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Vernacular Photography - Photographs of Everyday Life

Updated on October 17, 2014
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0 | Source
(CC BY 2.0
(CC BY 2.0 | Source

Photographing life

Capturing the everyday in photos, also known as vernacular photography usually refers to photos of the aspects involved in everyday life or common subjects as they are found.

Vernacular photography is also referred to as "the creation of photographs by amateur or unknown photographers who take everyday life and common things as subjects." *

This type of photography is sometimes referred to as indigenous,native,ordinary or found photography.

It simply means that you as as photographer are involved in photographing subjects that are common and readily found, you are specialized in photographing everyday family life and events. If you have ever taken what we commonly call "snapshots" then you have taken a vernacular photo.

Samples of vernacular photography are photographs of travels, vacations, family,friends, class portraits, reunions, meetings, church groups, sporting events, school events,social gatherings as well as many others.

The difference between just taking some snap shots and vernacular photography, is that in the latter, the photos are taken with photography in mind. The photos can be of the same subject at a specific time or state of being or at various times, of people, pets, city scenes, work,pets, family life, holidays, picnics, celebrations ..the list goes on and they are meant to serve as a chronicle of the life/state of the subject at one moment in time and place or at various times and different situations.

Any search engine search (pardon the redundancy) will provide several samples of vernacular photography. If you want to develop vernacular photography into a business, the challenge would be to take what seem as snap shots but made with the same technical quality as would be expected from other types of photography meant to be sold.

There is a huge demand for photos that show people at work, enjoying themselves, family gatherings, holidays photos, and people relaxing. A growing demand also exist for everyday city scenes.This demand is only rivaled by nature, and commercial shots which showcase a product or company. Visit any photography stock house an browse through their list of in demand subjects if you are interested in pursuing vernacular photography as a business venture.

Don't confuse vernacular photography for time lapse, in which a subject is photographed over time to show some change. Vernacular needs be only of a subject(s) in an everyday setting whether at one or various moments in time.

Vernacular photos can also be of things found at garage sales, flea markets,antique stores, and pets.

Remember, the object is to take photos that are posed/set up and make them look as un-posed, in other words photographed as they happen or were found.

CC BY-SA 3.0
CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source

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© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez


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