How do we look at a photo?

A photograph brings the past into the present. A photograph is a moment that has stopped,
and it allows us to experience an ongoing moment in the present and to look at it in depth.
Our interpretation of this moment (or of the photograph) is completely subjective.
There is no right or wrong interpretation, there is an opportunity to ‘capture’ issues that we are concerned with at this particular moment.

As professionals, we have the option of making conventional verbal or rationalist processes shorter by looking at pictures and talking
about what we see and feel through this observation, and creating the relevant context for our patient / trainee / participant etc.
Deep observation enables us to open up to new points of view, expand our range of feelings, emotions, thoughts, motivation, and…
Part of the technique in observing a photo – is asking questions.

Below are questions you can ask about any photo, whether it is a Points of You® card,
a photograph in an album, or any other photo that you choose:
Three basic questions may suffice:

1. What do I see in the photo? Facts.
2. What do I know about the photo? Place, time, people, situation.
3. What do I feel when I look at the photo?

If the basic questions do not provide the depth we are looking for, or if we hope to achieve nuances –
below is a set of questions divided into different levels.

Photo card from Punctum Game

Beyond this, there are questions that help the observer to go deeper into the photo and its nuances:
1. The informative part – based on facts and knowledge
• What do I see in the photo?
• What do I know about the photo?
• Place
• Period / time
• People
• Situation

2. The plot – based on observation and knowledge
• What does the photo depict?
• What is the situation described in the photo?
• What is the photo’s message?
• What memory comes with this photo, if any?
• What story does this photo tell me? It can be true or an imaginary story.
• Try to imagine what happened a second before the camera clicked?
• Try to imagine what will happen or how the photo will look a second after the click of the camera?

A video we created in 2014, Punctum Game

How do we look at a word?

Below is a set of questions to go deeper into the word and its nuances:
What other words can be made up from the same letters?
What word has the opposite meaning?
Do I like or dislike this word? Why?
What emotions, feelings, memories does it arouse?
How does the word connect with the photo I am looking at?
Would I connect a different word with the photo?
How do all of these connect with the issue that is of concern to me today?
Leadership Card - The Coaching Game
Photo card from The Coaching Game

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