Tag Archives: Relationships

Specialist Studio Practice 3 – Selecting down – Final images & Best Practice images

2nd May 2016

Throughout this project I have learnt a lot and I see that my perception and the way I look at life & people is a unique thing. I tend to look at things through a ‘lens of understanding, empathy and love’ as people around me have said before.

Within this project I wanted to capture something ‘REAL’ – I wanted to show something authentic about people and their relationships. I wanted to capture the good and the bad… and specific moments of genuine connection and emotion between people. I have photographed throughout this semester and I feel I have achieved this with my final images:

(See prints folder for final image (1) from kids club Impact)

I feel like this project has become a part of me and I know that I will carry this project on even after I finish my degree, because it is something I am very passionate about. I also believe I have created a unique selling point within my business whilst doing this project – ‘a relationship shoot’ – where people who are in relationship with one another in whichever way this may be, can get together and have a chance to be ‘in the moment’ with one another and really bond again, with no distractions. I will ask them questions that spark them talking to each other and reminiscing but also capture them together at the same time. I believe this could also be a great idea for couples specifically who feel as though their relationship hasn’t had chance to restore e.g when the business of life gets in the way. It desire to create an environment where they can feel comfortable and connect with one another again – and also have some photos of this to cherish.

Throughout the course of this semester I have also undertaken a lot of photography work and opportunities outside of my project work. I wanted to include these in my best practice because I have put so much time and effort into these (as well as my project) with regards to collaboration, communication, editing and building a reputation for myself as a professional. I have chosen to mainly include images of people within this set because people are my main ‘practice’. People are what inspires me the most and people will be what my future business focusses on:

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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 – Photo Book idea

19th April 2016

Thinking about the way I want my images to be presented, I had an idea to create a photo book. This relates to the context of my images because the name of my project is “REAL” and I am wanting to portray relationships in the truest light. I also had the idea of creating a “perfectly imperfect family album” after getting feedback on my work from my tutor. This really clicked with me and my project idea and desires of portraying something authentic. I have been exploring this idea throughout my project of how the typical family album always portrays everyone in their ‘best light’ – or so society calls it. We see in physical albums but also in social media, how everyone has to paint a smile on and look like everything is perfect when the reality is that it isn’t always rosey. I wanted to oppose this idea and show the real moments of how people interact with one another and share in all moments – good and bad, and celebrate life as a whole. Here is the front and back cover of what the book will look like:

Another aspect of having the images in a book means that the viewer has to physically pick the book up and open it, taking care turning each page and really looking into the book at the images. There is an intimacy within this method – that I feel having the images big on an exhibition wall in frames would not create this same intimacy. There is also an intimacy in looking at other peoples family albums as it’s a representation of the life they share together, so I liked this concept and incorporated it with my idea.

This book will be on show at my end of year show in June – as I am planning to put images in it from throughout the whole of my project (including last semester) so I didn’t think it would be suitable to hand in for this module (as it would have images in it from the last module). I also feel like I photographed a lot of strong images over Christmas towards this idea of ‘real family’ last semester.

In my final images for this semester I am aiming to show at least 2 people in each image because I feel that the focus is the relationships between people and their connection, capturing the realness of that. However within this ‘family album’ there will also be singular portraits included, as their would be in a regular family album. The difference with this portraits will be that they are not posed, as they usually are in common media.

Another presentation idea I have had for the exhibiting part of the end of year show is having 3/4 shelves up the wall (if this is possible with the resources we are given) and having my images presented quite small – either in acrylic blocks or frames. My reasoning behind this would be because in the family home usually when, say, Grandma has all the images of her family and grandchildren presented, they are either in/on a cabinet or presented around the room on shelving or other surfaces. So I wanted to include this traditional homely feel but then switch it up by these images not adhering to the typical posed shots e.g school photographs of grandchildren that would usually be seen upon these shelves.

I am looking forward to presenting my work and for people to engage with my concept!

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Specialist Studio Practice 3 – Interlinking Modules

19th April 2016

Over the past year I have researched, brain stormed, been inspired and written a 5,000 word dissertation towards my other module: Specialist Photography Contexts 3. I handed this in on 19th April 2016. I linked the content of my writing in my dissertation towards my Final Major Project as they went in conjunction with one another. The name of my dissertation was ‘Relationships within portraiture’.

Within my dissertation I explored Portrait photography, Social Documentary Photography, The Subjective View of the photographer and the subject as well as the viewer, ‘The Informal Portrait’ (a mix between portraiture and social documentary), the work of Nick Waplington’s series & photo book ‘Living Room’, the work of Richard Billingham’s series and photo book ‘Ray’s a laugh’, the work of Martin Parr’s series and photo book ‘The Last Resort’ and I concluded with analysing the differences and similarities between these photographers and how they all achieve a similar style of photography but each have differing intentions behind their work. I also spoke of how communication is key in wanting to get the style of shots these photographers achieve (snap shot aesthetic). This relates to all 3 modules because everything I have written about is what I am exploring professionally in Specialist Professional Practice 3 and photographically/aesthetically in Specialist Studio Practice 3, within the way I take photos. These 3 photographers are also my main inspiration for my Final Major Project, as in some shoots I have been attempting to shoot in the same style, but with my own intentions behind my work – and I have seen how this has compared to the outcome of their work.

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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 – Entering into AOP Student Awards 2016

30th March 2016

As a result of my encouragement and success in last years AOP Student Awards where I was chosen as 1 of 60 finalists out of 5,000 entrants and went down to London to attend the AOP student conference at Holborn Studios, a portfolio building talk at The Print Space gallery and the Finalists exhibition, I thought I would enter again this year and see how I got on. I entered one image last year as part of my module brief however this year I entered 4 images I felt were really strong from my last module (Specialist Techniques & Processes 3) but one of them was taken from a catwalk I photographed the year previous also. The category I entered into was “People: covers any form of people-photography from portraiture to street photography , photojournalism and beyond. It is an opportunity to make visual comments about the human race and its ways. In Previous ‘Portrait’ categories, animal pictures have been featured but the originators of this category feel that entries this year should feature the human race.” – AOP website. This year the categories were much more vague than last year where they were extremely structured. I quite like how they’ve done it that way in a sense because it leaves the category open to interpretation and I imagine they will get a wide range of different, interesting images. Here are the images I entered:

I entered these because I feel like they are strong in the sense that they tell a story, give an insight into how people relate to one another and gather together as humans. I love the intensity each of them has, and I believe they are aesthetically interesting because when analysing them closely there is a hub of activity happening in each composition, whether that be physical activity or mental/emotional activity.

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