Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a commentary on Professor Lee D. Parker's article on photo-elicitation. Design/methodology/approach – Two exciting possibilities addressed in Parker's paper are discussed: the potential of archival photographs to transcend their status as “evidence” of times gone by; and the mobilisation of emotional oral histories through photographs as objects. Findings – The status of photographs as emotional artefacts and issues surrounding their production, curation, storage, circulation and consumption are found to be as important as analysis of what photographs depict. Research limitations/implications – Analysing the performative and emotional character of historical research using photographs poses a challenge for the accounting and management scholar on account of the non-reductionist nature of images. Practical implications – Addressing these difficulties has great potential advance research methodology in this area. Originality/value – Literature and ideas from geography and museum studies bring a new perspective on Professor Parker's article. The paper is of interest to researchers interested in the visual dimension of accounting and management, or those wishing to keep abreast of avant-garde developments in accounting research methodology.