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

By Gillian Rose

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

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It also entails a certain affective stance towards the photos, which is about the memories they evoke; the previous chapter noted how important photographs are to my interviewees as a way of prompting memories of how people, places and events were, and the way family snaps carry memories has been noted by several writers (J Hirsch 1981; M Hirsch 1997; Noble 2004; Wise 2000). And since, as we’ve seen, it is almost always happy moments that are recorded by cameras, that looking back is a happy feeling.

28 Doing Family Photography However, the object-ness of family snaps is constituted by more than just the visual content of what the photographs show; there is also their material form. Thus they can exist as paper prints, or as digital files on a screen, for example, and a few of my second group of interviewees commented on the difference between digital photographs on screen and printed film photos. While Elizabeth commented that the colours of digital photos weren’t quite right, other interviewees thought they were ‘fantastic’.

The mums told me about the many, many photos they’d taken of their children when they were newborn: ‘tons and tons’, ‘masses’, ‘every time Andrew moved he got to have a photograph’, ‘we were clicking all the time’, ‘we’ve got pictures of Jenny breathing, sort of, smiling, breathing, eating’, ‘you know, everything he did – and they don’t do anything! ’ As their babies grew, all these mums agreed with Tina when she said, ‘you just have to make a conscious effort to keep snapping away I think’. I was shown albums and albums and boxes and boxes and folders and folders of photographs, and photos were on display everywhere in almost all the houses I visited, even in the toilets; they were ‘dotted about’, ‘all round’ and ‘anywhere’.

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