I have learnt quite a bit from this brief. I Beforehand I did not really know what narrative photography was. I knew that it was telling a story I just didn’t really know how they told a story. I have learnt that narrative tells stories in all sorts of ways and that it depends on the photographer telling it. I have learnt how to tell a story in an image and also how to create a person in an image. Through my research into narrative photographers I have found how other people create stories in their images and although none of the photographers I looked at created characters apart from Duane Michaels’ Bogey man I have learnt that narratives generally some in two ways, a series of images or one single image. The series documents each part of the story in a different image and the single incorporates parts of the story into one image and leaves your imagination to fill in the blanks. I have also learnt that you don’t need a big fancy lighting set up to get a good image. I am very happy with what I have produced and I used only natural light coming in from a window. Before hand I generally had the idea that good images took a long time in the studio, a lot of time and patience, a lot of equipment and a lot of editing. Now I realise that is not the case.
If I were to do the brief again I would look at more photographers to gain a broader understanding of narrative photography and the people who are involved. I would have also have shot my images earlier so I would have had time to analyse them are maybe re shot again if need be. I think I would have also done more practical research in the form of shooting more objects and playing around with scenarios to see what worked best. I would have also looked at photographers that shot something similar to help me with my concept.
My motivation for this brief has been my Final Major Project. I don’t know why but it has always been in the back of my head that the sooner I get this finished the sooner I can start on my final major project. It has been the same with university. I have been thinking the sooner I do this the sooner I start my fmp the sooner I’m on to bigger and better things. My inspiration has definitely been the photographers that I have looked at, especially the two that photographed Haiti. I found the images incredibly inspirational because they told the story of an event via the participants ... a little like I am trying to do.
For this brief I have researched narrative photographers, I couldn’t really do much technical research as I have found that the later the year goes on the less and less technical research I can do. The briefs are more and more about the concept. So I found absolutely no technical research to do at all. I found my research on photographers very useful as it showed me all the different ways to present a narrative and what is already out there.
My time management for this brief has been good, I was in a bit of a rush in the last two weeks getting everything in the right order and everything evaluated etc but I finished 3 days before the deadline so that’s good in my books ( free weekend ) .
I have definitely learned that I have a tendency to lean towards emotional image subjects; I always have a ‘sad’ image subject. And I don’t think it’s a bad thing it is just an observation. I have also realised that I feel too comfortable in the studio that I have to get out and do so location work and get really good photographing things without the aid of a studio first.
My ideas initially, like always came from my own head; I never consciously get my ideas from anywhere. Maybe somewhere subconsciously I have read or seen something about personal effects bags but I am unaware of it. They came from me thinking about what I think defines a person in today’s society. About how I could make a person without actually photographing them. And the answer was clear ... their possessions. You can learn a lot about a man if you look at his possessions. People’s lives are lived through material goods and I just had the idea of a personal effects bag because my family have received one and in face received one towards the end of this brief ( I didn’t photograph it ... I wasn’t allowed ) .
I think my images are a reflection of what I think of society. On how materialistic I think people are. They aren’t really an expression of my personality just on my materialistic nature. I define people by how they dress, how their house is, by what car they have etc. I am a very materialistic person and it is typical of me to choose peoples possessions to define them.
Conceptually my images say that society is too damn materialistic. But they also say that rich or poor at the end you are not defined by your car, your fancy house etc your whole life is reduced to what you had on you at the time of your death and if you just popped around the corner to the shops it isn’t really going to be a great deal.
Finally, I like my images; they say exactly what I wanted them to say. They tell my story how I wanted it to be told and hopefully they spark some really crazy scenarios from the people who view them.