4th October 2015
Within this proposal I aim to explore relationships within portrait photography and why they are important. I desire to capture genuine connection between people – on all different levels of ‘relationship’. Some of these relationships may even challenge stereotypes/stigmas about relationships within society – for example people of different religions/age groups etc who society may not associate with each other. I want to explore why we need connections as humans and how it adds, or takes away, from our life. I also want to explore whether authentic representation is possible within portrait photography.
My research will consist of creating and handing out questionnaires and social research by observation of social interaction and also doing test shoots to attempt to capture this. I have been looking into social documentary photographers and their style of ‘fly on the wall’ photography and whether this could add to being able to capture natural moments better. However I also imagine the images to be almost ‘environmental portraits’ – using location as a context for the relationship between the group(s) of people I choose to photograph. These people will be people I already know (more of an ability to capture who they are and their relationships if I know them better) but I would also like to photograph people I don’t know and see if I have the ability to still capture their relationship with each other in an authentic way. The series’ ‘Humans of New York’, ‘Humans of Leeds’ etc are also a great source of inspiration for me because they capture relationship between the people being photographed, with a raw sense of emotion because of the back-story that is included alongside the image.
I aim to photograph mainly on location and use the context as an indicator of relationship. However as test shoots I may shoot in the studio as an experiment of testing the authenticity of some relationships. I aim to mainly use natural day light as much as possible (so the subject does not feel they are on a ‘set up’ ‘photo shoot’.
My target audience and end users would be the general public and society. It would also be interesting if I could send my images off to a magazine that challenges/discusses such concepts. Another place I could envision these images would be in a gallery at an exhibition. The clients/people I photograph would also be the end users of the photos, as they are of them and their relations – which I have found is a very powerful and meaningful thing for people in the grand scheme of life, as a photograph that captures genuine love between two people can be one of the most powerful images there is.