I was pondering the research into August Sander and his thoughts on expression, dress/props and background. I noticed that he took a series of images of Political Prisoners, and when you look at his work it seems possible to pick out them out from the group. I started to wonder why this was, most of them were head and shoulder portraits. Was I seeing proof that the images did in some way convey the personality or was there some trick of the photographer.
These are the Sander Political Prisoners images: August Sander – Political Prisoners
I decided to take it one step further, I collected a set of images of serial killers portraits found on the internet in pinterest which can ve viewed here: Portraits of killers I showed these to my wife and asked her what she thought without telling her what they were, her response was “They look like a bunch of killers”. Not the most scientific experiment but everyone I showed them too had a similar response. I suspect we have been conditioned to react this way to this type of image and that there is something about the way the picture is taken that leads us to feel this way.