I think the photographs are in contrast with the the text because they are unrealistic snapshots that hide the truth behind their beauty. Though it isn't clear how exactly the bear was captured in the photograph, it surely doesn't tell the truth about him. It makes me wonder about all of the snapshots we take of our lives and how much they say about what we really did. What about the photos that all of those darn tourists took at the Cherry Blossom Festival? Does someone's smiling face in front of the tidal basin tell any truth about that person, or even that day? I understand wanting to remember a good time, but I don't think that years later a person will look at their smiling face and remember the truth: that it was a hot day, they were blistered and tired, and all they really wanted was to get out of that zoo.
So then what is Proulx saying about communication? I think maybe she is suggesting that it's difficult to understand another person's life by communicating with snapshots because it's fragmented and often misrepresents reality. What do you guys think?