Specialist Techniques & Processes 3 – Second Draft of my proposal

10th October 2015

Second Draft of my Proposal

Olivia Wilford

Techniques & Processes 3

Within this proposal I aim to explore relationships within portrait photography and why they are important. I wish to examine connections between people – on all different levels of ‘relationship’. I want to explore why we need connections as humans and how it adds, or takes away, from our lives. I also want to explore whether authentic representation is possible within portrait photography, reflecting our attitudes and needs of others.(?)

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. I believe this genre of photography is referred to as ‘subjective documentary’ – the focus is the subject but the photograph is taken in a documentary style. Richard Billingham and his series ‘ray’s a laugh’ is a very powerful source of presenting a raw reality of what the subjects lives are really like, and the ups and downs of the relationships they have with one another. Another photographer I have looked at is Brandon Stanton –the photographer behind ‘Human’s of New York’. His images are a great source of inspiration for me because they capture the person themselves and in quite a few cases the relationship between the people being photographed, with a raw sense of emotion because of the back-story that is included alongside the image. I also love how he photographs people with their possessions that have specific meaning for them. This is something I aim to explore in the research process of this project – how we use possessions as outward symbols of inner feelings/relationships we have with those we are connected to. Some of these relationships I aim to photograph may even challenge stereotypes/stigmas about relationships within society – for example people of different religions/age groups who society may not associate with each other.

*Who are these people and what do they have in common?
– Going through important life moments/milestones?
– Part of a group?
– Location? E.g Bradford?

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 creative intellectuals who would have the ability to read an image and understand the reason behind it. I envision seeing these images in the SWPP (Society of Wedding & Portrait) magazine, and in their own exhibition at The Impressions Gallery as a ‘series’/substantial body of work. I also envision them in the British Journal of Photography magazine as a feature series. 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.

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