ABSTRACT

Mobile phones incorporate cameras as part of their multi-media functions and provide us with a chance to explore the camera’s ability to visually document and to discuss our experience of the world as it unfolds around us. As mobile camera phones have become more widely used, they have affected people’s photographic practices and have also altered their post-production mode of communication. The portability and mobile connectivity of camera phones have shaped their related social practices in ways that are vastly different from those of traditional snapshot cameras. The compiling and sharing of personal photos, which was usually conditioned by the oral contexts among familial or intimate members, now takes place on users’ handsets as well as on websites, including social networking services and photo-sharing sites. The recent diffusion of smartphones, which allow us to use the Internet on the move and therefore to connect to online social space anywhere and anytime, has brought about a new condition for personal photo taking and photo sharing. In particular, when the main applications incorporated by smartphones are social media that allow people to post and distribute their words and photos for social interaction, new photographic practices emerge.