Tag Archives: Professional

Specialist Studio Practice 3 – Evaluation

4th May 2016

Throughout this project I have developed my project idea and skills as a professional photographer successfully. I have shown this by:

Using my knowledge and understanding of my subject when it comes to narrative processes. I have extensively studied my subject (people) and have analysed different photographers work such as Martin Parr, Nick Waplington & Richard Billingham. I have researched and efficiently produced a 5,000 word dissertation (within another module – Specialist Photography Contexts 3) on the subjects of Portrait Photography, Social Documentary Photography, The Subjective View of the photographer, the subject and the viewer, The Informal Portrait (a mix of Portrait & Social Documentary), I have studied the work of the 3 photographers mentioned ^^^ and concluded that communication and intention are key processes within photographing people. This relates directly with my photographic practice in my final major project but also my professional practice within another module Specialist Professional Practice 3 – within which I successfully wrote a seminar paper and presented a seminar of all my professional experience gained and research towards my business and future plans within business.

I have proved my cognitive and intellectual skills through the constant communication I have proven within my folder through countless emails and messages with the people I know, photograph, have photographed for (clients), have modelled for and professional photographers within my field. I have also had conversations with many people in person on the topic of my final major project. I have communicated ideas and concepts a lot with all of the external work I have done, and also within my ability to communicate my thoughts, desires and ideas to a graphic designer to create a business logo for myself. I have problem solved within many situations with outside work down to my project work and I have used my initiative vastly. I have withheld a positive attitude even when problems have felt like they would not end. I have kept a check on my attitude and thought of ways around things instead of giving up. I have problem solved by adapting the way I talk about my project for each person that I talk to.

I have exercised practical and professional skills throughout my practice, from the way I approach people and my attitude, to the quality of work I provide and the software I use to polish it off. I have put more things in place towards launching my business than ever before, and have put much thought into how I will achieve this practically – instead of it just being a far off goal. I have presented all of my professional experience and ideas within the Specialist Professional Practice 3 module when I presented my seminar. I have also considered how I want to present my work in depth and have began to make active contributions towards making these thoughts a reality, especially towards my end of year show. I have successfully met up and discussed with my mentor – Adam Carver of Little Daisy’s Shipley and have gained extensive knowledge as well as effective solutions for my business in the future, from which I have started to make steps towards my long term goals. I have problem solved within my professional capacity by adapting the way I store my work and the way I edit afterwards. I have strived to learn quicker and more efficient ways to get the job done quickly, but to a high standard. I have clearly and solidly evaluated throughout.

I believe my key transferable skills have been evident within my creation of a survey of questions surrounding my subject, and interpreting answers from this survey that back up my project idea and images. I believe I have explored deep observations within my images in comparison and in conjunction with the statistics and answers obtained from my survey. I have efficiently used software to enhance not only my images but my methods of handling my images too. I am not a heavy editor on images such as my project where the concept is very natural and true to life, however when needed I can be extremely talented with a high skill and knowledge of how to use software to my advantage to create a final edited image. I have also used software outside of my discipline to create a video for an external business.

(See folder and prints as evidence).

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Specialist Studio Practice 3 – External job

25th March 2016

The business owner of Africanos World came back to me with more products to photograph for his website. He is working with graphic designer Matt @ Graphically Gifted – for the website itself, so we are all working in conjunction. The brief was to get basic product shots on a white backdrop of the majority of his new stock – African food products. I would then sort them out and send them, unedited to Matt and he would cut them out and incorporate them into the website. He provided transport for me with him to the Unit in Keighley where the products are stored and the main office for Africanos World is. I set up my studio kit and he also had one so I used parts of his and parts of mine to get the white background, 2 light sources look we were after. I used the mini studio kit with a white backdrop with white ambient lights to achieve the shots. (I carried out the same procedure as last time but learnt from my mistakes). I adjusted my settings so that the lighting didn’t look yellow in parts however in some shots it kept doing that and I’m not sure why. I will keep an eye on that in future. I also secured myself sat on a stool that was just above eye level with the table so I wasn’t getting camera shake whilst using a slower shutter speed.

(See images in folder)

Within this shoot Francis (Africanos World owner) also wanted to put together some hampers to photograph, as this is an upcoming option he will be advertising, so this time round there was more arranging involved and this challenged my abilities and refined my eye because I had to make sure although there were multiple items in the shot, that each of their labels were showing properly and that I kept my eye on every item at once to get them in all their glory. Once again I was to then select down to the best few shots of each item (showing them from different angles too and showing them in multiples and singles regarding the packages people can buy) and send them to Matt who would then edit them and cut them out onto a white background to integrate into the website. I feel this shoot went better than the first and I am constantly improving in this area of photographing product shots. It is also a compliment to me as a photographer that Francis keeps coming back to me with work and is happy to have all my images used on his website. Before leaving the shoot Francis gave me some coffee and other goodies for me to have, but he also asked that I create a video showing how to make the coffee in a cafetiere – as he said a lot of African people don’t actually understand the concept of using a cafetiere, but for them to buy the coffee they need to know how to use it. So he asked me to create a video as well as the photographs, to put on the website. So I used my tripod and filmed myself making the coffee. I just need to edit the video and send it to Francis which I can now do efficiently now that I have a Mac desktop (iMovie).

I really enjoy collaborating with people to create an end product!

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Specialist Technique & Process 3 – Evaluation

12th February 2016


The aim of this project was to capture relationships. I wanted to show real connections between people and real emotions/scenes of what life and relationships are actually like – opposed to the media’s common representation of the ‘Hallmark version’ of relationships. I wanted to, and will go on to capture, something REAL.

At the start of the semester I had a word – ‘relationship’ – but it needed development. At first I was thinking very broad – my first 10 questions show this, as I was thinking about not only capturing relationship with the camera – but about relationships beyond that. For example the relationship we have with ourselves, the way we view ourselves and whether the media has skewed our ‘view of self’, the relationship between the photographer and the subject, the relationship the subject has with the environment they are photographed in, the subjects relationship with objects associated with relationship and the photographers relationship with themselves. However when getting feedback on my questions I realised I needed to focus on the subject –

What would I actually be photographing and why? What am I trying to capture/show?

So as I went on I realised I wanted to capture relationships between people and scenarios where I could get natural shots of them, where emotion – whether good, bad or ugly, could be seen. This conclusion came from shooting at a family party and getting feedback on these images. It made me realise I could actually create an environment for people where they could just be themselves with each other, and by asking questions about the subjects relationship whilst photographing, I could see how this would be a great tool to capture this ‘realness’. So I went on and photographed Jess and Josh in this way. I felt I got good results from this shoot, but I also realised the questions I ask are very important to what reaction I get/create.

I photographed Chris & Lisa’s wedding and because they wanted more documentary style images – this was also a great opportunity for me to capture ‘moments’. I Weddings are one of the best opportunities to capture emotion because of the celebration of something so deep. This was also a consideration when photographing Sarah & Alex, however they were more posed engagement style shots, although I did try and capture a few natural moments within that too.

I went on with my research and as part of my dissertation also, I began to look at the work of Richard Billingham – Ray’s a laugh, Nick Waplington – Weddings, Parties, Anything & Living room, and Martin Parr’s work. This was a huge inspiration for me and I saw how real their images were. Ray’s a laugh was such an emotive body of work it almost drove me to tears, and I wanted that reaction/feeling for my viewers when looking at the images I create – whatever emotion I capture in each image I want it to be so real that even the viewer feels it and can identify it. I loved the way Nick Waplington captured such specific moments between the family he stayed with. I could see that with his work, timing was definitely a key element. I also like how families can relate to his work because of the real moments he captured within the family dynamic. He also had an ironic/humerous edge to his work which I really liked. Martin Parr’s work I found quite intrusive in some ways – and it could be perceived as offensive to some. I think this is because of his intention behind the people he chose to photograph, and the angle he put on them. He was trying to show how bad things got in The Last Resort, and he chose his moments carefully. However the thing I admire about his work is that – it opposes the media’s glamorous version of places and relationships. Although he did show people in quite a specific light to make a point, none of his work is staged/posed. It’s real. It’s real life scenarios. It’s real people and real families. It’s everyday life in that place. These were all elements I wanted to include in my work, but I would put a different angle on it. I wanted to look through a lens of love, understanding and ultimately ‘we are all human, let’s just be real about it.’

I then began to photograph in this style with my images over Christmas and New Year. I felt that these were some of my strongest images because I photographed in a documentary style, but focused in on specific moments. I had the styles of these 3 photographers in mind whilst shooting, and I felt it paid off a lot. I managed to capture real moments consisting of a lot of different emotions – fun, irony, joy, concentration, seeking of approval, seriousness, expectation, hilarity, care, love, sarcasm, nostalgia and surprise. I had a specific intention in mind when photographing, and this is what I believe helped me ‘see’ these moments to be able to capture them.

I believe through this project I showed a Knowledge and Understanding of my subject throughout, at first I developed my ten questions about relationships in a more academic sense and did research to support these questions. These questions, because they were more academic I could actually use them for my dissertation work. However I needed to hone in more on the subject itself, and I developed further by looking at different photographers to influence my photographing of the subject and how I approached it. I looked at their styling, questions around representation and the techniques they used for example – their positioning, framing, height they photographed from etc. This research was also used in the process of forming and beginning to write my dissertation.

I believe I have demonstrated Cognitive and Intellectual skills throughout my analysis of all my works – from my reasoning all the way through to getting the job done in a professional and safe manor. I have also developed my knowledge of paper work e.g writing an Invoice for companies and filling out Freelance forms, the contracts that I need to develop on as a photographer photographing people and how to deal with the public. I have always carried out jobs with the utmost consideration and looked into health and safety throughout a range of different scenarios, as I have approached many different kind of jobs throughout this semester, and it has taught me more things to consider for next time.

I believe my Practical & Professional Skills have been shown throughout where I have formed and followed through a project, tested different styles and techniques and developed the style I photograph my project in. I have acted on feedback given and have pursued photographers within my research to help develop this project. I have worked on many external jobs and opportunities this semester and this has developed my skills as a professional, and taught me more practical ways of handling situations. I have been working as a professional and providing services for other professionals to a high standard. Most of my external work has been paid jobs and has helped me promote myself as an individual, as a photography company. I have undertaken jobs that are ‘routine’ to me, however I have also faced and problem solved in many new, ‘non-routine’ situations such as photographing Head shots for a company, photographing and arranging Geoff Latz art to a portfolio standard and photographing for the Sugar Snap Kitchen Event (food photography). I have become increasingly aware of the industry and how it works, and I believe I have grown significantly as a professional over the expanse of this project.

I have become better and better in my Key Transferable Skills and how I communicate with people on different levels. For example I have refined my wording when describing my project to people I want to photograph and also when describing myself as a photographer and ‘what I do’ to different professionals. I have understood that when talking to different people, I have to meet them where they are at and communicate effectively. Seen as I have increased my knowledge and have gained new skill sets throughout this project, I believe this will benefit me in the long run, and has opened my eyes to what needs to be done in future for myself as a professional with a business.

In conclusion, I believe my portfolio images show examples of this whole process, from my project work, to external jobs and techniques learnt and used throughout this project.

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Specialist Technique & Process 3 – External Job – Head shots for a Company

13th & 15th January 2016

I was approached by a friend who needed head shots doing for the company she worked for at Golley Retail, in Guiseley. She proposed 2 half days from 10-12pm, photographing the entire team. I said a price and the company hired me. They wanted standard head shots with a white background – posed shots of each person stood sideways but bringing their shoulders/head to the front and smiling at the camera. I used my lighting gear that I already had and the company had some lights I could use too. I had also recently bought some really good triggers to use with my lights. So the equipment I took with me:

Canon 5D mk iii
24-105mm lens, 70-200mm lens
2x Elinchrom lights (with cables just in case)
Triggers and cables
Umberellas x4 – 3 white & one sliver (inside) and black (outside)
Light stands
Soft box head

Things the company lent me to use:

2x Flash lights (similar to the ones I brought)
White backdrop & black frame structure
(a bit thicker than the cotton one I have at home, so better for these shots/lighting)

I felt equipped with everything I needed. I used 1 of my lights with my soft box head as the main central light on the subject and then used the 2 lights the company had lent me to light the back drop – as they said they wanted a bleach white background with no creases or shadows visible.

Emma (the lady who asked me) had a list of everyone we needed to photograph, helped find the people (around the building) we needed and helped direct them with me. It was a great session. It was really interesting because I learnt while photographing all these different people, they all tended to present their insecurities to me as soon as they came over to be shot. Almost all of them – which for me as a photographer is crucial to note and to encourage good things about the people rather than dwell on their insecurities. This for me I feel is one of my unique selling points – encouragement. I tend to see the beauty in everything and everyone, even when others (or the person themselves!) may not be able to see it. So I really enjoyed these sessions photographing because it gave me chance to help these people see themselves in the best light and for me to hopefully make an impact on their thoughts about themselves/their self-image. With some people I only had chance to take one shot of them before they ran off, so this job taught me efficiency when shooting and to get my images shot right in camera first time (although with each person because of differences with e.g height and positioning sometimes it took more than one shot to get the lighting looking right, also because I was in quite a confined space). I shot from slightly above each person for most shots (and stood on a different size box depending on how tall each person was!) however I had to adjust my soft box light height with this because I found I was blocking it when photographing the taller members of the team.

I only encountered a few problems on this job. One of them was trying to photograph people with glasses and not getting a reflection. With some it was just a case of positioning their head slightly tilted down but with one gentleman it was a bit more difficult and I tried my best to not get reflection but his glasses were too thick. Emma said (as they are a marketing company) she would see if any of the editing team would be able to sort it out on Photoshop. I did do some post processing with all the images on Photoshop before sending them off, especially the glasses images, and tried to get them to the best standard possible, but I didn’t mind with issues such as this, if they edited further to try get them looking how they wanted.

My new triggers worked very well on this job. I tried them out before this job at home and they even worked when I was round a corner/in another room with my camera. They were very fast and efficient on this job, with no miss-fires.

At the end of my sessions photographing I had to fill out numerous forms as a freelancer (for the companies records and for my payment to be able to go through). This was also a learning curve for me in what information is necessary in this exchange, and helped me for future reference. It also taught me about getting my business properly registered in the next few months, ready for when I leave Uni.

These images were for the company for online usage (website), for power points and to have general images of all the team.

Overall I felt this job was a success and the company were happy with my service and the photographs provided.

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Specialist Technique & Process 3 – Taking a professional mugshot

30th September 2015

Equipment used:

Canon 650D
135mm lens

In this session we learnt about having a professional presence online and how we needed an image of ourselves to suit that kind of profile. We worked in pairs/threes and each took each others head shots. The aim was to get a clean, head shot following the guideline we had been given. We researched and looked on the professional networking site LinkedIn and observed the kind of professional images that are used on their profiles. The aim was to explore our location and find a background we thought suited us and what we are about/symbolised something about us. We had to utilise natural lighting too. We then took some head shots of each other and chose the one we thought represented ‘us’ as a photographer. Here are the results:

I found this session helpful because although we had to have a professional image we were also able to make it our own with the background, pose and facial expression we gave. This image could be used for many different professional purposes e.g also as a Student I.D. I chose to have a black background with the natural light coming in from the window on to my face to represent my personality and how I can bring a positive attitude/thought process into difficult situations.

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Advanced Studio Practice 2B: Shoot: Thomas (2)

4th April 2015


For the second idea Thomas and I spoke about at the last shoot, we wanted to encapsulate both his professional/smart side and also his fun/cheeky side in 1 image. We came up with the idea of him in his smart clothing, but photographing him in a fun environment – the child’s play gym that he works at. The bright colours here also symbolise his flamboyant characteristics. One of the phrases he said he uses a lot is “Act mature when you need to be, act immature when you want to be.”…

I enjoyed this shoot as it enabled us to get creative and have fun because Thomas is a fun person. Again, I wanted to capture him naturally e.g laughing, and his natural reactions to the situation itself, however it was hard at times because he is used to posing in photographs. Despite this, I feel I definitely got some shots here that show “Thomas”. One of my favourites is the close up shot of his face as he is laid on his stomach in the ball pool, as he was genuinely laughing in this shot. Although the suit itself isn’t as visible as in the other shots, I think back to the feedback I received previously from my tutor about ‘indicative elements’ within an image – small clues that tell us about the person, although they may be subtle, they are still there when a viewer subconsciously takes the photo in.

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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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