Can you think of any photographs that are not used as a means of expression or communication?
My first thoughts were of X-rays and passport photographs which are taken to represent something extremely accurately. However what is an X-ray if not a photograph taken to communicate something to a medical professional about the state of someone’s health? and what is a passport if not a photograph taken to communicate a likeness of an individual?
Advertisement images clearly mean to communicate how good a product is. Documentary photography may intend to communicate a social concern, photo essays tell a story, newspaper images tend to persuade, school photographs aim to record family history, family snapshots communicate happy moments in time and provide mementoes of holidays and weddings. Photographs in text books aim to teach, photographs in frames on the mantelpiece aim to initiate nostalgia and a crime scene image is taken to record vital information.
Photography is a visual language with its own grammar and usually has the aim of communicating or expressing something. There is usually a ‘point’ in taking an image. I am struggling to think of any photographs that are not used as a means of expression or communication. Like any form of written communication has something to say, I feel that all images communicate something to someone.