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Skilled looking – Ethnography, Photography and Documentary Film in Qualitative Research

08 Apr 2021 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm


This session is generously sponsored by Web Creator Suite, probably the best online qual research platform that you might not have heard of yet… long term communities, discussions, homework tasks, live chats, product testing and much more. 

ICG member Joe Bonnell has recently completed a MA in visual anthropology and will share some ideas, tips and reflections to like-minded researchers and open a discussion for those members want to know more.

After many years working as a qualitative researcher, conducing focus groups and interviews, using projective and enabling techniques, Joe found himself growing increasingly interested in longer-term, participatory and ethnographic research methods. At the same time, he wanted to be able to incorporate film and photography into his work as a way of reporting and communicating findings. So he took a sabbatical and invested in some professional development to learn some new skills and ways of working.

Joe would be happy to share some of what he learned during the MA using examples of my work and discuss how others could go about incorporating film and photography in to their work.

Out of the session:

  • An intro and some background – who Joe is, the journey that led him to this point – why visual anthropology?
  • A brief intro to visual anthropology and ethnography
  • Conducting research with a camera, and the idea of “skilled looking”
  • Some photographic examples of my work to illustrate some key principles
  • A short film (15 mins)
  • Followed by a discussion and Q&A



You can also dial in using your phone.
United Kingdom: +44 20 3713 5011

Access Code: 145-863-309

About Joe

Joe is an award-winning qualitative researcher with over 20 years’ experience working with a wide range of commercial, charity and public sector clients in the UK and internationally. Joe’s research career began aged 16, working as a CATI interviewer for IPSOS! This was followed by research roles in media and advertising agencies, a specialist public-sector research consultancy and an agency specialising in international development research. Along the way, Joe qualified as a primary school teacher and an ILM level 7 leadership coach. In 2013, Joe combined his research experience with teaching and coaching to set up OpenQuestions, which specialises in building the qualitative skills of researchers working on international development projects. Joe has designed, conducted and overseen research from Pakistan to Papua New Guinea, Nottingham to Nigeria, Kent to Kenya and many places in between. He continues to run qual project in the UK and abroad.

In 2018 Joe took a sabbatical to complete an MA in Visual Anthropology at The University of Manchester’s Granada Centre, which is recognised as the world’s leading centre for visual anthropology.  Joe graduated with a distinction in 2019, specialising in ethnographic research and the use of documentary film and photography as both a research method and as a means of communicating insight.


08 Apr 2021
11:00 am - 12:00 pm


Sally Alsop