Doing family photography : the domestic, the public and the by Gillian Rose

By Gillian Rose

Contents: Preface; advent; the right way to examine relatives photos: practices, gadgets, topics and areas; what's performed with kinfolk snaps?; What occurs with this doing? relatives, household house and mothering; The movement of family members images within the visible economic system; relations images going public; The politics of sentiment: picturing the lacking and the useless in London, July 2005; having a look back, ethically, at family members snaps within the mass media; Conclusions: relatives images, household and public, and the modern visible financial system; Bibliography; Index

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As has been repeatedly demonstrated (Chalfen 1987; Cronin 1998; Halle 1993), family photos are rarely of individuals on their own, unless they are babies. Snaps instead tend to show at least two family members. Drawing on work that understands ‘togetherness’ as a key aspect of family and domestic life in Western culture (see for example Hunt 1989; Munro and Madigan 1999; Pennartz 1999), it has been argued that the spatial proximity of family members in family snaps thus symbolises and reiterates the integration of that family unit.

Most of the photos I would delete, so um – but it’s also because I’m taking the same photo many times and then I’m choosing one of them, and also why I hate to keep things I don’t like, I mean I have this trauma from moving four houses in four years [laugh] and having too much stuff, much much much too much stuff! So in all levels I don’t keep anything any more I don’t sort of I don’t like or I don’t use or don’t want to see it ever again, so I very easily delete photos and just keep those really nice photos that I really enjoy to look at them.

What was of more concern to my interviewees in relation to digital images and printed ones, though, was their accessibility, which is related to their presentational form. Rina, for example, felt that digital images were less accessible to her than photos printed and put in albums: I actually feel a bit sorry that it’s a digital time now because I won’t go and sit at the computer and look at, I actually like to, I’m very old-fashioned, I like the radio, I like to browse through photo albums, yeah, it’s just, it’s nice, brings things to life.

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