The holy shrine
“In 1965 the group surrounding the sociologist Pierre Bourdieu identified the [photogaphic] documentation of family rituals as the ritual confirmation of the institution of the family itself, emphasizing the social function of taking photographs.” 
The occasions for family-photography are evolving out of its function. Photography in the family circle has to record the “good times” and special moments of a family’s biography. These are mainly weddings, birthdays, holiday trips, the kids, christmas and other parties.
The ‘classical’ way of collecting these douments was to put the family-photographs into an album. This album was limited in its public range. The access to it was strictly regulated. One needed to be an insider, an accepted member of the family itself or the close circle surrounding the family to be allowed to gaze at the family’s ‘holy shrine’.
Today things are different:
- 3.306.789 photographs tagged with wedding
- 2.141.630 photographs tagged with family
- 1.569.381 photographs tagged with birthday
- 1.441.387 photographs tagged with christmas
- 1.039.372 photographs tagged with holiday
- 888.364 photographs tagged with baby
The ‘holy shrine’ is now public.
 Kathrin Peters: Instant Images: The Recording, Distribution and Consumption of Reality Predestined by Digital Photography [link]