Your Good Pictures: Trends in Popular Photography

Live via Zoom

How-to books and photo blogs often represent the rules of photography as timeless or inherent to the medium. In fact, though, what we define as a “good picture” is constantly changing. In her new book,? Good Pictures: A History of Popular Photography, Kim Beil traces 50 stylistic trends through 175 years of photographic practice. In this informal hour-long conversation via Zoom, she discusses elements of contemporary pictures that seem unassailably good (the “best” angle for selfies, the “best” light for portraits), and shows that these judgments are actually recent developments, which overturn decades of previous advice on how to make good pictures.?

In the second half of the hour, Beil comments on pictures submitted in advance by you, the audience, placing your own family photos (1880 – 1980) in the context of photo history.

Send pictures of your favorite vintage photos to by 9/21 to have your photos included in the conversation.

Kim Beil teaches art history at Stanford University.

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