The spread of mobile technologies and social media have contributed to making snapshot photography an ordinary part of everyday life. As snapshots become more omnipresent, asking why we take so many photos becomes less exigent than asking what might stop us from doing so. Drawing on insights from affect theory, new materialism, and studies of visual rhetoric, this article argues that deterrents to snapping pictures arise not only from the range of human rhetorics or “laws” that influence our actions or inactions, but also from a dynamic tangle of extrahuman factors, ineffable though this influence may be. Speculating about the implications of these extrahuman deterrents for how we understand rhetoric, I suggest that the ineffable enchantment of certain encounters exhibits a worldly rhetoricity in itself, one that conditions the possibility of—and sometimes prevents—the anthropogenic symbolic actions we are more accustomed to recognizing as rhetorical.

You do not currently have access to this content.