Why we take pictures

Whywe take pictures

Thefirst cameras were invented in England and France in the 1800s, andonly the inventors could operate them. With no professionalphotograph taking or amateurs, the art had no social purpose. It wasonly art that was used for artistic knowledge and presentation.Industrialization gave birth to the art of social photographing sinceit gave use to the photographer. The art as seen in the world war erawith postcards saw the possession of memories and moments that had arelaxing effect and gave the owner power to possess those moments.The article below expounds on the art of picture taking and if it canbe a defense tool against anxiety and an energy yielding art.The paper deals on one reading being on photography, specificallyselfies and a personal experience on photographs a relative tookwhile on a safari in Africa and its effect on her. Another discussionherein is on experiences that other people get on occasions likegraduation.

Iagree with Susan Sontag’s thought and idea that a photograph can bea peaceful moment and would help relieve stress and yields power(Wells, 2002). One of the reasons is that when taking a photo, onechooses the environment and how they would want the memory to be.That in itself is power, having control of the memory and the moment.Using an example of a person anxious at a given moment and decides totake a photo, they compose themselves smiles and is lost in themoment. The anxiety at this point is lost, and the person doesn’tremember the fear (Susan Sontag Foundation).

Peggydressler in her blog article focuses on selfies, a modern way ofphotography evolved by technology. She addresses the various waysthat selfies are being used in society by young girls trying to showtheir sexual appeal, used on dating sites for attraction and onewoman’s use of the selfie to show her wealth and possession.Sarabeth uses her Instagram feed only to showcase the beautifulpictures of her. She uses the feed to portray and send a givenmessage that she wants to be represented to the world outside. Shehas photos, where she is suited with her children to show the happyfamily she has and wealth as most of the pictures, are of her ontrips and outings. The selfies give her power, power to control thethought of the outside world towards her. The photos are also asmoother every time she looks at them, and they remind her of themoments that she felt at the top albeit being a created environment(Drexler).

Photographyof individuals during their graduation carries a lot of treasure.They remind one of a lot of cherished memories if seen in future.When such a photograph is being taken the person involved is usuallyhappy and excited for the moments. The person owns the moment and isthe center of attraction for anyone in that scene. They wield powerat the moment. The graduate may have bad memories of the days inschool, but at this point, they are lost in the moment. Imagine asituation the graduate is expectant and is anxious about her collegeplans and having to raise a newborn. During that graduation, all thisis lost as she poses for the photograph for a memory she would notwant to miss for anything. That moment when everything goes still forthe picture to be taken is a moment of power, power and authority tostop time and that power acts as a soother.

Ona personal level, a picture of a cousin on a trip to Africa bestdefined the way an image can wield power. The photographs of her tourwere a mesmerizing moment. Being seen on the photo win the wild gamepark next to wild animals held the timing in awe though still. At theglance of that photograph the imagery of the moment comes to life andit carries with it the emotions. To my cousin, that picture wasvibrant with power. A look at it in times of despair reminds her ofthe confidence that she has and soothes her for the much she canachieve. The photograph also controls the thoughts of the persons whoget to see the photos of that safari. The comments that follow onsight of that moment in the wild give her a peaceful feeling and anauthoritative one.

Inconclusion, a picture is a symbol of power, and a picture has theauthority to soothe and to comfort. Photograph carry messages instill imagery bringing life to a standstill while still going on. Onecan argue that pictures have no meaning given that they only portraywhat the camera saw, but they forget the moments they carry.Photography is not about snapping what the lens focuses on but theenvironment that comes with the catch. The expressions on thephotograph offer a soothing experience to the photographer when theyremember the theme behind their photograph. The photographs alsowield power as the photographer chooses the setting and captures itto their liking. That snapped setting control the mind and thought ofthe people that get to see the photograph.


Drexler,Peggy. What Your Selfies Say about You. 16 9 2013.www.psychologytoday.com/blog/our-gender-ourselves/201309/what-your-selfies-say-about-you.31 10 2016.

SusanSontagFoundation. On Photography. 2010.www.susansontag.com/susansontag/books/onPhotographyExerpt.shtml. 3110 2016.

Wells,Liz. Photography: A critical Introdution. London: Routledge, 2002.