Photographs and Family

Photography is interesting because not only do you get an image as an outcome, but every image taken has a motive – whether it was big or small. In regards to domestic photography the motive is usually to do with preserving a memory and capturing a moment.

An interesting point made during the lecture was ‘does photography rely on history or does photography make history?’. I think in regards to this sub-topic of photography, history is created through them. Many moments happen too quick for someone to remember on their own but the use of a photograph can jig that memory – especially in domestic scenarios.

In this lecture we were asked to bring in a family photo and I chose the one featured below. 


I brought this one in because it features my grandad who is no longer with us, so this photo is used to remind me of him. Looking into conventions, you have the typical holiday photo, when smiles are forced and the photo is organised in an unnatural way. Also you can see the gender roles, my mother took the photo, and when cameras became more accessible they were marketed at mothers as a way of looking after the family. Though more recently the marketing has shifted to men for their supposed love of ‘gadgets’.

Looking at my photo, it made me question if it was a true depiction of what we were like. I don’t believe it is – but I don’t believe a photo will ever be a true depiction of the subjects. No one will ever have a desire to be photographed or take a photograph in sad or angry times – especially in domestic photography. Also a photo is a form of memory, so why would you want to remember the sad times? Saying that though, I do think the image above shows my own family values.


A persons who’s work is really interesting is Trish Morrisey – she did a series of domestic photography where she became the subject. In the sea-side photos she replaced the mother figure with herself and took a photo. Without knowing this, you would assume those in the photograph were a family, so what she did was prove that domestic photography is just an ideal and not reality.


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