Photographs as Metaphors – Week 6 – Editorial Photography

This week we have been looking at photographs as metaphors. This means that the photograph may stand for a meaning bigger than that which is immediately obvious.

I have decided to take this image of a child shot in black and white.



I think the metaphor for this image could be one of two things. It could either be bullying or child abuse. A reason that makes me think this is that you don’t often associate children with being lonely. The generic image of children is them running around and playing and so when you see an image like this it always has a much darker meaning.

This image has a complete lack of any activity and that makes everything seem very still and almost a bit hostile which adds to the feeling that you get from looking at the image. No one likes to see a sad or lonely child, especially one who is being put through bullying or abuse and that gives the image a rather cold feeling which works quite well.

The child looks isolated and the fact that she is curled up in a ball is often a bodily position associated with being ‘defensive’ or wounded. Also the image is shot in black and white, which I also think plays with the metaphor because if something is described as being ‘black or white’ it means there is a clear cut distinction between something being categorically right and wrong.

The grey areas in between are there in case because some things can be classed as right or wrong depending on the context that they are in, whereas a situation such as bullying or child abuse is definitely always wrong.


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