Family photography, a ubiquitous domestic tradition in the developed world, is now more popular than ever thanks to the development of digital photography. Once uploaded to PCs and other gadgets, photographs may be stored, deleted, put in albums, sent to relatives and friends, retouched, or put on display. Moreover, in recent years family photographs are more frequently appearing in public media: on posters, in newspapers and on the Internet, particularly in the wake of disasters like 9/11, and in cases of missing children. Here, case study material drawn from the UK offers a deeper understanding of both domestic family photographs and their public display. Recent work in material culture studies, geography, and anthropology is used to approach photographs as objects embedded in social practices, which produce specific social positions, relations and effects. Also explored are the complex economies of gifting and exchange amongst families, and the rich geographies of domestic and public spaces into which family photography offers an insight.
'In shifting attention from what they show and what they mean, to what they do and how they are felt, this book completely changes the ways in which we might understand the humble family photograph in both private and public spaces. Theoretically, methodologically and empirically rich, it is set to become a standard work in the field of visual culture studies.' Elizabeth Edwards, University of the Arts London, UK 'In this book Gillian Rose shows that a photographic tradition that has been dismissed by critics is worthy of sustained and serious attention, for what it has to say about doing family and for the manner of its translation into public registers. Read this and you will realise that family snaps are serious photographs.' Nicky Gregson, University of Sheffield, UK 'This is an up-to-date and scholarly work that should easily find a place in a wide range of bookshelves' M/C Reviews 'I recommend this book as a fascinating critical analysis of the things we do and see everyday...' New Zealand Geographer