Vernacular Photography – Images of Everyday Life

For those who never heard of vernacular photography before, vernacular is latin for ‘domestic, native’ and in photography it is taking pictures from the everyday life. It can be anything you see in your environment. It can be domestic moments in your life. It means catching something that you can see always everywhere but make it special then.

These are pictures from Rinko Kawauchi. As you can see these are objects and things that you could find everywhere – and you can find beauty in them. Kawauchi’s light and backgroudn setting give those objects some kind of mystery and darkness but also some kind of beauty. She did not see rotten flowers in a vase, she saw something in this normal object and took an amazing photograph.

Peter Frasier made a 12 day journey through a city and photographed everything he thought to be special even if it is “only” a mechanic’s arm or something in a shop window. But one in all he made a portrait of a city and caught everything that is in that. Even when some pictures look like normal things no one looks to a second time, Frasier found there something special, something intriguing so he took that picture.

Vernacular photography can be very special and sometimes one must search for the beauty in the pictures but sometimes not when it comes to everyday life situations like catching someone laughing like they have the time of their life or crying like it is the saddest time in their life (though think first if you really want to shoot a picture instead of helping the person).
The point is photography does not have to be staged or thoroughly planned to become a stunning or beautiful picture. Beauty can be found anywhere, you just have to look more precisely and walk around with open eyes to see it.


CHRISTOPHE GUYE GALERIE, n.d. Rinko kawauchi – Illuminance [viewed 23 October 2016]. Available from:
FRASIER, P., n.d. Peter Fraser [viewed 23 October 2016]. Available from:

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