Paper Cameras Study Pack

A deck of cards for critically studying photographs, written, designed, and hand-assembled by Katie Giritlian. 

 Paper Cameras Study Pack is a set of cards for critically studying photographs and articulating the relationships that make, and are made by, our images. Grounded in community-driven imaging practices and anti-imperial studies, the cards translate a myriad of photography theories into scaffolded prompts printed as tactile viewfinders. Participants are invited to use these cards to study photographs, develop observation-based inquiries, and practice discerning documentary practices rooted in care and divested from exploitation. 

[ update photos once prototype finalized ]


Use & Play Cases

The cards are intended to be used in a mryiad of learning environments, from the classroom setting to the dispersed schools we make inside of our own communities:

  • introductory photo studio classes—the cards can be brought to adult photography classes to facilitate critiques, help learners articulate personal intentions for their photo practices, and hold themselves and each other accountable to said intentions.

  • photo history, ethnography, and visual studies classes—the cards can be applied to college and/or graduate curriculums to help learners access difficult conversations about power and visuality.

  • photo journalism classes—the cards can be applied to case studies for training practioners to identify care-centered approaches to documentation and unlearn exploitative tendencies in the industry. 

  • one’s own artistic practice—practioners can use the cards at their own pace, to reflect on their own processes.

  • archives and libraries—the cards can activate collections through public workshops and programs.

  • liberatory study—organizers can use the cards to identify strategies of self-determined documentation from movement archives for carrying into present practices. 

  • family’s kitchen—families and loved ones can use the cards to read the weekend paper and improvise DIY media literacy games.

[ create instructional video once prototype confirmed AND embed here ] 

[ NOTE: I have removed rate per KJR feedback but wondering if a starting rate should be listed somewhere? ]

[ NOTE: I am thinking of ] free offerings, like study halls, but not yet going to put that on site ] 

Rehearse the Cards

Imagine you are studying the photograph on this page; click-and-drag each card, and see what the captions illuminate for you.

[ confirm if using this photo/ add citation ]

 Paper Cameras in the World

“The deck and the offering to shift the focs onto seeing, thinking, feeling and imagining, as stewarded by PCP/Katie Giritlian, has really changed my view of the practices and ideas associated with photography. By narrowing in on specific aspects of an image and inviting me to think beyond the frame in an abundant way, I do feel like photography has a more expansive meaning for me now.”—Amy Yoshitsu, Artist, Designer & Engineer

I love the care and reconsideration the decks encourage. The decks push you to think about the expansive potential of photography and its radical possibilities. I would like to use them in my archival imagery research.—Michelle McCrary, Writer, Storyteller, Family History Keeper

[ Mira Dayal ] 

[ others from feedback trade ]

To Note

  • We are always learning, unlearning, in study. As we live with the words and practices we have now, we will continue to find those words and practices we need. We imagine this deck—its language, forms, and questions—will change over time.
  • paper cameras press is operated by 1 person. We make select batches at a time to reduce waste, and we ask for patience for order delivery.
  • [ creative commons insert ]