Research Photography Is…

  • Sten Langmann
  • David Pick


This chapter introduces the utility of photography in social research and outlines different data collection methods that researchers can employ. The power of the photograph is discussed and then questions about representation are examined. The idea of the photograph as a ‘fold’ is proposed as one way of helping to integrate varying perspectives on the issue of representation. An examination of commonly used photographic research methods is presented that explains their uses and relative strengths and weaknesses. A new approach is proposed called the ‘snapshot’ that provides opportunities for gaining new and unique insights into people’s lives. The chapter concludes with an examination of the emic and etic qualities of research photography and why this matters.


Research methods Representation Unfolding Snapshot Social research Emic Etic 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sten Langmann
    • 1
  • David Pick
    • 2
  1. 1.Curtin UniversityPerthAustralia
  2. 2.Curtin Business SchoolPerthAustralia

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