Caroline Molloy is a PhD art and humanities student at Birkbeck, Centre of Photographic History and Theory at the University of London, alongside of which she a Senior Lecturer in Photography at Coventry University. She has an MA from the Royal College of Art in photography, an MA in visual anthropology from Goldsmiths, and has been trained in oral histories by the British Library. She regularly writes about photography for Photomonitor, and New West-Midland Arts. She has delivered a number of national and international conference papers around her research, including in Nicosia, Cyprus and Lisbon, Portugal. Her work was exhibited in the Family of No-Man, Arles Photography Festival (2018), JAIPUR photo (2017), and Doh Mix Me Up (2014), as part of Leverhulme Arts event with Oxford University. Further info can be found on www.carolinemolloy.media.
The studio portrait is no longer limited by the physical space of the studio. The digital infrastructure enables the likeness to be completed and given meaning in the computer.
In her essay, Caroline’s draws from her PhD thesis that looks the visual habitus of transcultural photography. She concentrates her writing on the genre of studio photography, specifically early English studio photography and argues that the conceptual framework established in early photographic studio practices still has its legacy in contemporary digital photographic studio practices. To illustrate this argument, she draws from a contemporary case-study in her local, digital photographic studio in North London and discusses a selection of photographs in relation to early photographic studio practices. She suggests that rather than a radical break caused by digital technologies, digital photography has opened up imaginative ways in which to make studio portraits that blur boundaries between the real and symbolic.