Mundane Food Photography

Managing Multiple Involvements in the Context of Self-Initiated Smartphone Use




conversation analysis, multimodality, smartphone use, food photography, multiactivity


This article investigates mundane photo taking practices with personal mobile devices in the co-presence of others, as well as “divergent” self-initiated smartphone use, thereby exploring the impact of everyday technologies on social interaction. Utilizing multimodal conversation analysis, we examined sequences in which young adults take pictures of food and drinks in restaurants and cafés. Although everyday interactions are abundant in opportunities for accomplishing food photography as a side activity, our data show that taking pictures is also often prioritized over other activities. Through a detailed sequential analysis of video recordings and dynamic screen captures of mobile devices, we illustrate how photographers orient to the momentary opportunities for and relevance of photo taking, that is, how they systematically organize their photographing with respect to the ongoing social encounter and the (projected) changes in the material environment. We investigate how the participants multimodally negotiate the “mainness” and “sideness” (Mondada, 2014) of situated food photography and describe some particular features of participants’ conduct in moments of mundane multiactivity.


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How to Cite

Avgustis, I., & Oloff, F. (2023). Mundane Food Photography: Managing Multiple Involvements in the Context of Self-Initiated Smartphone Use. Social Interaction. Video-Based Studies of Human Sociality, 6(2).