Module 5: Image Workshop

5.6 Activity: Photo Essay

Photo essays are lively, informative, and malleable digital methods.  Photo essays tell stories, share experiences, and make arguments through the combination of images and the written word, although some essays may rely on one medium more than the other.  This format can be beneficial as it allows makers to create content in a way that feels right for their interests, their audiences, their creative preferences, and their approach to accessible content creation.

In the works cited section of this module, you were provided with several photo essays.  Pick an essay that spoke to you and write a brief five-minute essay (in the box below or using whatever methods work best for you) capturing your reaction to the method and the maker.  Once you have finished your five-minute essay, click Check and then Show Solution on the text box below to see a sample response to Jo Spence’s photo essay “The Final Project.”  You may use the following questions to guide your response, but feel free to ask and answer some questions of your own.

Guiding questions

  • What is the relationship between words and images in the essay(s) you chose?
  • How might the narrative or argument change if the maker had to communicate in just words or just images?
  • How did your chosen photo essay(s) inspire you to create with images or to explore photo essays as a digital method?
  • Which essays did you choose to read and why?
  • What about the colour and lighting stood out to you in the essays you read?
  • Were the subjects facing the camera or looking away?
  • What appeared in the frame of the image?
  • What feelings did the images illicit?


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Digital Methods for Disability Studies Copyright © 2022 by Esther Ignagni is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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