Family photos : an exploration of significant exposures

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Blomgren, Constance
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 1999
This hermeneutic inquiry into the significance of family photographs in our personal and public lives explores the relationship between the subject, the photographer and the viewer. The discussion uses the photgraphic oeuvres of the author's paternal grandfather and maternal grandmother as the basis of the exploration. Themes which appear include the following: the represented and projected images of a family within family photos; the significance of gender in the making of snapshots; and, the influence of history and religion upon families. The discussion also includes the relationship between art and photography, art photography and the snapshot genre, the role of women within photography and snapshot photography as a method of visual narrative. The author delves into hermeneutics as an interpretative framework when viewing family photos. Semiotics, and Roland Barthes' Camera Lucida (1981) inform the discussion in addition to Jung's matriarchal consciousness as two alternative frameworks for interpreting family photographs. The study indicates that family photographs are visual artifacts which document and authenticate the lived experiences of the photographer and that they serve as a visual form of life writing. Data from the photographic industry indicates the heavy involvment of women in family photographs which the study links to the marginalised role of the genre. To interpret the significance of the ubiquitous family snapshot involves the hermeneutic circle as the "text" of the photograph involves the inter-textuality of other previously encountered texts.
xvii, 199 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.
Photographs , Photography -- Social aspects , Photography of families , Dissertations, Academic