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The truth of photographs

10/11/2023 10:39 AM | Click to read full article

The preeminent Victorian portrait photographer Julia Margaret Cameron wrote that, when photographing important subjects, ‘my whole soul has endeavoured to do its duty towards them in recording the greatness of the inner as well as the features of the outer [subject].’ Consider this portrait of Cameron’s niece, Julia Jackson. Suppose you were asked to explain what makes it such. You might be tempted to say something along the lines of: ‘it captures the essence of the person being photographed.’