Where I am now: The Human Choices within my practise

John Berger (1980: 292) comments that 'Photographs bear witness to a human choice being exercised in a given situation. A photograph is a result of the photographer's decision that it is worth recording that this particular event or this particular object has been seen'.

In terms of where I am now, I don’t feel I have reached my full potential within portraiture, and I feel limited with where I can progress using found imagery and collaborating with my subject. However I do feel I am getting closer to refining my style aimed at editorial.

My first work in progress portfolio was all about my own family album. In the second I wanted to develop my editorial style, so incorporated themes of Family, Found Imagery and a collaborative approach where my subjects chose their own family photographs to share with me. This project was intended to form a bridge between my first module and where I am now in terms of my photographic aim.

 

To comment on the human choices; I chose to collaborate with the individuals that were in my portraits. I also wanted them to choose what they thought was worth recording in my project from their personal archives.

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As a photographer I made the choice of location, lighting and of the way I portrayed my friends in the photographs I took. This was about me developing my style of making for future editorial work.

I have always had a fascination with found imagery,  and this work allowed me to discover the meaning and weight of these images supplied by my friends in this project. The collaborative element to my work was strongly influenced by Emanuel Almborg’s approach to making work, and I found this a really interesting process. I have already started to look at how collaboration can work in more editorially directed work in the future.

This project for me had some successes and some failings. I was able to develop my portrait work towards an editorial style. Influenced by the work of Daniel Shea, and to give weight to some of the objects in my work I used picture frames within the displayed image which I feel worked really well. However, by the end of the project I felt I wasn’t challenging myself as much as I could and I need to be careful not to fall into a comfort zone when making new work.

My plans moving forward are to move away form the found image, and away from the family album all together. I am working on some background research for a heavily documentary based series to see where I can take my portraiture and more importantly my ability to tell a story through my images.