Beyond the Shutter’s Click

Centering Photographic Studio Practices to Explore Time and Place


  • Amanda Shopa University of Minnesota


arts-based research, a/r/tography, narrative inquiry, photography, covid-19


Photography is inherently linked to time, yet discussions of photography’s relationship to time focus almost exclusively on how photographs as objects convey, represent, and encode time. In this essay, I use arts-based research, narrative inquiry, lived experiences, and collected artefacts to a/r/tographically explore how photographic studio practice also conveys, represents, and encodes time. In four stories that span three decades, I show how my own practice shifted from being about photographs (objects) to photography (process). These four stories also caused new questions to arise, including: why use a film camera in 2020? I conclude with a brief discussion about how the materiality of film makes for an embodied experience.