Home curation versus teen photography: Photo displays in the family home

International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, Special Issue on Collocated Social Practices Surrounding Photos | , Vol 67(12): pp. 995-1112

In this paper we report a new empirical study of the photographic portrayal of family members at home. Adopting a social psychological approach and focusing on intergenerational power dynamics at home, our research explores the use of domestic photo displays in family representation. Mother-teen pairs from eight families in the south of England were interviewed at home about their interpretations of both hidden and displayed photos within the home. Discussions centred on particular photographs found by the participants to portray self and family in different ways. The findings show that public displays of digital photos were still curated by mothers of the households, but with more difficulty and less control than with analogue photos. In addition, teenagers both contributed and complied with this curation within the home, whilst at the same time developing additional unsupervised ways of presenting their families and themselves on-line. This implies the need for better digital tools for shared photo curation, and parental monitoring software for outgoing Internet content.