Documentary photography as visual research creates a deeper understanding of an individual’s identity by capturing decisive moments that highlight distinctive characteristics which make people unique. Individuals do not always communicate all parts of their identity, such as their religion, class, family status, and profession, but with a camera those aspects of identity can be captured (Jameson, 2007). This visual narrative presents the identity of a nontraditional female African American student enrolled at a Midwestern university guided by the interpretation of the theoretical structure of Hecht’s (1993) Communication Theory of Identity. The intersectionality of the personal, enacted, relational, and communal frames of identity (Hecht, 1993) were visually explored through the method of documentary photography captured over an academic year.
Picturing Identity: A Visual Narrative of a Female Nontraditional Student, Visual Communication Quarterly, 26:3, 146-160.