Visual Research Methods.

I’ve long been interested in photography. My dad helped me purchase a used Minolta SLR setup when I was just 12. Though I’ll likely never transcend amateur status, I've found ways of productively incorporating image-making into my professional work as a writing researcher.

Despite a rich history of visual rhetorics in my field, few scholars have used visual research methods as a key form of empirical inquiry. Yet in almost all of my research, visual methods ground the systematic investigation, analysis, and representation of how people use writing and rhetoric as ways of knowing, being, and doing.

Indeed, empirical visual research methods support a strategy of inquiry for better surfacing, tracing, and understanding the often ephemeral rhetorical genres that mediate contemporary work, learning, and play. Capturing these genres of practice in photographs and video helps me better understand complex activities; more importantly, visual research methods help me better represent the lived experience of my participants.

Below are several examples from my empirical studies that foreground how visual methods support systematic investigations of nuanced rhetorics in everyday practice.