Forum

Appropriation II: Richard Prince

I have always been intrigued by Richard Prince' work. Whoever you speak to they are usually on the hate side of the fence. I have no problem with the work he has made at all, and was really interested to hear about his methodology of making the Cowboy work. The control taken over deciding what should and shouldn't be included in the frame, focusing so that the moire wasn't visible to give it the appearance of being from a magazine. He tried to make it a much his as possible which leads me to think a great deal about authorship of the image. 

When you make a picture and show it to someone or put it on your website or it its published in a magazine it is out there for the world to see, and experience in anyway they wish. I feel that Prince started  out by just experiencing the images like anyone else would but through the viewfinder of a camera. He adopted the view of the director, moving around the image whist looking through the viewfinder. I find this a really intriguing methodology and although my opinion might have changed if it had been my work that had been reproduced like that, I really like the result od Cowboy far more than the original Marlboro men.

Collaboration / Participation/ Collective

Terms such as participatory, collective, cooperative, and collaborative are often used interchangeably when talking about methods or methodologies. For this task, please provide an example from your own practice or elsewhere that conveys your understanding of these terms. Starting with definitions to then unpick what is meant by the individual terms.

Participation: pɑːˌtɪsɪˈpeɪʃn/ - The act of taking part in something.

This seems the most general of the terms below, and is concerned more with the actual act itself rather than the outcome. A participant could be someone helping with your project for a short term on a given assignment or role or somebody working with you on a long term basis.

 

Hannah collaborating with me on my Sustainable Prospect module work looking at the family albums of my friends.

Hannah collaborating with me on my Sustainable Prospect module work looking at the family albums of my friends.

Cooperative: kəʊˈɒp(ə)rətɪv/ - Involving mutual assistance in working towards a common goal.

This seems more about the project being of mutual benefit or of a mutual idea between all participants aimed at finishing the task together and all with the same end point.

Collective: kəˈlɛktɪv/ - Done by people acting as a group.

Ive been reading a bit about Photography Collectives recently and I am still intrigued about how they work. Admittedly they have all been commercial photography collectives which somewhat confused me as they will all be very different in styles of working and aesthetic. Perhaps promoting yourself under the collective banner and then sharing proceeds form work brought in by the collective is a better way of doing it?

Collaborative: kəˈlabərətɪv/ - Produced by or involving two or more parties working together.

This is where I would see myself sitting with my work. In the Sustainable Prospects module I spent a great deal of time one on one with people discussing family albums and choosing images to share. I felt this was a true collaborative effort where the aim of the project was set out at the start and roles clearly defined. 

Week 5: The Gaze

FullSizeRender.jpg

In terms of the landscape where some of my investigation starts I was interested to read that of Mother Nature and Marlboro Man and the male gaze of Mother Nature the female landscape. Learning from the wet plate era of landscape photography that it was a very male orientated world makes me consider my own male gaze on the environment and who I am sharing it with.

Week 4: Into The Image World - Notes

Sheba Advert (2008)

Sheba Advert (2008)

IMG_0087.JPG

For the Sheba advert above, I very much had a dominant reading of the image. Aimed at the strong Independent woman with a cat and suggesting that she should buy her cat some Sheba for valentines day.  I'm not entirely sure if this advert would work for any of the other people who have a cat and like to buy expensive cat food for it. 

Agency: Adam & Eve / DDB London Director: Kim Gehrig

Although still a Dominant reading of the image however, the advertising campaign for John Lewis has always been one that translates some sort of ambiguous tone. I think people understand it more because it has the John Lewis branding at the end of it. When you read further into he image I can now see why it was a collaboration with Age UK. I am surprised however that there is no Age UK branding on the campaign. 

I was not surprised although I was disappointed about the remarks made around the old man looking at the child. It seems in the world today people in my opinion are far to sensitive when ti comes to advertising. This campaign is obviously not in anyway referencing any kind of pedophilia and I think the idea is absurd in my opinion. On a basic level the campaign is supposed to give you a warm familial fuzzy feeling inside when you think of Christmas and being around your family and loved ones. 

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.

Screen Shot 2018-01-30 at 13.51.43.png

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.

Portfolio Review

We were asked to approach an agent or gallery to arrange a meeting. As I had already decided I would like to show an agent my portfolio, to see where they thought my work sits, I emailed Anna, owner of Kiosk Agency and module leader for the Sustainable Prospects module. I already had a Portfolio folder but previous portfolio reviews had taught me that agents really dont like looking at images within plastic wallets as the light glares on the pages. For this reason I bought a punch and score kit from Plastic Sandwich, who made my portfolio, and printed mine myself on double sided paper. 

Plastic Sandwich had recommended that I use Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Duo as it scores well and sits nicely in the book. I found the whole process of looking at my work and deciding what to put in my book quite a stress full process. I realised that I actually hadn't got that much work that I was happy to put in and show. I think the whole thought process that this module has encouraged me to have, about where my work sits in the industry and where I should go, next really hindered my opinion of my work. I wanted to include my current Work In Progress Portfolio but at the same time I didn't want to put it in as it is very different from my already pretty broad range of work. 

 

IMG_5475.JPG

Portfolio View - London Fashion Week Personal Porject

IMG_5476.JPG

Portfolio View - Sustainable Prospects WIP work, I wanted to put this in there as I think it shows a more complex side to my research methodologies. However, it was suggested that this work shouldn't go in the portfolio as its too different. I may just put it at the back along with my commissions instead of taking it out altogether. 

IMG_5478.JPG

Portfolio View - The start of a personal Project that never went anywhere. It was supposed to be the Guardians in the Tintagel building on the Southbank which was the old MI5 building. The day after my first visit where I made these images the Guardians were asked to move as it had been sold. Its one of my favourite spreads in my portfolio.

IMG_5481.JPG

Going back to the ideas we have discussed throughout this module, about the importance of personal and commercial work, I got this commission for a Roman Baths ad campaign. They had looked at my website and liked the way that people I had photographed looked at ease in front of the camera. Its interesting to hear why someone has commissioned you because I think the end results are very different to anything else I shoot. This will also stay in my portfolio but will go at the back. After Amy Simmons talk I think it is important for me to keep it in as it shows I can work to a brief, communicate with the client as well as working along side a creative agency.

IMG_5482.JPG

More commissioned work but far more in line with what I shoot regularly. Documentary/ Lifestyle/ Fashion seems to be what I want to focus on I think. Perhaps I just want to tell little stories of people and place which can actually fit into many different areas of the industry. 

IMG_5484.JPG

This is my actual portfolio along with a slip case and courier bag for sending to potential clients. I'm very happy with the product just need to shoot more work I'm pleased with to go in it now. 

Instagram Reflection - A week later and general Social Media rantings

Last weeks task was to implement an Instagram account plan. In the 6 days since I started to think about my Instagram account I have come to realise a few things.

Firstly this week I have gained 22 followers. This has mainly been through following, commenting and liking other peoples images. But what was the point of this? To add more of other peoples work to my feed so that I compare what I'm doing/ or not doing as the case maybe because of constant comparison to the work of photographers I aspire to be. 

I haven't really had much I have wanted to post on my page. Maybe this is because I am thinking too much about what I should post or that I haven't really taken many photographs that I feel are either good enough quality or are in line with the presence and style of image I am trying to portray on Instagram. Whilst thinking about it throughout the week I have come to realise that actually the amount of images I see on Instagram have in a way blindfolded me to how I would like to make work and because of this constant worry about how my images should look I have gone down the route of not taking any at all. 

IMG_5135.jpg

I can see the definite positives of Instagram and that all these images can be seen so quickly and by mass audiences, however, there is also the negative points of Instagram. For example there are some celebrities in recent months who have been given the title of "Photographer" and have shot fashion campaigns for big brands such as Burberry solely because they have 1 Million + Instagram followers. I feel this is something that is damaging the photography industry. There are so many highly skilled photographers who could have done a far better job on such campaigns. I don't think its fair that a celebrity  who has never shown an interest in photography until their publicist suggests they maybe able to shoot a Burberry campaign can be given a photography crew who do all the work and take the credit for shooting a fashion story.

I have spoken to a few people who were involved in a recent shoot with a "celebrity photographer" who was told he needed to order the lighting, find assistants and make the lighting look amazing so that this person can turn up with their iPhone and shoot the campaign. There were retouchers on set to retouch the images straight away so that they could be then posted on Instagram as if they were just taken on the phone and posted instantly. 

This kind of thing is happening more and more often, and in thinking about this and how the amount of imagery on Instagram has clouded my own judgement and personal development, I am in the process of deciding whether or not to delete my Instagram page altogether and to focus on my images rather than the  constant comparing myself to other photographers. 

More on the Burberry example can be found here. 

Social Media - Instagram

Ive had an Instagram account for a few years now. As my style has developed or changed depending on my work at the time i.e. Corporate or personal Portraiture I have managed to re curate my profile to reflect that. I have had the odd commission from someone seeing something on there but don't really have many followers (300 or so I think). 

I have noticed that it is a very fake world online social media. If there is one photograph that someone doesn't like then they will stop following you. In saying that I also have unfollowed someone because I have found their feed boring so I guess it works both ways.

I am always very conscious of what I post on Instagram sometimes going for a very neatly curated gallery of images all relating to one another and other times use it as more of a diary. I use the Instagram Story quite a lot especially when I'm at a show or travelling somewhere for a job. 

Strategy

I have spoken to a few people about Instagram strategy and the main thing that comes out from it is that you have to post regularly. Even if its only twice a week use the same days to post and so people will grow to expect an image from you on a certain day. I guess this is why I don't have many followers because I don't have the focus to do that. If there was a built in scheduler that would be good but it seems its an outside app which to be honest I cant be bothered with. So I am going to try and post 3 images and one Instagram story per week and see how it goes. 

IMG_5042.jpg

Please find below a link to my Instagram page

https://www.instagram.com/anthony_prothero/

Lets talk Business!

Notes made for presentation in this weeks webinar with regards to a business plan for our project. I struggled to make the plan specific to my practise as I don't really know where my own work is gong in terms of direction. I therefor decided to make more general notes on my photography career both past, present and future. 

Mission Statement (Past)

To shoot striking and original images whether for a personal wedding album, corporate conference or coverage of an event, whilst making sure I am polite, professional and deliver outstanding service at all times. This industry (Events/PR) is heavily reliant on good reviews, recommendations and word of mouth 

Mission Statement (Present)

To develop my personal style towards editorials / publications whilst building good working relationships through networking and improved marketing. 

Mission Statement (Future)

Once I have defined my editorial style and have had success in commissioned work, I aim to focus on long term personal projects and seek new areas of interest geared towards new client commissions. 

Product Goal

Editorial Commissions - Portraiture Collaborations
Tests
Advertising Campaigns                                                                                                                                                                         Publications 

Market

Saturated
People shooting for free - Lowers the worth of photography                                                       
A massive increase in institutions offering Photography undergraduate courses in the last 10 years. I wonder if this is a contributing factor? 

Unseen Amsterdam (part 1)

Jamie Hawkesworth

I saw lots of inspiring work throughout the Unseen photo fair. However the work that struck me the most was the Preston Bus station series by Jamie Hawkesworth. I have seen much of hi commerical work over the past few years and have seen his work develop a great deal. However It was fascinating to me to see a photographer exhibiting a perosnal project next to an ad campaign for a fashion brand and there being no significant aesthetic difference between the two. Thsi is something I aspire to achieve later in my practise developement. 

Takashi Akaishi

This work attracted me for its aesthetics on display. Each image was well placed and I really loved the use of mixed media. Some images framed and some pinned to the wall. There is an air of curiosity about the work and it left me with more questions than answers about what the photographer was trying to say. A really interesting mixture of content which I am seeing more and more often these days. 

More from Unseen to follow..

 

References

Woodward, D. (2017). Preston Bus Station by Jamie Hawkesworth. [online] AnOther. Available at: http://www.anothermag.com/art-photography/7879/preston-bus-station-by-jamie-hawkesworth [Accessed 29 Sep. 2017].


What is Critical Theory and why does it matter?

Critical theories underpin our ideas when making work. They connect our work to the work of other practitioners, and In my own practise theory pushes me to investigate further and helps me to define my goals. As far as why does it matter? Personally, without thinking critically and theoretically whilst making and developing work, I don't think there would be purpose nor direction to what I/the maker is doing.

Collaboration amongst our peers

We were asked to use and image or some text on the forum to attract collaboration amongst our peers. I chose a piece of text written by Aneette Kuhn talking about Memory Material and the influences it can have on identity both social, gender and community. These are interesting and rich starting points for me at a time when I am thinking about continuing from my 'Sarah' work which isn't something I ever thought I would do. 

Image taken from Bloomsbury website  here .

Image taken from Bloomsbury website here.

Not long ago, I wrote a book in which I used personal memory materials- artefacts such as photographs and films, as well as remembered events in my own life - to explore some of the ways in which memory, the activities and products of remembering - can bring together the personal, the social and the historical; and to look at memory's place in making identities that place us  as members both of families and of wider communities - communities of class, gender, nation, for instance. - Annette Kuhn

(A Journey through Memory, Susannah Radstone, 2000)

Collaboration: Beth & Thom Atkinson Interview

Initial notes taken whilst watching the interview.

Sketchbook View

Sketchbook View

Sketchbook view

Sketchbook view

Sketchbook View

Sketchbook View

I emailed Beth and Thom to ask whether its ok to include some of my favourites images from the Missing Buildings project in this post. Please see email conversation below, along with images.

Ant: "Hi Beth/Thom,

I’m on the MA Photography course at Falmouth. I’ve just watched the interview Jesse did with you about your collaborative process and the making of your Missing Buildings work.
Firstly I just wanted to say how inspired I am both in terms of forming my own collaboration in the future and also the work itself. 

Secondly, I wanted to do a little write up of some notes about the interview on my critical research journal (blog) and wondered if you minded If I added some of your images from the project to the interview writeup? I would of course fully reference them.

Thanks again for sharing your process and the work."
 
Beth: "Hey Ant

Thanks so much for getting in touch. Really glad you found the interview helpful and that you are thinking about collaboration!

Absolutely fine to use images for the write up. You can find a lot of them on our website in the 'Press Pack' section, and there are lots from our research in the 'News' section if you go back far enough too.

https://www.hwaetbooks.com/missing-buildings-press-pack/

https://www.hwaetbooks.com/news/

Good luck and thanks again!

Beth

Missing Buildings, Beth & Whom Atkinson

Images used with permission from the artists taken form the press pack which can be found here.