Visual Ethnography

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One of the most important relationships in my life is with my younger brother. Despite an age difference of over five years, we have always been very close. Growing up, we spent most of our time together and had many of the same interests. When thinking about how I would represent our relationship in a photograph, I tried to think about what activities and memories I associate the most with my brother. The first thing that I thought of was that for as long as I can remember, we spent a lot of time playing outside in our backyard. We would mainly play soccer, baseball, and football, and we would invent rules to level the playing field to make up for our age and size difference.

To represent this part of our relationship in a photograph, I thought a good location to take a picture of us would be in our backyard, where we had so much fun playing sports over the years. This would be a good visual representation of us, as it symbolizes one of the main activities we spent time doing over many years.  Next, I asked my brother what he would include in a photograph that would represent our relationship. Interestingly, he came up with the exact same idea as I had proposed. He mentioned that our backyard would be a good place to take a picture to represent all of the times we played outside growing up. As you can see in the picture, my brother and I chose to take a picture of ourselves in the yard behind our house, like we both had suggested.

Having the participation from my brother in making a decision about the photograph actually didn’t have any effect at all, because we had the same perception about what to include in the picture. I was very amused that we had the same thoughts as each other. I had expected that we might have some different ideas, but having the same ideas just proves that we agree about what have been the fun and memorable activities in our lives. From this process, I learned that my brother and I have the same perception of what things have been important in our relationship. We share the same memories of what has been important over the years, which is good to know and shows that we have a mutual and strong relationship.

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3 thoughts on “Visual Ethnography

  1. Your post brought memories of my deceased sister. My oldest sister, Debbie, and I were super close before she passed away when I was 18 years old. I have (had) 5 siblings and Debbie and I were the closest age-wise. She was about 15 months older than me. It is great that you have that kind of relationship because not many siblings have that kind of close and strong relationship. I can relate with you about that kind of sibling relationship because I had that with Debbie. I would like to think she and I would have come up with same ideas on how we view our relationship and similar ideas on how we would have had our picture(s) taken together if not with my other siblings. It is difficult to get a picture of us all at once nowadays. My younger sister and her family were not with us for Thanksgiving this year. We are hoping she will for Christmas. Our pictures of us siblings are often missing one sibling or the other. Family relationship, especially with immediate family members, should be cherished and valued. Great post, Jordan.

  2. I think your post is a good representation of close family relationships. No matter what the age difference is, the relationship between siblings is one of closeness with many things in common regardless if it is known or noticeable. Having something so easily accessible to share such as sports must’ve made the relationship between the two of you even stronger. I enjoyed hearing about you and your brother as my brother and myself share a similar set of activities we have in common.

  3. That’s really great you share such a close bond with your brother! Most sibling I know aren’t that close with one another. Its really cool this assignment made you learn something you didn’t already know. I like how you went back to your past and captured that moment but now in the future. I do things like that all the time with my dad. He was deployed a lot when I was growing up. Now that he is retired I like to go back to places him and I would go to to spend time with each other either before he left or in between. Its very memorable for me and reminds me just how close our bond is.

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