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UAL Research Online

Collecting Collects: The Family Photograph in the British Newspaper

Beard, Sophie (2009) Collecting Collects: The Family Photograph in the British Newspaper. PhD thesis, University of the Arts London.

Type of Research: Thesis
Creators: Beard, Sophie

This practice-led research considers aspects of the complex categories of private and public photographs through the study of the usage and treatment of the 'family photograph' in British national newspapers. It draws on an ethnographic approach of finding, collecting and archiving examples of family photographs in the newspaper between 2003 - 2008. The theoretical strands central to the work explore key concepts fundamental to photographic theory, with a specific focus upon the family photograph. An important part of the approach was allowing both theory and practice elements to run simultaneously, mutually informing each other.

This thesis explores the social dynamics of the use of family photographs within the context of newspaper stories, and argues that it is more complex than a simple shift from private to public readings of the image. It argues that in the contc::xt of the newspaper, family photographs are used to develop specific forms of narratives around the experience of loss, misfortune, disaster. and crime. The main themes addressed by the thesis are; i\nonymity', which is explored by looking at the effects of newspaper editing techniques of pixelation, masking and silhouettes, and 'Time', which explores the tautological textual descriptions of family photographs and the temporality of photographic captions and headlines.

As a result of recent technological advances th~ has been a significant change in the use of family photographs in the news, which has resulted in the blurring of the boundaries between the public and the private in the press. As this thesis explores, with this loss of privacy family photographs have become reproduced as the 'property' of the media through a simple series of exchanges. The family photograph has become a product and a commodity within the news media.

Additional Information (Publicly available):

This thesis is restricted by request of the author. Please contact UAL Research Online for more information.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Communication
Date: January 2009
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2020 08:51
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2024 16:02
Item ID: 15576
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/15576

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