During the summer I went on holiday to visit my family in County Cork in Ireland, where I came across Graham Kings book Say Cheese in a quaint little book shop in the smallest town, for a measly €5, As a lover of snapshot family photography how could I not get it.
Notes and thoughts on – Say Cheese – Graham King 1986
- To the majority of individuals making photographs means to take snapshots
- There is a varitable ocean of snapshots that already exist from nostaligic sepia images of our ancestors and the kodachromes and polariods of our parents to the digital photos of today.
- The custom of taking photographs has become increasingly significant and plays a now complex role in peoples everyday life.
- In susan sontags, book on photography the collection of essays, summarise that “instead of just recording reality, photographs have become the norm, for the way things appear to us”.
- The snapshot is changing the way of seeing the world.
- (page xii) “we might gaze for many minutes at a photograph in a magazine, for example, but it cannot have the same impression as a snapshot we have taken our-selfs”.
- Family albums serve as primers to a greater awareness of photographic images, out own lives our past, present and cultures.
- Perhaps the repository of visual record has become so large is perhaps, the fact that snapshots are so utilitarian.
- The snapshot has not appealed to the collectors instinct. Perhaps this is because of the lack of progression in the technique.
- What Is the purpose of taking snapshots?
- In the past generations the purpose of snapshots was to prove: to record: to immortalise something.
- What is a photograph? – A photograph is a fixed moment in time bound by its four edges.
- Snapshots are becoming an opportunity to occupy peoples times.
- “When one can zap off a dozen exposures or produce an instant image before an impressed audience, the purpose of taking snapshots becomes less explicit”.
I have never considered the snapshot as a form of art, as the majority of the time they seem to have a quick fire appearance. taken without much thought. Graham king in say cheese lists 12 common charlacteristics common to inages not taken by ‘photographers’ : Tilted horizon, unconventional cropping, eccentric framing, the distant subject, blurring, double exposure, enter the light ( where a light scource has over exposed part of the image) , the siammese frame ( where the film has not wound on properly, the close encounter(finger over the lens), The shadow ( of the photographer entering the frame), banality ( the subject and how it has been photographed is unteresting), ambiguity ( the purpose of the photograph is unclear).
Reference- King, G. (1986) Say ‘cheese’!: the snapshot as art and social history.United Kingdom: HarperCollins Distribution Services.