Photo Essay: The Image of a Child

Over the last few weeks I have been studying the medium of photography, a topic I have never really explored or studied before. I read not only about the historical signifance of photography from Alan Trachtenberg’s Classic Essays on Photography as well articles from the likes of Annette Kuhn, Victor Burgin and Susan Sontag, but I have questioned my own authority when it comes to taking photographs. To perhaps show off what I have learned in a very short time, I have completed a full-length photo essay by tapping into my own childhood and analyzing one photo based off of photography and semiotic theories. This is part memoir, part academic, but an interesting read none the less that relies on just one photograph. Click the link (that will direct you to ISSU) below:


The Image of a Child by Christina Maxwell


About Christina Maxwell

I’m a young professional journalist with a dual B.A. degree in Radio-TV-Film and Journalism and I am currently working on my M.A. in Writing, specializing in Journalism and New Media Studies (both at Rowan University). Although my advanced degree allows me to have options in the future, for now, my main goal is finding a job in journalism. I am a journalist at heart. First hand knowledge, original reporting and precisive answers are what I strive for when I'm working. For the past two years, I have done freelance reporting with the Gloucester Township Patch, but my goal is to have a sustainable, consistent job in journalism.


  1. If photos are indeed “prompts for recollection”, there is something truly stressful about picking up a photo such as yours. Does it not, after all, ask a lot more questions than it answers? The fact that the photos have different dates on the back of them is a bit stressful in itself: instead of establishing a stable, concrete history of your early childhood, this photo creates uncertainty.

    But still, we love looking at such photos of ourselves. Perhaps the “prompts” we are given are sometimes just that: open ended devices that give us free range to interpret and fill in memories as we’d like them.

  2. And, not to mention, recreate these memories, perhaps filling our head with experiences that never happened, or happened to somebody else. That’s the scary thing about digging into the past, without a true recollection, we could be telling ourselves lies.

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