1st Edition

Photography, Photographic Arts, and the Visual Research Process in Qualitative Inquiry

    256 Pages 24 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    256 Pages 24 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Photography, Photographic Arts and the Visual Research Process in Qualitative Inquiry is a book that introduces doctoral students and early career researchers to photography as a significant dimension of visual qualitative methods.

    It examines the potential of photographic arts in qualitative research by highlighting theory and practice. Theories of photographic research and the types of photography within the genre are presented along with tips and exercises on how to conduct visual research through the use of photography. The central features of the book include learning to incorporate photography and photographic thinking through the arc of the research process. Question posing, data gathering, data analysis and presentation and dissemination of photographic research ae discussed. Ethics for photographic qualitative research is discussed. Learning to consider all senses for visual analysis and to consider issues of power and equity in photographic research are explained. Readers of the book can practice different ways to think about photographic research through the exercises and tips offered at the end of each chapter.

    Graduate students and early career researchers who are interested in qualitative research will find this book valuable to learn and experiment with photography and photographic arts in visual qualitative research.

    1. Introduction to Photographic Research

    Why we wrote this book
    Photographic research over time
    Features of the book

    2. Ethics and photographic visual research

    Approaches to Ethics in Photographic Research
    Consent and Confidentiality
    Early career researchers and IRB committees
    Dignity of process, context and outcome
    Ethics and challenges of ownership of photographs
    Ongoing implications of technology tools

    3. Ways of Seeing and Research Photography

    Seeing Photographs as reality and as expressions of art
    Photography as Performance or Performative Art
    Photography as a research method
    Photography in the field
    Biographical and Autobiographical Research
    Photo-story method
    Theories and Concepts of Photography in Research
    Social media photography as a form of visual communication
    How can qualitative researchers make decisions about research questions in visual qualitative research?

    4. Participatory Action Research (PAR) and Photography

    Frameworks for PAR
    Photovoice as Participatory Action Research
    PAR and Photography Beyond Photovoice
    Challenges of PAR
    Collaborative Video and Filmmaking
    Using Photographs to Build Rapport

    5. Researcher Photography & Videography

    Archival Photos
    Found Photographs
    Video data gathering

    6. Protest Photography and Democratic Witnessing

    Photo Contests
    Can photographs replace writing field notes?

    7. Land, place, context and photographic arts

    Photographic Place and Site
    Storyscapes as a way to document connections to land and place
    Photomapping as a way to understand neighborhoods and community connections
    Researching travel photography, volunteer tourism, or voluntourism
    Guided tour as methodology for understanding place

    8. Interviews and Photography

    Visual Data and Photographic data
    Absent Photographs
    Reflexive Photography
    Exploring Photo albums, posed photographs, and narrative strategies
    Tips and practical considerations for researchers using photographs in qualitative research interviews
    Using Photography with Interviews as a Decolonizing Method

    9. Photographic data analysis and display

    Differences between researcher generated photographs and participant generated photographs
    Interpreting photographic data in conjunction with visual data
    Analyzing Photographic Data
    Analyzing Video based data
    Cultural Studies Approach to photographic analysis
    Iconologic image analysis – Panofsky’s method
    Hermeneutic analysis
    Pierre Bourdieu and analyzing photographic data
    Data Analysis : When is the right time to start analyzing photographs?
    Coding Photographs as Part of Data Analysis

    10. Writing, exhibitions, narratives, and photography

    Writing and Displaying photographic research
    Different ways to write with photography
    Narrative photography
    Conclusion or a Pause in the Conversation
    An Invitation to Continue the Conversation


    Raji Swaminathan, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Educational Policy & Community Studies in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has served as Director of Doctoral Studies and Chair of the Department and is a recipient of the university’s Faculty Teaching and Faculty Research Awards. She is interested and works in the areas of qualitative research, youth resilience, urban and alternative schools, creative pedagogies, and school leadership.

    Thalia M. Mulvihill, Ph.D., Professor of Higher Education and Social Foundations and Provost Faculty Fellow at Ball State University. She has served as Director of two doctoral programs, the Director of the Certificate Program in Qualitative Research & Education, and the Director of the Certificate Program in College and University Teaching. A recipient of numerous outstanding teaching, research, and mentoring awards, she is engaged in the study of historical and sociological issues in the fields of higher education, qualitative inquiry, innovative pedagogies, and educational leadership.