Photography and Psychoanalysis: The Development of Psychological Persuasion in Image Making, was my first major work in ten years. During the intervening time I had pumped out articles on a range of topics, as well as editing and helping others to put themselves out there.
My interest in photography and psychology was undiminished during this time, indeed I wrote about them both. After a while I realized that I had amassed a network of connected ideas that guided my commercial work. It seemed a good idea to write these connections down.
This eventually developed into the book ‘Photography and Psychoanalysis’. It’s about those early pioneers of photography, and modern psychology, that have impacted upon our lives, often in ways that we take for granted. It’s also about unconscious motivation, those emotional hooks that grab us without our knowledge, either by association or novelty.
The original work comprised fifteen chapters, an extra was added in the second edition and one more in the third. Yes, the work which could proudly stand complete at the time it was first published is evolvig. This is possible simply because we live in a digital age where books are printed electronically when they are required.
Dr. Julian Stern, a Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy at London’s prestigious Tavistock Center: “In a relatively short journey the author guides us through psychoanalysis and systems theory, photography, surrealism, advertising and much more. This is a contentious, evocative and intelligent introduction to two of modern history’s greatest creations.”
Michael Eldridge, former Head of Post Graduate Studies in Photography at The Arts Institute, Bournemouth: “For the passionate photographer, this little gem of a book will provide a fascinating historical backdrop. A eulogy, if you will, and an appreciation of the early heroes of this revolutionary medium. It will allow them to sigh in wonder for a second, at the facility by which they can now freeze an instance with such ease, as they halt for a while the tyranny of time in their lives.”
Scott Lucas, Professor of American Studies, University of Birmingham: “Stephen Bray shows how an image’s power draws not just from a photograph but from what we — with our fears, our dreams, our experiences — make of it. He also shows how those fears and dreams can be exploited when the image is used by merchants and public-relations ‘gurus’.”
Lilach Bullock: ‘Forbes’ Top 20 Women’s Social Media Power Influencers: “The author shocks and amazes by revealing the deep secrets of emotional persuasion within the context of photography and visual imagery. It’s a scary thing to see how the masses can be manipulated with the use of this beautiful art form: photography.”
‘Photography and Psychoanalysis’ is a remarkable source for those wishing to explore the background of advertising photography, its psychology, methodology and effectiveness.
It’s difficult to believe such a concise, and simple book contains so much valuable information. The work makes your learning an exciting process as chapter by chapter the story of photography and psychoanalysis unfolds.
Starting with an analysis of a Renaissance painting at the time the camera obscura was introduced into art the text looks at the philosophical error that photographs are objective works, and the reasons this assumption was made.
You are introduced to various characters who influenced the development of both photography and psychoanalysis during the 19th and 20th centuries, and you are helped to appreciate the impact they continue to have today.
Slowly, psychological and photographic concepts are added into the narrative until it becomes possible to look at examples of contemporary advertising images and campaigns using appropriate tools.
Later, the text moves to look at the development of art, and domestic photography, including the force that commercial photography places upon these. In a relatively short journey you are guided through psychoanalysis and systems theory, photography, surrealism, advertising and much more.
“Stephen’s first hand knowledge and expertise in psychology and photography shines throughout the book.” Steven Healey
“A useful book for anybody interested in photography or using images for their business.” Angelica Davey
“This was an enjoyable and highly fascinating read. It’s also well researched, nicely written and provocative. Very insightful book, highly recommend it.” Dr. Sally Church
“Stephen Bray really caught my attention with this book. I worked in the photography industry, owned a large photography studio for 38 years. I have been aware of the moods, the look, and the use of images, but I had really not connected them to the hidden psychological persuasion presented in ‘Photography and Psychoanalysis’ .
“Bray takes his readers on a “I couldn’t put the book down” journey through photography and its connection to psychology.” Don Schenk, Photographer, Cincinnati.
“I think ‘Photography and Psychoanalysis’ is especially suited to the fine-art (artist) photographer who is interested in exploring how images happen; why certain themes repeat themselves in a photographer’s work; and in seeing that there is a one-to-one relationship between the photographer, the camera and the subject; and the psychoanalyst, the couch and other tools, and the patient.
Takes a unique look at the relationship between psychiatry and photography (both born around the same time).” David Beckerman, N.Y. Photographer.