Art, Art History and Design, School of


Date of this Version

Spring 2010


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Fine Arts, Major: Art, Under the Supervision of Associate Professor Shelley Fuller. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2010.
Copyright 2010 Kayleigh L. Speck


Photographs best show and describe the world, capturing a split second in time without necessarily providing the viewer with any sort of explanation or answer as to why something looks the way it does. Although the camera captures images of the “real,” it has the ability to tell lies. It changes our perception of space, the color of light, and the way things look overall. This is the reason I have chosen this medium; I want to see what my world looks like in a photograph.

Through these photographs of the every day lives of my subjects and myself, I discovered something entirely new to me, an interest in the precariousness of relationships and the fleeting nature of our youth and beauty. I have the need to preserve this and to capture the essence of our youth by photographing every thing and every one that moved me. I chose to photograph in the vernacular aesthetic of typical snapshots in order to evoke the sense of immediacy and “realness” of the moment that vernacular snapshots communicate.

These photographs aim to tell a story of my relationship to the subjects. The collection of images serves as my diary. They are memories and recollections of the past, where the static image may be all that remains of the moment, and represents some physical thing that once actually happened or existed. The moment at which the exposure is made immediately becomes the past, and the photograph is all that remains of an experience and becomes a narrative device for representing the way things were.

I am sharing my life and experiences through these photographs. Throughout these photographs may lay as many truths, fears, loves, lies, and stories as any other persons written diary, but it is the viewer who decides what they want to be told.