Trends in photography are most noticeable when they’ve recently passed out of favor. Overhead shots of lattes or potted succulents may seem like good pictures, until suddenly they’re the only things you see on Instagram. Although trend turnover is accelerated by social media, popular photographic styles have followed the same general lifecycle since the 1840s. First, a new style is pioneered and picked up by early adopters. Soon it saturates the visual landscape and everyone’s doing it (remember duck face?). Critics step in to decry the overuse of the trend. Its popularity wanes, only to be replaced by another new style: the next good pictures. [Read more…] about What Makes a Good Picture?
About Kim Beil
Kim Beil teaches art history at Stanford University, where she is the Associate Director of ITALIC, an interdisciplinary arts program for first-year students. She visited the Harry Ransom Center in 2016 as a recipient of a Marlene Nathan Meyerson Photography Fellowship.