the blog photo

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.

2 thoughts on “the blog photo

  1. A very interesting blog, I intend to follow it! It seems that we share similar interests, I am an amateur studying and learning more as I share my collection of vernacular photos for others to enjoy. Your blog provides me with great information that expands my knowledge of visual culture.

  2. Hello Gillian, would firstly like to take the chance to say that the reflections on your blog are really fascinating and thought-provoking. Since this post is on ‘blog photos’, and you do make a slight reference to the role of technology and photographic representation, I think you might be interested in this: http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat/10/view/21746/skype-reunion-family-photo.html

    I also want to point out something which the photographer, John Clang, said that is particularly interesting to reflect on:

    “‘being together’ in which he pictures his own family based in new york and singapore, ‘webcam was used to do live recording of my family in singapore. the recording was then transmitted via skype to new york city and projected onto my living space. this is how families, dis(membered) through time and space, can be re(membered) and made whole again through the use of a third space, a site that is able to reassemble them together within the photographic space that we call a family portrait.”

    (quoted from the article interview)

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