Full title: Alli, Annie, Hannah, and Berit, all 13, before the first big party of the seventh grade, Edina, Minnesota Photographer: Lauren Greenfield, from her book "Girl Culture" http://24.media.tumblr.com/f4a0b06279bec60dfd70c8a571f79a24/tumblr_mnif24IFzM1qzg5ooo1_1280.jpg I wanted to choose a photograph that said something to me, but which would not be characteristic of 90% of the type of work I normally do myself (black and white urban documentary/street). I was going to choose something way, way outside the realm of what I do and understand (ex: Adam Fuss' Details of Love ), but then I'd have little to say about it outside of "You guys tell me what you make of this". The photo I did choose is from Greenfield's 2002 book, "Girl Culture". I have seen many photos from it online, but have not looked through the entire book itself. A Time Magazine review of the book described it thus: A new book by photographer Lauren Greenfield reveals the insecurities, dreams and secret rituals of American girls. What emerges is a portrait of two generations growing up too fast...As the father of a 14 year old girl, a photo like this one, depicting the life of early teen girls, has a natural interest for me. But if I were childless, it would still interest me from a documentary and sociological standpoint. My daughter is largely atypical of the girls in Greenfield's photo (interested in personal appearance, yes, but more of an "old soul" and leery of growing up too fast), but she is not immune to the immense pressures, confusions, and insecurities encountered by contemporary girls at that age. The photo itself: Seen on its own, with no prior knowledge of the photographer, it could almost be a snapshot taken by one of the girls parents. I'm not big on technical details (at least not in this image because how it was captured is not an integral part of its significance), but closer examination causes me to suspect that it was taken in shade utilizing fill light from off camera flash. The late afternoon shadows of the trees against the houses in the background indicate a stronger more contrasty light than that which illuminates the four girls in this image. I'll let others more knowledgeable of these things comment on the technical aspects. (Edit - On closer examination, maybe there was no fill flash used? Not a big deal, but I'm curious to hear from someone more knowledgeable. I know nada about artificial lighting...a knowledge gap I intend to fix at some point.) After a brief perusal of the photo (as well as an instinctive and unbidden passing of judgement on which girl among the four seems the cutest), my gaze eventually locks on to the girl at far right, casting a gaze toward the left that almost looks like envy ("I wish I were as 'hot' as Alli"). This could be a misreading, perhaps she just happened to glance over in that direction at the moment the shutter snapped. One of those illusions of reality that can occur in a seemingly objective photograph. Each girl strikes a different pose. Of the three, Hannah (third from left) seems the most studied. A pose she may be imitating from something she saw in a fashion magazine. I don't want to go on too long because I want to read what other people have to say. I'll close with my personal reaction. Being the father of a girl of that age group, seeing other girls of that age, and having talked to adult women about what it is like to be a girl at that age, there is something very poignant, nearly heart rending, about this photograph. Although the photograph probably gains power when seen as a larger body of work (i.e., the entire book Girl Culture), it stands on its own as a telling moment in the life of these four girls.