to be about things visual, but I also find that other blogs I check regularly seem to have the cute/witty/obscure thumbnail down to a fine art. Is there a new genre of photograph emerging, then, the blog-illustration-photo?
The Facebook profile picture seems to be an equally new and increasingly well-defined genre of photo too, with quite distinct types – mine is the standard cropped-from-a-family-snap, but I do have Facebook friends who’ve definitely worked at the from-an-odd-angle-and-in-black-and-white type; then there’s the metaphor/symbol-of-me type, and the me-with-my-kids type… it would be interesting trace the emergence of these different conventions as Facebook itself developed. How did they emerge, and what relations do they bear to other small photos that represent individuals, like passport photos or police mugshots? As self-portraits, perhaps rather little, since we can choose just how to picture ourselves; so maybe they’re closer to the photo-booth photo strip. But as a more cultural and historical shift towards a visual performance of the self, perhaps rather more.
Now I’m all self-conscious about it – this will be my first blog post without a photograph included.