the friends and family photograph album essay

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Study and discuss the relatives photograph record. How and why is the family recording used to build notions of identity?


Family picture albums possess existed in many different varieties. Not only as a personal flick book paperwork containing “the chronicles of any family’s non-public story (Fong, 2004, g. 86) recording special occasions and incidents of the previous; but the idea of documenting their past through images has been in existence since individuals roamed the entire world. Through pre-historic silhouettes of humans decorated on give walls; through the Renaissance where portraiture was available to these families who could afford it; for the point in record where digital cameras were available to the beginner mass open public whereby photographs could be manufactured by any solitary individual.

Here moments could be captured at total ease in great amounts and set up into cds and passed on to years. But so why the desperation to capture each of our identities in these freeze-frame occasions that were previously hours? What do these freeze-frames say regarding our people, our details and ourself? This daily news will discuss these tips and how an image album is actually a selective and stylized records of our lives.

Theories showing how the awareness of others browsing one’s “private story can manipulate a person’s personal identity through very careful selection of selected images shown in the picture book. How the picture album generates reminiscence and longing that carries the viewer from an unpredictable upcoming to a earlier that is steady. And finally how a overwhelming support of the Net allows their photo album to become rendered electronically for many other folks to view questioning that the picture book is only a narrow eyesight of one’s your life and therefore representing an artificial lifestyle.

Many generations of families have used the photo album to document all their lives and record proof of their presence. Despite the ever-changing lifestyle we make use of photography to capture these moments and thoughts to convey our sense of identity. Western “Susan Sontag argues that every photographs aestheticize reality because the photographer selects what appears worthy of exceptional and ongoing attention to capture on film.  (West 2000, pg. 2) These kinds of ‘freeze frames’ not only contact form and form our background but likewise dictate that which we appear to be. When we look at photographs we are not merely looking into the pigments that fill this frame yet also seeking back into remembrances. Do we really remember the case, or is our recollection altered because of the existing evidence that is the medium of photography?

Typically in everyday life immediately we help to make snap decision of individuals; coming from where they come from, for the style of curly hair they have. non-etheless the images of these other people do not give us with a precise description with their identities. Occasionally we envision what we would look like to others, and thus a constructed personality is created to get the sole purpose of perception to people.

Lewis Sultan (1985) states “Photography is there to set up the idea of us as a superb family and all of us go on vacations and consider these photographs and then we look at these people later and say, ‘Isn’t this an excellent family?  (Sultan, 1985) If this kind of argument shows correct then this photographs and frames that are glued into our much loved family project should provide us with concerns such as- Were we really happy in that moment in time?

Lewis Sultan is definitely an American professional photographer and created a series of ‘Home made’ photographs of his mother and father in everyday life about their home. Lewis challenged himself by visualizing and creating traditional photographs of his parents because an attempt to make a sense of identity to a traditional friends and family photo album. For that reason he (Sultan, L. 1992, pg. 109) provided his mother and father with roles and “stage directions of action and pose, all of which to his desire. Larry Sultan (1992) states the charge of the image by simply asking -“A question showing how you look and who can determine that, whoms in control of the image?  (Sultan 1992, pg. 113).

In “Mom Appearing for me Sultan’s determine does not come in that picture of the shape, dictating that he in reality is the one in control. Although in most traditional family cds the main focus involves the children plus the capturing of extraordinary moments of impulsiveness which are then simply displayed like a memento of history. Sultan even so is setting up the photography of his parents. The photographer posseses an opportunity to make scenes in the terms and portray to the viewer his perception of his parent’s identity; as a result the reliability of their identity has been faltered.

In this classic ‘freeze frame’ as audiences the initial feature we notice is a timid, aged woman propped against the wall membrane, displayed like a possession such as a subject or an ornament. Though Sultans father has his back looked to the zoom lens (hiding his identity) all of us feel the perception of dominance, is he simply more interested in the television? Through this particular captured frame we could say that Sultan’s father is arrogant and unwilling as they does not prepare who all of us presume is his wife.

On the other hand while the viewers, do we see the woman ranking alone to state her freedom? Was this Sultan’s purpose for the photograph? In 1980 America, women made significant accomplishments in monetary and political domains pertaining to the opportunity to become appreciated because equals to guys. If this is so , we are able to see this photo as a emblematic representation of social ordinaire behavior coming from Sultan’s mom when we contact form personalities in the two people.

Looking back into a history of our lives through the family members photo album we relate the relationship between the frame and our life. Would it remind us of a reduction in the family or advise us of whom we once were? Functioning at the photos and develop a sense of belonging and pleasure, but will the alter the first memory that individuals had once created. Sultan (1985) stated that “¦ photography can be instrumental in creating family members not only being a memento, a souvenir, but also a sort of mythology.  (Sultan)

Reminiscence is a impresionable longing for the past, so whenever we look at these types of photographs can we find a interconnection or disconnection from what we remember? Digital photographer Susan Sontag states “Instead of merely recording truth, photographs have become the norm for the way points appear to us, thereby changing the very thought of reality along with realism.  (Sontag 1973: 87, pg. 107).

The lady argues that even though the image is set and factual, our visions and recollections are unattached from one one other. People present in the photograph can often have different versions of these memory in comparison to one another. If memories could be altered about reflection of the photo album, then simply identities could be too. Comparability allows us to watch our family members and assess their identities to our bait.

The picture book is built after the basis of memories and identities, not merely our own, nevertheless we can take up other people’s by simply flicking through this book of generations and seem to remember who is who have and generate our own identity through the notion of picture taking. Nancy MarthaWest (2000) “If nostalgia truly does misrepresent earlier times by imagining it more stable than it was, playing also makes the present manageable, usable and even triumphant (West 2000, pg. 11)

All of us make testimonies from these kinds of freeze casings which may not really be the case but what we would like to believe, building a sense of stability throughout the photograph we are looking at. Like any book a narrator is necessary, this is where we take position, creating, destructing and editing photographs to construct identities that we desire to be or perhaps making a stylized reality that we would wish. Nancy Martha West (2000) “It permits a continuity that can ‘replenish ones perception of self’ even when confronted with terror and loss.  (West 2000, pg. 11) Nostalgia produced from the photo album allows us to truly feel safe, give us our details and enables the unforeseen future seem to be manageable.

In modern society we have access to Net Social Networking sites including Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. The development through the traditional family members photo album exactly where we cautiously place these types of frames right into a leather certain book provides blossomed upon the World Wide Web exactly where millions of people may gain access to the personal lives and each of our identities. Setting up a false id through a traditional photo album is currently possible to see on an available mass size meaning that the constructed identification seems more successful. This is because various people look at and consider what they understand and thus desire what they think this person has, or who they think this person is. Do we change our identity on these sites to get who we yearn to become in the real-world?

The compare of the online and physical world features vast variations but what they have in common is the fact judgments remain made of each other through our day to day lives. All of us comment on apparel, ethnicity, profession, the use of our body language etc . The internet on the other hand gives us opportunity to have order of your lives, to control comments, require listeners and readers, write statuses, post pictures, and subsequently produce an identity of how we would like to be represented through these kinds of modernized image albums. (Hamburger, E. (2012) Facebook revamps privacy options and Activity Log, right now lets you untag photos en masse [Online] Obtainable: [22 December 2012])

It is noticeable to see about these digital web spaces that many people are concerned to how they symbolize themselves through privacy settings ” rummaging through the ‘bad’ pictures of themselves and allowing additional pictures being shown through their profile. Margaret Cooper (2010) “The most common cause of females to untag an image was discomfort with their appearance in the photo (88. 88% of females who untagged photos), indicating how they viewed was an essential part of their particular self-presentation to others.  (Cooper 2010, pg. 103) This can be parallel to how we select which photos are to be shown in the classic photo album; which means photo album is usually stylized artificiality in relation to our identity.


It seems that the necessity to capture our identities not merely serves the purpose to store memories of the family’s heritage yet has become an album to convey a special reality of the identities. Reminiscence and the ought to reflect on pictures allows us to think safe within these details. The development of technology has damaged the seal of the traditional way of portraying the relatives photo album. The simple fact that we are now able to view others’ ‘private story’ over the internet and exactly how we shape and select specific photographs of every other indicates a new technology for the family picture album.

There is now a ‘building block’ and chance to create our personal identities and memories through this social condition. Nonetheless it is still a reoccurring debate regardless of whether we drop our perception of identification through exploit and editing and enhancing the photographs we made a decision to show to the world using the web or inside the family photo album. Nevertheless this kind of tradition is available to this incredibly day and has been in existence for decades through the form of photography. This deniably allows our personal lives of the photo album to become rendered for most others to look at questioning the perception of an artificial lifestyle where the photo album is only a narrow eyesight of one’s lifestyle.


Cooper, M (2010), Lgbt Id and On-line New Media pg. 103

Fong, Meters. & Chuang, R. (2004), Communicating cultural and ethnic identity, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers Inc., United States of America.

Hamburger, E. (2012) Facebook revamps privacy settings and Activity Log, at this point lets you untag photos en masse [Online] Offered: [22 December 2012]

Sultan, D. (1992), Images From Home pg. 109

Sultan, L. (1985), Genius of Photography, [Online] Available via: [Accessed twenty third December 2012]

Sultan, L. (1985, Genius of Photography, [Online] Available coming from: [Accessed twenty third December 2012]

Sultan, L. (1992), Pictures From Home pg. 109

Sontag, S (1973: 87) The Methodological Dilemma: Creative, critical and collaborative methods to qualitative research pg. 107

West, D. (2000) Kodak and the Contact lens of Nostalgia pg. 11


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