For my analysis, I chose this photograph of Ron Paul from the official Ron Paul campaign website. (http://www.ronpaul2012.com/) Upon first glance, this photograph looks like one that would appear in a high school yearbook or a photograph taken with a Wal-mart backdrop. One would also appreciate the flag in the photo and assume that he must want his audience to see that he is patriotic and wants to support his country. One can also that he is a professional by looking at the suit he is wearing. The suit also shows his patriotism by the colors he chose to wear in this picture. His overcoat is blue and his undershirt is white with a red tie to reinforce his love for his country. The background of the picture also looks like it must have been carefully chosen. The color blue is also one of the three patriotic colors and might symbolize the future and looking up towards the heavens and what is to come.
His posture is very relaxed, and his smile does not look like it was forced. He appears to be very comfortable. His smile shows that he is confident in front of a camera and also his country. According to Barthes, “A full-face photograph underlines the realistic outlook of the candidate,” (92). By looking straight at the camera, Paul is showing voters that he too is human but he is not afraid to solve problems. Barthes tells readers that when a candidate’s photograph is looking directly at the voter than it shows them that “the future deputy is looking squarely at the enemy, the obstacle, the ‘problem’” (92). The fact that he is looking straight on at his audience shows that he won’t back down from whatever obstacles or problems our country may face in the future. He is also wearing a pin of some sort to show honor to whichever organization the pin belongs to. Most likely, the pin is showing his service to his country.
Barthes also mentions how one type of photograph shows candidates with “slightly narrowed eyes [which] allow a sharp look to filter through, which seems to find its strength in a beautiful inner dream without however ceasing to alight on real obstacles” (92). Barthes explains that Paul’s slightly narrowed eyes will allude to voters that he will stay composed and stay true to his job as president and will not let other matters get in his way. The other type of candidate Roland Barthes mentions is that of a “handsome hero (in uniform),” and that is just what Paul is appearing to be. He shows his professional side through his suit, and he may have been a hero by the pin he is wearing. Just by looking at his face, one might see faint bags under his eyes to show that he also may be enduring stress. His hairline, is also receding which will show voters that he has the same everyday stressors that he or she may possess.