Tag Archives: Connection

Specialist Studio Practice 3 – Feedback on images

28th April 2016

I met up with my tutor and received feedback on all my images so far for my project. This was a great time and we talked about everything ‘people’ and discussed my project idea and selecting down – looking at what message I’m really trying to say and portray through this set of images. We went through each of my shoots so far and analysed through the images commenting on key elements such as focus, composition and lighting, but most importantly on facial expression, body language, emotion and positioning of people within the shot.

It was interesting though because I learnt that not everyone has the same version of what is ‘real’. For example, I know the people I have photographed so I know when they’re posing and when they’re not. I know their personalities and the relationships they have, for example who has the strongest bonds with one another etc. However I realised from comments my tutor made about the people in my images, that he was coming from his own perspective about them – being people he doesn’t know. I noticed how our perceptions of, say, children and their temperament differ from one person to another. Some people love kids and see them as little angels. Some people really don’t like children and perceive them as ‘naughty’. Some people are indifferent.

It made me think about and question the judgements that we make on people according to our own experiences or perceptions. This feedback helped me understand something beyond just a photo on a screen, but helped me understand us as humans and the way our minds work even more.

The feedback I gained also aided me in my editing and selecting process. I realised that I have to go with my instinct with these images. After all I am the one holding the passion for this project and I know my heart motives of why I started doing this in the first place.

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Specialist Studio Practice 3 – Shoot towards project

17th April 2016

(left to right) Sarah, Millie & Susannah

I wanted to photograph more of a specific group of people to really analyse interactions and to capture genuine dynamics between people and intentionally focus on their relationship. I thought of three younger girls I know from Church and I contacted the three girls mums via Facebook message to arrange a time after Church the next Sunday to photograph the girls. Although this was manufactured in a sense (sitting the girls on the Church steps), I asked them questions such as: “So how do you girls know each other? and “What do you like to do together when you hang out?” and this got them interacting as if I wasn’t even there. Getting the girls engaged in conversation with each other was the key to getting those more natural shots and getting a sense of how they relate to one another. One thing led to another in the conversation and they began to talk about funny stories they had at school and other funny memories. It was really interesting because as I photographed them intentionally through a lens I actually began to see the dynamic of their friendship group and I learnt something new about each of them as individuals but also together. After a while I became invisible to them as they interacted and I realised this when I laughed at one of their jokes and they looked at me a little confused because I was joining in on their conversation/joke (which was an interesting thing for me, thinking about the photographers role and communication with the subject).

Here are my images:

I feel I have captured some excellent images here which really show the girls personality as I think they felt comfortable with me (Especially Millie & Susannah as I am yet to get to know Sarah more). I have also captured images that show the dynamics between the girls and how they are each close to one another in a different way, but are all friends too. This was a great learning experience for me as a photographer and growing in expanding my knowledge of how people interact (especially pre-pubescent girls!). I could relate to how they were with one another and I understood them quite well as I remember what it was like to be that age and having similar friendship dynamics.

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Specialist Studio Practice 3 – Shoot towards project

3rd April 2016

Church Family pt 2

I photographed my Church family again as I wanted to get as many shots/opportunities as possible. I was going for the same approach as last time and photographing people without them being aware of me (however some became aware and asked for pictures which are a tad more posey but still lovely!)

Here are my images:

I don’t feel I’ve got as many images from this shoot for my concept as I did in the last one, however there are a few I think work really well like the kiss between Jess & Josh (black and white) – as although the images before this one were posed, I had actually stopped photographing and then they both turned and looked at each other lovingly and gave each other a kiss (in their own loved up world! hehe). I anticipated this and immediately got my camera at the ready, zoomed in and snapped within the space of 3 seconds. You can sense the trueness of the emotion I think within Jess’ eye scrunch – as she is away with the fairies, completely consumed in the kiss. I also like baby MiMi asleep on her ‘Auntie’s’ shoulder – as this is showing the level of comfort and security she has within the arms of her Auntie. I also like the little girl in the red coat holding her mums hand looking quite bored and waiting for her mum to finish the conversation and go home (as I remember this feeling when I was a child and my mum and auntie would talk for hours and I’d just want to go home!). I think the image that really works in this set too is the body language of the hand on the back of the lady being prayed for by (Geoff). This gesture is one of true comfort, care and trust between the two. The realness of the last image also amuses me – the way Jess looks blankly into the lens whilst waiting for her food to come and being deep in thought. I also like the way Adele is talking to Abi (outside the frame) and is in full flow of explaining a story from her week. Her hand acts as an extension of Josh’s face which I find intriguing.

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Specialist Studio Practice 3 – Shoot towards my project

28th March 2016

Swinsty Reservoir Walk with Church family

My Church arranged a walk around Swinsty Reservoir just to spend some time together and because it was a lovely day! This was a great opportunity for me to take my camera and focus in on the moments and connections I saw happening around me. The fact that I know these people very well is an advantage because I can anticipate moments that might happen and the way people interact and their mannerisms. I was looking at things like facial expression, body language and how people group together and relate to one another.

Here are my images:

This was an interesting shoot and in some ways I was able to capture what I wanted, but because of my position within the crowd, especially once we started walking, it was difficult to get the shots I was imagining, although I think there are a couple of definite shots in the bunch. It was also quite difficult to get the more intimate/close shots because of the location being out in the open, and for example the children wanting to run ahead – although this did add to the shots as I got them chasing each other. This walk was a hub of activity so I had to keep my eyes sharp – whilst also contending with the windy weather!

Some of the shots that I think work best are: the two men (Ian & Steven) chatting together, Zach holding the lead of the dog (Zeb) whilst being watched over by his sister in law (Claire), the greeting of a hug between the two girls (Becca & Beth), the tall boy (Craig) & the smaller girl (Alyssa) comparing shoe sizes, the four men (Steven, Adam, Paul & Ian) all stood looking to the right hand side at something going on outside of the frame, the man (Simon) with the boy (Dan) in the pram smiling as he comes into the crowd of people and Zach holding Claire’s hand (from behind). I like the symbols of relationship within these images and because I know the people and their connection to one another specifically, that’s why I specifically snapped those shots.

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Specialist Studio Practice 3 – Shoot towards project

23rd March 2016

Paddy & Grandad

I photographed my Grandad & his Grandson Patrick (Paddy), because of the strong bond they have together. My Grandad isn’t related by blood, as my Grandma re-married after she had her children (including my Mum!) – however Alan (Grandad) is wonderful and has contributed hugely to the lovely relationship our whole family has together. My Grandma & Grandad’s house is the hub/base for the whole family – and have people walking in at any moment of any day(!) showing how close we are as a family. Patrick is my cousin, my Auntie’s (Mum’s sister) youngest boy. Throughout his life thus far though, he has one of the strongest bonds with his Grandad. My Auntie has her own business so whenever she was working he would be looked after by Grandma & Grandad, and because of this it has enabled this bond to form and grow between them. I get emotional when thinking about the bond these two share, as it is so special. Grandad refers to Paddy as his ‘best mate’. Grandad has taught Paddy ‘everything he knows’ and they share so many common interests and knowledge. Paddy loves everything to do with trains and Grandad has educated him in them since he was tiny. Patrick has also recently developed a love for fighting/wrestling/boxing (as many young boys do!) and in this shoot we see Grandad and Paddy watching his favourite film at the moment – Real Steel, after getting home from school.

Here are my images:

I felt this shoot was a real success. I managed to capture authentic moments between them because they are used to me, and I just sat in the room and watched the film with them, taking the shots whenever I saw a moment. They are also so used to me being with my camera! They were doing a mutual activity which also got them talking and sharing different emotions. They then went on to practice their fight routines and ‘moves’ they both know/share. The love that Grandad has for Patrick really shows through his eye contact with Patrick and how relaxed he is in these images. It is also evident in their body language towards one another. I especially love the way Grandad humours Patricks strength in some of the images where they are fighting together.

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Specialist Studio Practice 3 – Shoot towards my project

20th March 2016

Church Family

I photographed my Church family towards my project at Christian Life Church, Shipley. At my Church there are around 200 people (quite small compared to other Churches) and there is a real sense of genuine family, love, connection, intimacy and care between people. Unlike some people’s view of what the Church is like, we believe it isn’t just a meeting, but a lifestyle and we aim to live life to the fullest, which includes having true/genuine relationships and creating an environment where people can feel instantly accepted and at home. My relationship with God and my part within this Church has shaped me as a person and I would say this is actually one of my main inspirations for my project; because of my immediate experiences with this wonderful group of people. I wanted to capture this so I took my camera this Sunday and photographed people without them realising – as I didn’t want to get posed shots, but more natural occurrences between people.

I feel as though I captured some interesting moments between people here. I wanted to get genuine reactions and interactions, whatever this looked like – as being part of a family means you go through everything together, the good and the bad. I particularly like the images where raw emotion is being shown for example in facial expressions in conversations like the man in the black t shirt with his hands in his pockets (Steve), the young lady (Rebecca) holding the new baby (MiMi) for the first time, the couple (Matt & Anca) having a serious chat and (Matt) looking intently into her eyes, the boy (Seth) crying whilst dad is trying to get him ready to go, and the last image where the man (Adam, pastor of the Church) is looking at a younger man (Josh) with a relaxed expression on his face – one of love, being proud of him, happy with him and a deep sense of appreciation for him and his life. I want this real, raw message to come across in my final images because it is the very essence of what I aim to capture.

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Specialist Studio Practice 3 – Shoot towards project

19th March 2016

Zach & Katie

I contacted a lady I know well and photographed her and her children – brother and sister Zach (age 7) & Katie (age 5), at their local park where they like to play regularly. My aim was to capture them naturally interacting with each other and their surroundings, and the connection they share. Zach & Katie’s story is amazing because they were both diagnosed with severe autism at a young age and were told by professionals it would majorly affect them for the rest of their life. However as they’ve grown and developed they have gotten better and better and their parents (Sharon & Alan) have had so much faith through their journey and have seen God work amazingly in each of their children. Now, looking at Zach & Katie, you would not guess they have autism. They are still on a journey and it is still tough but they have exceeded all expectations put on them and their development so far. Both Zach & Katie have wonderful little personalities and I wanted to encapsulate this in my photographs so I got to know them a little bit more as I played with them and talked to them too before photographing them.

Here are my images from the shoot:

At first I felt some of the images were a little posed and their mum kept telling them to smile at the camera which made them aware I was photographing them. However as time went on they got used to me being around and played naturally with each other and other children in the park. I feel though that my strongest images within this set are the ones I took of them sat talking together on the bench. I did manufacture this shot in a sense (by asking them to sit together on a bench – as they are so active and tend to run in different directions when at the park!) however I then waited to see what happened between them and that’s when I got the authentic connection between them – Zach started telling poo and wee jokes which had us all giggling! But I loved this because that’s just Zach at the moment, he’s at that age where he finds the concept of bodily function hilarious! That’s the realness about children that I love. I also like the shots where Zach puts his arm around Katie and talks and laughs with her closely, as well as making funny faces. I get a sense that his personality is coming through more in these shots. The shots where he is whispering to Katie & she is pulling away is also a great moment as it is quite typical ‘brother and sister’.

I feel this shoot was a success because I captured some great moments, however now I will need to select down for my final images – thinking about my ‘REAL’ concept and capturing something that’s authentic.

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