Snapshots - a love story

Photo © Bengt Björkbom

If you are not already familiar with the book
Snaps by Elliott Erwitt, try to get it. You will get his definition of snapshots - it is a wonderful book. There are of course other definitions: "a snapshot is not a photograph" or "a casual photograph made by an amateur with a small handheld camera"
or "a photograph that is taken in a short moment of opportunity". I like the last one... "a short moment of opportunity". To me a snapshot is about reacting fast as a photographer. If you think twice, you will lose the moment for ever.

Snapshots could be described as using the camera as a notebook or a diary.

Wiki says:
"The term snapshot aesthetic refers to a trend within fine art photography in the USA from around 1963/.../ Notable practitioners include Nan Goldin, Wolfgang Tillmans, Martin Parr, William Eggleston, Terry Richardson, and Corrine Day. In the recent years also young contemporary photographers, such as Hiromix, Ryan McGinley and Arnis Balcus have gained international recognition thanks to snapshot aesthetic."

I came to think of Bengt Björkboms pictures when looking for an introduction to "Snaps". Many of his pictures, I would describe as "classy snapshots". Some "fine art photographers" may have a low opinion of snapshots and not consider them being part of the art of photography. Objection, your Honor - it depends! As so many other things in this world - it depends. There are classy and unforgettable snapshots and there are boring, pretentious and insignificant "fine art photography". Please share your views about the subject - why not by sending me your best "snapshots".

Bengt Björkbom
Born: 1940
Lives: Gnesta Sweden
Latest exhibition: sept 2008

Coming, planned exhibition: nov 2008

Inspiration (photographers): Berndt Klyvare, Angelo Rizzuto,Tore Johnson, Sune Jonsson, W.Eugene Smith, Robert Frank.Bruce Davidson, Ralph Nyqvist, Christer Strömholm, Walker Evans and
Lee Friedlander
Inspiration (other): Kurt Bergengren

Film, digital or both: Film

Quote: "The important thing is what you have to say and how you say it" - Kurt Bergengren

A favourite photograph: Girl with Leica by Alexander Rodchenko
Straight Photography (in Swedish)

See Bengts introduction to Snaps


cafe selavy said…
Glad to meet this photographer. Went to his blog. A man who loves cameras. I wish I could read the text. It will take me days to get through his archives. With pleasure.
br said…
classic snapshots...beautifully seen.