Qualitative research is useful during the early stages of a study when the researcher may be unsure of exactly what will be studied or what to focus on. This type of research does not need a strict design plan before it begins. This gives the researcher freedom to let the study unfold more naturally. Another advantage to qualitative research is the researcher gains more detailed and rich data in the form of comprehensive written descriptions or visual evidence, such as photographs. This type of research looks at context and social meaning and how it affects individuals, which is advantageous particularly in the social sciences.