The Photographic Diary as a Reflexive Methodology for Documentary Practice

KayLynn Deveney

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


My chapter for The Reflexive Photographer is a critical analysis of an original photographic work produced during my graduate studies and an evaluation of the chosen methodology. The chapter samples the original photographic work but also makes a broader case for diaristic methodologies as tools for presenting documentary photographic work in a more subjective context, one that allows the influence of the photographer to be seen more transparently and dimensionally than is typical of traditional presentations of documentary photography. The chosen case study focuses on the experiences of an older couple living in a nursing home but it also interrogates the personal relationship that develops between the couple and myself - the photographic artist - and highlights the string of subjective decisions that guide the making of the work. The resulting work is examined not just as a portrait of the subjects but also a portrait of the photographer. The essay argues that the combination of documentary photographs with diaristic text exposes the ways documentary projects are negotiated and illuminates the personal and emotional factors come into play in authoring a work.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Reflexive Photographer
EditorsRosie Miller
Place of PublicationEdinburgh, Scotland, UK and Boston, Masachusettes, USA
ISBN (Print)Not yet known
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Sept 2013

Bibliographical note

From the publisher's website - 'FORTHCOMING: THE REFLEXIVE PHOTOGRAPHER. One of four new titles in our new Writings on Photography series, The Reflexive Photographer is edited by Rosie Miller, Jonathan Carson and Theresa Wilkie, from the School of Arts & Media at Salford University. The book will explore the varied ways in which reflexivity manifests itself within photography and the photograph, and the methods photographers use to interrogate their own work and interact with the work of others and with the world around them. The title is scheduled for publication in Autumn 2013.'


  • Photography
  • Reflexive
  • Reflexivity
  • Diary
  • Ageing


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