For my analysis I chose this picture of Rick Perry, who as of yesterday (Jan. 19,2012) suspended his presidential campaign. It was found on his website (http://governor.state.tx.us/about/). The photograph seems very personable to put on his website. Perry seems relaxed, in a nice, elegant looking chair which is probably very uncomfortable. The dark blue curtains contrast the flags hanging in the background to show support and respect for his country. His dark suit with a dark tie to match goes for the clean-cut look. His white shirt with the dark cufflinks adds to clean look.
If you look to the lower left hand corner of the picture, on Perry’s ankle is the outline of Texas with the American colors inside. The fact that he is wearing it on his pants and obviously showing it for a reason shows he is showing his love, support and pride for the state of Texas. Most presidential candidates do talk/show some sort of support of their “stomping grounds” but not on their suit pant leg. Perry is also showing off his left hand, and the ring that is on his ring finger. I can’t tell if it’s a wedding ring band or some sort of ring he received from an act of service or something. Either way he is extremely proud of it and wants his supporters to know. The pin Perry wears on his suit is also something he might have received in being part of a service.
His full portrait of his face depicts confidence to me. It is as if he is looking straight into your eyes, not off in the distance but right at you. With that look and his posture, Perry gives the look of comfort. He looks like he just wants to sit down and have a conversation with you. As Barthes said, “A full-face photograph underlines the realistic outlook of the candidate.” In this relaxed posture you get the feeling he wants to say, “Look at me: I am like you.” Usually in most pictures you either see the president from a distance doing something, or up close portrait view. You don’t see many pictures, like this one of Perry. Like Barthes stated in his essay about the candidates wanting to be liked, show comfort of family, legal and religious norms, etc. Each candidate shows different portraits of themselves which we as the voters translate into the different aspects and/or sides of each candidate.