Photographs as a Research Tool in Child Studies: Some Analytical Metaphors and Choices

Poveda, D; Matsumoto, M; Morgade, M. and Alonso, E. (2018). Photographs as a research tool in child studies: Some analytical metaphors and choices. Qualitative Research in Education, 7 (2), 170-196.

This methodological paper discusses how photographs can be used in multi-layered data projects with children and families. We present photographs as a versatile low-fi digital artifact that can be used under a variety of research circumstances and critically discuss this particular visual tool in the context of the growing body of visual and multimodal research with children and families. The critical discussion draws on a series of research projects in which we have employed photographs (topics of the projects include family diversity or children’s routines). The comparisons between projects highlights some of the procedural and analytical choices that are opened up when using photographs. In particular, we focus on two issues: (a) differences that emerge when materials are created by participants or are elicited by researchers, and; (b) the metaphors that are applied to interpret and work with photographs.

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