What’s in a snap?


Snap: break suddenly and completely, typically with a sharp cracking sound.

Snap: a hurriedirritable tone or manner.

Snap: done or taken on the spur of the moment, unexpectedly, or without notice.


That’s the full lowdown on the dictionary terminology of snap as a verb, noun or adjective. Though, the rant here is a snap of a different kind. Sorry to snap you out of the default.


Once upon a time, giving a camera to a kid marked a coming of age, so young people thought of taking a photograph as a personal advance. Today, we all have phones that snap anything and everything. So, selfies are as casual and disposable as chatter. It is the new talk.


Possessing a photograph is not owning a person, but it’s a step in that direction. If you start to study the way people display portraits in their home or in their life you may learn more about the family dynamic than is comfortable. Photographs are helpless testaments, but they can be possessions. A photograph ironically evokes both presence and absence: it reminds you of a person, but it underlines the way the person is not there now. Perhaps it’s easier to love a photograph than a person?


And as your girlfriend asks ” do you want me to smile? ” or ” do you want me to look at the camera? “, immense aesthetic decisions descend on upon you straightaway. As someone clicking the snap, you have all of a sudden become a director, just as your girlfriend has taken on the role of herself, the one that never ends its run. This doesn’t mean that either of you is a fake or dishonest: but you cannot carry out this simple matter without complex self-examination. Erving Goffman wrote a book called The Presentation of Self In Everyday Life(1959), where he identified a doubleness in our selves, which is not duplicity, but is so far-reaching it may threaten the eight-hour sleep of assurance or integrity.


You may not think of yourself as a photographer(or a director) but the camera does not permit that casualness. Because you are ‘ making a shot ‘. So, in that sense, the merest ‘shot‘ from daily life is not far removed from the scheme of shots in a film of maybe two hours and several interwoven narratives- perhaps even a work of greatness.


Whether you like it or not, to choose a shot and ” take ” it is to leave a record of your own sensibility, just a few lines of casual talk can lead to a searching analysis of your own persona simply on the basis of vocabulary, grammar, and verbal construction. We are not good at being spontaneous or free from analysis. That maybe the why we love the idea of that freedom so much.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *