What are family photographs?
How do they shape our memories?
How do they mediate our experiences of migration?
What can they tell us about our national histories?

THE FAMILY CAMERA NETWORK is a partnership that explores the relationship between photography and the idea of family. In Canada, our understanding of family has expanded in response to cultural shifts including same-sex marriage, transnational adoptions, dislocations due to political instability and war, and for economic opportunity. Our personal photographs document our feelings about family, how we define family, and how we stay connected to loved ones who may be separated as a result of these dislocations.

We are building a public archive project that will collect family photographs and their stories. This archive will preserve a family history for future generations, as well as provide a resource for teachers, historians and scholars to write new histories of photography, family, and Canada. We are currently inviting Canadians to participate! We are especially interested in stories of migration, in the near or distant past, and to and within Canada.

To participate in this project, you must be 18 years of age or older and a permanent resident or citizen of Canada. You must also be willing to participate in a recorded interview and to donate or loan for the duration of the project at least one photograph to accompany your oral history. To learn more about this project, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section of this website or contact us.

The Family Camera Network served as source of inspiration for a recent documentary, which was produced independently by TVO and has several points of divergence from the Network’s research and archive project. We are happy that it may help to achieve the larger goal of bringing more attention to the complexity of family photographs.