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January 28, 2012

BagNewsSalon Preview: Can Mitt Hold a Photograph?

What Karen Hull, Bag’s Managing Editor, likes to say about Romney is that “he can’t hold a photograph.” In other words, he just doesn’t seem to demonstrate enough genuine personality to capture someone’s imagination, let alone illuminate a scene. (Notice how Richard Whitney, the guy who painted Mitt’s official portrait as Governor, actually stuck his head inside another frame to get some stimulus going.)

In the photo above, it seems as if Team Romney — Mitt wearing a “get a load of this” expression — had its prayers answered after an urgent call to central casting. Only thing missing is a dwarf.)

We’ll be looking into Jim Wilson’s photo with an expert cast of photographers, visual academics and political analysts as part of Sunday’s BagNews “Campaign Mania” Salon.  It’s 9 photos in 90 minutes. Hope you can join us!

Date: Sunday, January 29th

Time: 10 am PST/ 1 pm EST / 6pm London (running for 90 minutes)

Location: Online Webinar -

(Best to sign in 10 minutes early. Not accessible on Chrome Browser)


Facebook - RSVP


Host: Michael Shaw, Publisher, BagNewsNotes
Moderator: Cara Finnegan, Professor of Communication – U. of Illinois, Co-editor: Visual Rhetoric: a reader in communication and American culture


Nina Berman – Documentary Photographer, NOOR, and Contributor – BagNewsOriginals
Janis Edwards – Associate Professor, Communication Studies, University of Alabama
Justin Elliott – Reporter,
Brendan Hoffman – Freelance Photographer; Co-Founder of Prime Collective; covering Campaign ‘12 for TIME and NY Times
Justin Sullivan – Staff Photographer, Getty Images
Loret Steinberg – Professor of Photojournalism and Documentary Photography/R.I.T.

Salons are co-edited and produced by Ida C. Benedetto


(Photo: Photo by Jim Wilson/The New York Times. Caption: Mitt Romney greeted supporters outside the Rochester Opera House in Rochester, N.H..)

  • Thomas

    That’s a great expression and totally true. The question is can he hold it just well enough to encourage all those people who hate Obama to show up and vote?

  • Nothingruler

    To me it looks like everyone in this photograph and behind the camera is trying too hard.  I’m still bored.

  • Enoch Root

    The message I get from this image: Small children distrust Willard.

    That official portrait is a hoot… Mitt is so bland that he has a square halo!

  • M. Scott Brauer

    I’m in that picture! The photo Mitt’s holding is a copy of his wedding picture brought by a fan to be autographed.

    • M. Scott Brauer

      Here’s mine:

  • Anonymous

    I hope this isn’t too OT. I listened today to Australian ABC 1/2 hr. program about Mitt and his Mormonism. Wow, his allegiance is to the church above all else. And when he dies, he’ll have his own planet, and Ann will be allowed to join him. A Mormon woman talking about the core beliefs. very very weird.

  • Judith Gran

    While Mitt may look less robotic than in most images, I nevertheless find the image rather uncomfortable and off-kilter because while everyone in the photo is looking at Mitt, he’s looking off camera. He’s not making eye contact, not engaging with any of his “admirers.”

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