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February 20, 2011

Your Turn: Self-Portraits for Social Networks

The way Facebook and social networking have literally rocked the world, I’m interested in your take on this World Press Winning story series in the portrait category by photographer Wolfram Hahn.

Some questions, given it’s a 12 picture set…. Is there much variation here? Is there variation by gender? Can this be read primarily as a commentary on youth culture? How dispassionate is the photographer (versus how heavy handed)?

Can you draw any comparisons between Hahn’s attitude and point-of-view and the one taken by photographer Tim Fadek in this recent BagNewsOriginals post, “Tim Fadek: Is Social Media Destroying Public Interaction?

  • Karen Hull

    How about comparisons between this post and Congressman Christopher Lee’s Hardware? Everyone seems a little naked when taking these pics….

  • marc sobel

    I found all the photos to be more about the photographer than the subjects. Good photographs tell a story, most were all about the light thrown by the smart phone taking the picture, not about the subjects. I think Chiaroscuro is the technical term. To me it suggested that the net was a revelatory source, opening up their world, or providing a gateway to a wider world.

    • Stan B.

      The net does provide a door to a bigger broader world- both these essays rather brilliantly portray how many of us, particularly youth, currently work its social networking mediums. Hahn shows us in the very act of presenting our private selves in our own idealized, idiosyncratic way to the outside world, and how inglorious that worldly introduction truly is. Fadek then shows us out and about in that public world, and how we then use the same medium(s) to retreat back into our private lives.

  • black dog barking

    Great shot of the social network feedback loop. Captures network elements, social elements, and their interaction. More than a kilo-word’s worth of content.

    “Mirror, Mirror”, 2011.

  • g

    Interesting how many of them are in their beds, some even with stuffed animals. Very much in the place where they feel safe and comfortable and private, yet this is where they choose to photograph themselves.

  • bagni

    one thing all these shots have in common? no one is standing. all sitting or lounging…

  • Wayne Dickson

    I have a number of “FB friends,” including a number of former students. Almost none of them uses an avatar that looks like this.

    Before retiring, I used to teach a course on Image and Identity. As a project, one of my students set up alternative accounts, using fictitious names. Everything the same except for the photo. One photo depicted her as reserved and “pre-professional.” In the other she posed with a seductive smile, bending forward to show cleavage.

    Almost immediately the latter got 10 times the number of “friend requests” as the former. Most of them from males who were coming-on to fictional woman whose picture they had seen. (Remember, everything except name and photo were exactly the same.)

  • Danny Guam

    All the people are alone (even the one with two people) and isolated inside of their own world. It’s like they are all in some kind of a jail.

  • moistenedbink

    Everyone wants to be noticed and heard. Facebook lets people do that on a world wide basis. It is more wanting to be heard than to become a star. This is me. This is who I am. This is what I hope our world can become. It’s a small world after all. And that is why the internet and programs like Facebook that allow us to contact each other directly are unnerving to the “powers that be”. Should the peasants and workers realize that they outnumber the powers in vast numbers and can join up and effect change…that is why who controls the media controls the masses. The internet connects human beings of the world and makes us all know how much we have in common as opposed to being demonized. Let this be the revolution of freedom.

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