This is why it seems to me that many subject interests mix rather uneasily with snapshots. How is a snapshot of a dog inherently and significantly different from a conventional photo of a dog? But it may be that what we’re really intrigued by is the family dog, in his native habitat. Here we are entering true snapshot territory. Snapshots of the family dog bring us something that doesn’t exist to the same degree outside snapshot photography, certainly not in photography that doesn’t owe a great deal to snapshot photography.
Unlike the cooked-up mysteries of art, these are real mysteries. No one is being cute or deliberately obscure; no one is posing questions at all. We may enjoy these pictures, but we didn’t play a role in why they were made. They weren’t taken with us in mind. If we’re curious about why they were taken, it’s not because we’re wondering about something an artist wants us to wonder about. We’re curious about historical reality--about the actual events represented by the photos themselves.