Advanced Studio Practice 2B: Shoot: Thomas

3rd April 2015


When asking Thomas how he would show his personality through photos, he mentioned photos on location – using a selection of different outfits to show the different sides to his personality. His first outfit was a smart grey ‘suit’ – to show his professional/smart side. The second was a grey hoodie, grey skinny jeans and a blue and white top. He said this outfit symbolised him coming out of the ‘grey clouds’ (hard times in his life) and coming out on the other side (the blue top – representing the clouds moving away and showing a clear blue sky). I photographed him in Leeds as this is his main where-abouts as he lives near Leeds and goes to Uni here. I photographed him on the water side because of the picturesque surrounding locations but also because I believe water is quite symbolic and relates to the outfit(s) – especially the second, because the water appears ‘calm’ after the ‘storm’.

I wanted to photograph Thomas in a reasonably natural way, however it was difficult to capture him naturally because of the situation, it was more like a fashion shoot because of the outfits. However I do feel that where I have captured him e.g laughing/off guard, these are some that show his personality best. Although the outfits themselves are the symbols, facial expression is very important in a portrait image, and it can be possible for someone to ‘put on a mask’ with their facial expression. This is why I desired to capture the most natural of moments.

I believe that symbolically the shoot worked, however it was difficult to capture an element of Tom with such ‘staged’ environments/positioning. So as we were talking after the shoot we came up with a second idea that we believe would encapsulate both of Tom’s sides – his professional/smart side, but also his fun and cheeky side. We decided to re-shoot this – by having Thomas in his professional/smart outfit, but the location/activity itself showing his ‘young’, fun and cheeky side. The next shoot of Tom will be in the children’s play-gym he works in, ideally with him in the ball pool, in his suit – to show both sides in one image.

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