David Bate – concepts of genre

David Bate – concepts of genre

 I think that genre is useful as it “enables photographers, spectators, and institutions to share expectations and meanings” (Bate, 2009). One the things that my tutor has been keen for me to do is understand frameworks for photographic classifications as in Barre (Barrett, T, 1986). I think my recent A1 work is ethically evaluative in nature, but can also be classified as personal, diaristic and documentary in nature.

Bate remarks that it is that genre is “Promiscuous” and difficult to define sometimes. I think that is correct, but it is necessary to try and pin it down as it helps viewer expectation. I am doing a photovoice project but even within that there are several options for presentation. 

I think that it is important to not pin down the genre too early but focus more on the ideas and research and choose the best genre that gets us there.


Barrett, T (1986) ‘Teaching about photography: Types of photographs’ In: Art Education 39 (5) pp.41–44.

Bate, D. (2009) Photography: The key concepts. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.