Intimate lives.

Charlotte Cotton said, ‘A useful starting point for considering how intimate photography is structured is to think about how it borrows and redirects the language of domestic photography and family snaps for public display. We generally take pictures at symbolic points in family life, at times we acknowledge our relationship bonds and social achievements. These are moments we want to hold on to, emotionally and visually. …the celebratory is sought out through the visualization of healthy functioning familial roles. What remains absent in such images, however, are things we perceive as culturally mundane or taboo. Art photography on the other hand, while embellishing the aesthetics of family snaps, oben substitutes the emotional flip-side for their expected scenarios: sadness, disputes and illness. Page 137-8.

An example on someone exposing their intimate lives in Tracey Emin’s image ‘My bed, 1998’.


Each photograph is read as the private appearance of its referent: the age of Photography corresponds precisely to the explosion of the private into the public, or rather into the creation of a new social value, which is the publicity of the private: the private is consumed as such, publicly. Roland Barthes – “Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography” (c1981)

In 1982, Larry Sultan visited his parents in LA. After finding some old family film, this led him to questioning the family, he got excited by the memories that were captured. So, he created this series, ‘Pictures from home’.

“What drives me to continue this work is difficult to name. It has more to do with love than with sociology, with being a subject in the drama rather than a witness. . . . I realize that beyond the rolls of film and the few good pictures, the demands of my project and my confusion about its meaning, is the wish to take photography literally. To stop time. I want my parents to live forever.”







Family album & social media.

George Eastman’s exciting new hand held kodak in 1899 (“you press the button, we’ll do the rest”) was the beginning of what has become a huge part of family life. Recording it.


Over time, family photographs have developed from being mainly staged, and the introduction of the kodak camera introduced more natural capturing of family life. Instead of formal group photos, there are now photos of the family playing together, eating, talking at events etc.

I believe we photograph to record moments in time. Events that will not happen again, such as births, weddings, first steps, birthdays, anniversaries, first day at school.

From the first Kodak point and shoot camera to today’s modern DSLR’s, technology has changed drastically. Families are not using more ‘professional’ cameras to capture moments, as well as simply using their mobile phones!


The introduction of the world wide web (2002) has had a huge impact on family photographs too. With billions of people using the internet, and more specifically social media, family albums are no longer tangible photographs in an album, but are now online for everyone to have access to.

This can be proven in the example of a tragedy. When Madeleine McCann went missing in 2007, images of her circuited the world in minutes. These images were from family albums.

Richard Billinghams, ‘Rays a laugh’, 1995 is an example of personal family photos. These are not necassarily images of treasured events, but in fact what was ‘normal’ family life for him and his parents. With an alcoholic father and volatile dynamics.


  • Personal and family photographs are composed specifically to portray the individual or the family in a way they wish to be seen. (Liz Wells)
  • Images feed our need for a clear sense of identity and of cultural belonging. (Liz Wells)
  • We should use photos to ask questions rather than try to show facts (Jo Spence)
  • The family album is viewed as an important tool in the reconstruction of a personal history, searching among its cast of characters for meaning and explanations. (Kuhn 1995)
  • Do we remember the events of the past or do we remember photographs of them? (Sontag 1977)


Representations of the other.

1) Do you feel you have been influenced by a particular celebrity/television programme/film? Are you happy with this influence? Have you thought about how it may have affected your thought processes? Do you consider it to be media manipulation?

I have been influenced by Miranda, a sitcom. I think it has made me think that it is ok to make a fool out of myself, and not to take myself so seriously. I don’t think this is media manipulation and it seems like a positive thing if it is. 

2) Where does responsibility for the dissemination of ideas and ideologies lie? Is there anyone to blame for damaging ones? What are damaging ideologies?

Damaging ideologies could mean racism and other forms of discrimination. The responsibilities in history seems to lie with world leaders such as hitler. Although it isn’t as bad anymore, these ideas seem to spread from people in the public eye.

3) Have you begun to think around ethical considerations in your photographic practice? Would you turn down a particular assignment because of the nature of its theme? Is acting ethically an important factor for you as a photographer?

Acting ethically is a very important factor for me. I would never take a project which goes against what i agree with or that is offensive to some people. 

4) What constitutes a role model?

A role model is someone who others look to as an example. It is normally someone who you want to be like, or whose practice you agree with and look up to.

5) What did you find particularly interesting or provoking in Martina’s lecture?

I found it interesting how fast news/ images and anything in the media spreads these days. How anything someone in the public eye does is under scrutiny and how this can affect the individual themselves as well as their admirers/ fans.


6) How would we have felt if a man undertook Mylie Cyrus’ poses?

Although I would have the same opinion if a man undertook Miley Cyrus’ poses, I don’t think I would be so concerned about it. I would find it distasteful but because of what the media chooses to share, I wouldn’t be so concerned about how people would treat him. Whereas my concerns with Miley are of sexual assault and harassment and exploitation.

7) Who is ‘shaping our brains’?

The media, our family, friends, colleagues, managers, lecturers, religious beliefs.

8) Are ideas of representation of gender and race something you have considered before?

Yes. Equality in gender and race representation is something i think is very important. 

9) What kind of work in the social/political arena is still to be done? Whose rights do we still have to fight for? Can we do that photographically?

I think everyones rights still need to be thought for. Everyone deals with some kind of prejudice, whether that be due to gender, sexual orientation, age, race, mental health etc. I believe this can be done photographically. Photographs throughout history have been able to question people without using words and trigger important responses to question beliefs. 

10) How important is it to gain awareness in terms of visual references that could be construed as racist?

I believe it is very important so as not to offend anyone.

11) Representations of the immigration /asylum seekers?

I think this is very important. Individuals should be allowed to give their permission and see the images and how they are portrayed first. 

12) Are there any areas of discriminatory practices in contemporary society you feel ready to tackle photographically? Why?

Homelessness is something i would like to tackle photographically because i believe there is a huge stigma around this. People look down on rough sleeps and draw false conclusions about them when they don’t know the individual or their story.

“The photograph is a simple, classic portrait, shot with very li^le make-up, and I think it is very beau)ful.” Annie Leibovitz Cyrus is the wholesome 15-year-old star of Disney Channel show Hannah Montana, and is considered to be a role model for young girls. The network was furious about the photoshoot, claiming the young singer and actress was “deliberately manipulated” into posing apparently topless with only a sa)n sheet draped around her. Vanity Fair concedes that the shot was Leibovitz’s idea but insists that Cyrus and her family were happy with it.


In recent years, Miley Cyrus has been portrayed in the media to be a bit of a rebel. From explicit images to sexual music videos, she doesn’t appear to be the innocent young girl the world thought they knew her to be.

It has been said that this is because Miley is fed up of the pressure of being seen as perfect.


Narrative Theory.

(Barthes 1966:14) said that there has never existed a people without narrative.

A narrative is:


a story or account of events, experiences, or the like, whether true orfictitious.

a book, literary work, etc., containing such a story.

the art, technique, or process of narrating, or of telling a story:

Somerset Maugham was a master of narrative.

consisting of or being a narrative:

a narrative poem.

of or relating tonarration, or the telling of a story:

My English teacher’s narrative skill makes characters seem to come tolife.

Fine Arts. representing stories or events pictorially or sculpturally:

narrative painting.
A narrative environment is a space, whether physical or virtual, in which stories can unfold (in other words, anyplace). A virtual narrative environment might be the narrative framework in which game play can proceed. A physical narrative environment might be an exhibition area within a museum, or a foyer of a retail space, or the public spaces around a building – anywhere in short where stories can be told in space.
On November 23, 1936, the first issue of the pictorial magazine Life is published, featuring a cover photo of the Fort Peck Dam by Margaret Bourke-White. Life was an overwhelming success in its first year of publication. Almost overnight, it changed the way people looked at the world by changing the way people could look at the world. Its flourish of images painted vivid pictures in the public mind, capturing the personal and the public, and putting it on display for the world to take in. At its peak, Life had a circulation of over 8 million and it exerted considerable influence on American life in the beginning and middle of the 20th century.
1936LC 1123.JPG
Narrative structure.
Freytag said that most narratives follow a simple structure/ sequence.
A Life Told with ID Photos.
Ali Mobasser told a story using her Aunt’s old passport photos. It is a very simple series, yet says so much.

Taste – Value – Judgement

  • Taste as an aesthetic, sociological, economic and anthropological concept refers to a cultural patterns of choice and preference. While taste is often understood as a biological concept, it can also be reasonably studied as a social or cultural phenomenon.
  • Taste is about drawing distinctions between things such as styles, manners, consumer goods and works of art. Social inquiry of taste is about the human ability to judge what is beautiful, good and proper.
  • Taste and consumption are closely linked together; taste as a preference of certain types of clothing, food and other commodities directly affects the consumer choices at the market.

It is often said that taste is related to social divisions within the community. For example, people from different socioeconomic status’ s may have different practices and belongings – thus leading to the idea that they have different tastes.

Aesthetics n 1. the branch of philosophy concerned with the study of the concepts of beauty and taste. 2. the study of the rules and principles of art.

The aura of the original

An original work of art holds so much value. This can be because of the era of time it was created, the creator itself, its life and the different hands that have held it or how it has worn over time. Whatever its condition, no ‘copy’ can have the same value as an original.  For example, the mona lisa. The original mona lisa is known world-wide, but has also been copied and mimicked.


Businesses have used the symbol of the mona lisa to develop and sell merchandise in the style.

It is said by some people, that this mass production of merchandise has decreased the value of the original mona lisa painting as it has made it ‘distasteful’ whereas other people say that it has not taken away from the original value as they still respect and appreciate the beauty of the original.

This proves that everyone has different taste.

Brian Sewell was often very outspoken regarding his opinions, and often slated the general public for their views on art Consequently, he was more known for controversy than art criticism among many. He has issued quotes such as the following regarding public praise for the work of Banksy in Bristol: “The public doesn’t know good from bad. For this city to be guided by the opinion of people who don’t know anything about art is lunacy. It doesn’t matter if they [the public] like it.” He went on to assert that Banksy himself “should have been put down at birth.” Clive Anderson has described him as “a man intent on keeping his Christmas card list nice and short.” Sewell is also known for his disdain for Damien Hirst, describing him as “fucking dreadful”.

This gold backpack (one of four in the world) is available for $1650, by the Billionaire Boys Club it features their trademark diamond dollar pattern, making an excessively expensive item even more over the top.


Taste is a very personal thing and is influenced but peoples background, nurturing, culture and environment. Here is another controversial piece of ‘art’. Terry Richardson took these images of Miley Cyrus. These images shocked the world, as Miley had been known for playing innocent undercover singing sensation Hannah Montana for Disney. She was a huge role model to children and these images made many parents question if they wanted Miley Cyrus to be their childs role model.

Curation Project.

To work on our curating skills, in a group of six we created a virtual exhibition. We divided tasks among ourselves, based on our varying individual skills. To start with, as a group we decided on the basic idea for our exhibition which was portraiture. This developed into portraits of cancer patients – showing their stories, how they have come out the other side of the disease and how it is or has affected them.

We then worked on selecting the photographers whose work would be shown there. We did this carefully, to ensure that the correct message was being portrayed in the exhibition. Each member of our group chose a different photographer and worked on writing a small paragraph about them.

Angelo Merendino.

Angelo Merindino’s work portrays his wife Jennifer’s daily battle with Cancer in its purest and simplest form. Through his images he tells a story humanizing cancer to a face and person; his wife. He explains that “these photos do not define ‘us’, but they are ‘us’.


Brent Stirton.

Brent Stirton is a documentary Photographer from South Africa whose work has been published by by many places including National Geographic Magazine, Time, New York Times Magazine and more. He was elected Young Global Leader in 2008 and has received many awards including for his help for the work of HIV/ AIDS.

A year ago he started working on an ongoing project, shooting portraits of men with breast cancer with the aim to promote breast cancer awareness. He particularly wanted to highlight breast cancer in males as this is something that is often over looked.

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 21.23.561880_1malebreastc_0042015-06-25-cancro3

Christine Benjamin.

Christine began studying photography after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000. She created a series of portraits of women with breast cancer and included her own self portraits. The series of work entitled “i Of The Beholder”. Photographs from the series have won several awards, been published in magazines and have been shown in various locations in New York, Connecticut, California and Peru.


Vincent Dixon.

‘If only for a second’ involves 20 cancer patients, who were invited for a hair and makeup session by the charity, Mimi Foundation.   

Little did they know, photographer Vincent Dixon was hiding behind the mirror, with his camera at the ready to photograph the moment where they completely forgot they had cancer. The participants were fitted with outlandish wigs, and were told to keep their eyes shut through the whole process. They sat in front of a one-way mirror, waiting, until they were told to open their eyes. The moment is magic.


Now that we knew what we wanted to be in the exhibition. We began researching the correct setting. The “Glass Pyramid sculpture” situated in the courtyard of the famous Louvre Museum holds many names; The Louvre, Carrousel De Louvre and Pei

Pyramids. With its spectacular form and shape we believe that it would be
the best place to present our exhibition.

Beneath the ground is the Shopping Centre known as the Carrousel De
Louvre; this is where our exhibition will be held because based on the glass
tiled pyramid above ground there is a constant natural stream of light
throughout the day. When walking around the Louvre people tend to come
close to the stone pyramid inside which therefore gives us a great exhibition
space as if we set up mounting boards on each side of the pyramid it will
keep to the same geometric shape as the Louvre while allowing us to display
the work of our artists in a very simple but aesthetically pleasing way.

  • Busy Place
  • Varied Audience
  • The shopping mall environment will have more effect on people



Alistair Thian took images of Royal Marines straight after a hard work out. These images were printed at 5 meters high to show the detail of pain in their faces. These images were presented outside the national war museum in London. We decided to print our images big like Thains, to create a bigger effect on the audience.


Overview of layout.

  • Images displayed on giant light
    boxes – Back and front
  • Images 4 meters high
  • Mirrors in-between light boxes (same size as images) to have immediate effect on viewers – to allow them awareness of their own health.
  • Light boxes around glass pyramid


Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 21.47.24




The origins of semiotics lie in the study of how signs and symbols create meaning.

Sturken & Cartwright (2001) said that ‘Just as language communicates through words, organized into sentences, visual culture communicates through imagery. Semiotics studies this communication and its meaning.’

Everyday, we are exposed to images. From family photos on facebook to articles in the newspaper, we are always actively reading images. We actively read them through image analysis which allows us to make sense of the world around us and this applies to a work of art/design.

The theory of semiotics seems to come from Swiss Linguist Ferdinand de Saussure and American Philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce. This theory helps us to determine many of the formal patterns that enable us to make meaning of our culture and the different aspects of it (such as the media).

Signs are made up of the signifier and the signified. The signifier refers to an image or word and the signified refers to its meaning.

However, many theorists and philosophers have contradicting opinions as to what a sign is. Saussure says ‘a sign is anything that makes meaning’ whilst Umberto Eco says ‘a sign is anything that can be used to tell a lie’.

An example would be if a sign read the word ‘Tree’ (the signifier), one would imagine an image of a tree (the signified). It is not always that simple though, as the signifier may stand for a different signified. This is because of denotation and connotation. An image of word (the signifier) could invoke a different feeling or idea for different people thus making the signified different for everyone. Roland Barthes says that the connotation (signified) follows almost immediately after reading the signifier.

In terms of communication, our own personal connection to an image can determine whether the image is successful or not. If the signified is the same for the majority of people, this suggests that an image has been a success.

Semiotics is often used in the media in adverts etc. They often play on the norms or values of the particular culture, to make a pun or lesson from the advert. For example, the following image is of a bottle of Heinz Tomato Ketchup (a well known condiment in the western world). It has been edited to appear ‘chopped up’ and has a tomato leaf of top. The slogan underneath reads ‘No one grows ketchup like Heinz’. These aspects, along with the fresh red background aim to crush the belief that Heinz ketchup is full of sugar and produced in large factories and replace that with the opinion that it is inface a fresh and healthy product. Therefore leading to a rise in sales.




In order to read images effectively, it helps to have an understanding of that culture and their way of life. For example, this image by Paul Strand would be simple to read by someone who understands the western culture. It is of Wall Street, the financial district of lower Manhattan, New York. This is a place full of grand architectural buildings and excessive wealth. From my knowledge of the area, i know that the people in this image are bankers and other businessmen, in their suits on their working day.





Form and Shape.

Form is associated with how the subject is shown in an image. It is often said that it is the visual elements that make up an image.

Visual elements include lines, shape, FORM, tone, colour and space.

George Bellows (an american realist painter) said ‘Art strives for form, and hopes for beauty’. However Rodolf Arnheim (German-born author, art and film theorist, and perceptual psychologist) said ‘Form is sometimes considered a mere spice added by the artist to the representation of objects in order to make it pleasurable’

Photography has taken formal elements from the older art forms such as dot, line, shape, light and value, colour, texture, mass, space and volume.

Edward Weston is an obvious example of a Photographer who uses formal elements in his images. ‘Pepper 1930’, ‘Cabbage leaf 1931’ and ‘Nude 1925’ all show line, shape, tone, space and more in a unique way, letting the form of the object speak through the image.

Cabbage Leaf, 1931
Nude, 1925
Pepper, 1930

Any photographer uses form in their work in some way. Peter lik is another example, however he shows form in landscapes. This image shows line, shape, tone, colour and space through the subject he is photographing.

Peter Lik – Drifting shadows.

Alec Soth – Reading Task.

This piece is in response to a task set in our Contextual Studies lecture. We were given 4 different articles on Alec Soth’s exhibition at the Science Museum titled ‘gathered leaves’.


Alec Soth Reading Task

This is the first article I looked at (soth-bjp), written by David James.

The article appeared in The British Journal of Photography on the 8th of October 2015. It seems to be aimed at anyone with a passion for Photography, fans of Alec Soth’s work and those who are thinking of going to this exhibition. The purpose of this article is to expose Alec Soth’s thoughts behind his exhibition and its meaning as well as the thoughts and observations of David James to inform viewers on what to expect from the exhibition and give them some background so they can go in with some knowledge and ideas before looking at the images.

The writing style of this article differs to the others I looked at in that it doesn’t feel extremely academic and I therefore relate to it well. It feels as though it is written by a friend who has visited the exhibition before me. The grammar is more relaxed and it uses more jargon and puns within the writing which makes it quite entertaining to read. It was quite easy to understand because I liked the humour and didn’t get bored when reading it which sometimes happens with more formal writing.

The other articles were featured in the financial times, the guardian and Compared to the locations of those articles, David James published his article in the British Journal of Photography which is aimed mostly towards photographers. I can see that that influenced David James’ Writing and that is probably why I connected with it so well.

The part of this article I found most useful was the interview section. When Alec said, “Without a doubt there’s a difference to how people internationally respond to the pictures, which is very interesting to me. Even within America people on the east coast respond differently to people on the west coast. This is just fine by me – I don’t have a specific agenda – I’m happy to have multiple interpretations. I love being in this institution that’s accessible to all these different kinds of people.” I love the way he explained this and I think this is how I would like my work to be. I want anyone to be able to connect with my images, in any way, no matter where in the world they are from.

The next article I looked at was written by Sean O’Hagan (Alec Soth – the guardian).

It was published in the guardian on the 6th October 2015 so was available both online and in their newspaper. It was aimed at readers of the guardian (the guardian is a daily newspaper and covers many topics such as politics, culture and international news) so many people who may not have necessarily been interested in Photography or this exhibition could read it and be intrigued. I believe the purpose of this article is to give readers a preview of Alec Soth’s work and an insight into what to expect at the exhibition in a way that leaves readers wanting to know more.

The style of writing is different in the article because there is something a little more poetic about it. Sean mentions quotes, curators etc that the exhibition reminds him of and describes it in a very thorough in depth way. There seems to be a lot more emotional meaning in this article which shows how passionate the writer is about Alec Soth’s work and this is quite relatable. Although the writing feels professional and academic it also feels very personal which means many people will be able to relate to the article and also feel inspired and interested to see the exhibition. This also makes it easy to understand.

Based on where this article was published, I understand that its intentions were to reach a wide audience and inform both fans of Alec Soth and those who had not heard of him what he is all about and what his exhibition has to offer. The guardian publishes world news, sport and much more as well as culture/arts. Someone may have opened the newspaper to see the football results and have been intrigued by the title of the article, ‘America’s most immaculate, intriguing photographer’.

One of the most useful quotes I took from the article is this –

‘The results are beautiful, whatever their subject matter. Painstakingly composed on a large-formal camera mounted on a tripod, his images can be breathtakingly stunning in their subtle range of muted colours. Despite his use of blogs and social media, Soth is essentially a traditionalist and there are echoes of other great photographers throughout his work, most notably Joel Sternfeld, who taught him for a time. He seems to have inherited Sternfeld’s eye for American oddity.’

This piece of writing informs the reader a lot about how Alec takes his images, who influences him and how he shares them with the world.

The article was referenced correctly.

I then looked at this article (soth-ft). It appeared in the financial times on the 16th October 2015, written by Francis Hodgson. More than 1.3 millions people in 140 countries read this paper and usually they are business leaders, students, educators and bankers. The financial times informs people of business news around the world, so this article is probably something rarely seen in this paper.

I believe the purpose of this article was to advertise the exhibition to people who may not usually be interested in order to reach a wider audience. Francis pulled information about Soth’s history and other endeavours to draw people in using other possible interests. This shows through the writing style, which compared to the other articles I have looked at, seems a little more scholarly/ academic whilst still showing knowledge and sentiment of Photography. The article was not difficult to understand due to my prior knowledge of Alec Soth and Photography in general. However, it may be difficult for someone with less knowledge. However, the way the writer sets the scene in the first paragraph and draws the reader in helps a lot towards understanding and “getting on the same page”.

The most useful quote I found in this article was, ‘Soth’s pictures are by no means standard-issue art photography, though; he eschews formulae, instead photographing what he sees — a close-up of an object, a portrait, a landscape — whatever it might be. He wants to react to the world, rather than force the world to conform to a schema or confirm it.’ I liked this quote because it influences my work. I would like to ‘react to the world’ in my photography, showing the world how I perceive it, through feelings.

This article did not use the Harvard referencing system, however the link was correct.

The final article I looked into was Alec Soth – TimeOut. This article appeared in Time Out, a London based magazine (also available online) which has now expanded over 107 countries world wide.




The semiotics of Photography.

The definition of semiotics is the study of signs, symbols and signification. We read semiotically everyday when reading news papers, looking at social media etc.

Semiotics can be traced back to two key people.


Ferdinand de Saussure (a Swiss Linguist) was one of the first people to discover and explain his theory of semiotics. He said ‘It is… possible to conceive of a science which studies the role of signs as part of social life. It would form part of social psychology, and hence of general psychology. We shall call it semiology (from the Greek semeîon, ‘sign’). It would investigate the nature of signs and the laws governing them. Since it does not yet exist, one cannot say for certain that it will exist. But it has a right to exist, a place ready for it in advance. Linguistics is only one branch of this general science. The laws which semiology will discover will be laws applicable in linguistics, and linguistics will thus be assigned to a clearly defined place in the field of human knowledge.’


According to Charles Sanders Pierce, a sign may be simple or           complex. Unlike Saussure, Peirce does not define the sign as the smallest unit of signification. Any thing or phenomenon, no matter how complex, may be considered as a sign from the moment it enters into a process of semiosis.

The process of semiosis involves a triadic relationship between a sign or representamen (a first), an object (a second) and an interpretant (a third).

These days, it is said that Semiotics is a useful set of tools which help to identify the formal patterns that combine to make meaning of various factors of our culture, particularly the media.

There are two components to reading semiotically. ‘The signifiied’ and ‘the signifier’.

The signified is the connotation (meaning) and the signifier is the denotation (image/word). This relationship is referred to as signification. 

For example, when you look at this image you may just see a truck (the denoation) but semiotics goes further when you have prior knowledge or you are familiar with this western culture and therefore the advertising world. I look at this image and think of the soda drink Coca-Cola. I also think of the phrase/slogan ‘holidays are coming’ and begin to get excited for the holiday season and christmas (connotation). 


Saussure explained a sign as anything that makes meaning. However Umberto Eco said that a sign is anything that can be used to tell a lie. This is an interesting way to look at it as images can used in many ways and with many implications. An image can be misleading.

If you encounter something which is not familiar in your culture framework it can be hard to understand. For example, someone from a third world country or an aboriginal tribe may see a camera as something ‘out of this world’ and may find other technologies like this hard to comprehend. In this video ( Kenyan children have their first experience with an iPad using video call technology and are fascinated with it.

When you look at an image as yourself some questions to gain understanding of it and look for an familiar cultural objects.


With this image (Candy Cigarette – Sally Mann), I first see three children, one with a cigarette (denotation) but when i look at it for a while, ask my self some questions about it and read the photo in a more in depth way I see a girl mimicking adults, outside with her two friends and being given a lot of freedom for someone of such a young age (connotation). However looking into the name of the photo and some information on the Photographer, I have discovered that it is a candy cigarette and the Photographer is her mother, taking photos of her children mimicking adult behaviour.

The museum of contemporary photography said ‘ For the “Immediate Family” series, Mann’s children, who often appear nude, are posed or simply arrested in their activity to convey both primal and playful aspects of human behavior. The images in her later monograph At Twelve: Portraits of Young Women (Aperture, 1988) capture the confusing emotions and developing identities of adolescent girls. Candy Cigarette (1989) is a striking example of Mann’s distinctive combination of careful planning and serendipity. In this work Mann’s daughter, Jessie, suspends her activity and gracefully balances a candy cigarette in her hand, appearing to be the innocent miniature of a blonde and gangling twenty-something beauty. Mann’s expressive printing style lends a dramatic and brooding mood to all of her images.’