Project Evaluation…

Coming back to uni after a long summer break, being given a new project and being able to work with people again excited me. I started this unit off on a high, I was feeling inspired, organised and ready to get my project and series of images done. Which soon started to deteriorate. I started to become less organised, uninspired and I have ended up pretty much hating my final images. 

When we were very first given this brief, the idea of plastic pollution being my topic came into my head straight away. I was excited, confident and wanted to get the ball rolling almost instantly. I sat and spoke to Alys Tomlinson about my idea and where I wanted to go with it, and she liked where my head was at with it, which thrilled me even more. I had an instant vision in my head of what I wanted to do, and I was going to do it. 

A few weeks went by and while ideas and research were coming along, we had a few group tutorials and meetings with our tutors to explain our ideas and where we were at with our project. My first few meetings with a group, Geraint and Matt started off great, I pitched my idea, showed them my research and it was all a positive outcome, all I had to do was shoot my pictures. 

This is where a few issues started to come in. Like I said, I had a vision in my head that I wanted to create, but, that wasn’t how my pictures turned out. I worked with what I could, and then it was time for my formative assessment with Geraint. I showed him where my WordPress was at at the time, and the images I had just taken. After explaining my project to Geraint he understood my pictures and seemed to like them, which gave me a little confidence boost that I was on the right tracks. He gave me some ideas of how I could improve my pictures for when I next show them to him or Matt. 

Weeks went by, I shot another set of images, then it came to be my meeting with Matt. This didn’t go so well, and ever since this meeting I have hated my work, felt like my whole project has been an absolute shambles and really regret the project idea I chose to execute from the start. I really started kicking myself and getting myself down over this project, worrying that what I have done isn’t good enough and that I am not going to get a good grade for my first project back, in my last year at university. 

My actual photoshoots went well overall. I managed to collect more than enough plastic rubbish, find a bathtub to use and a model willing to help me, get good enough lighting and take my images. This wasn’t an issue, but looking back over my images now, and receiving feedback, I’m not 100% happy with them. I don’t feel that they show my photography skills well and what I am capable of. I could have definitely picked a different topic to show off my photo taking ability and something that I would’ve been happy with. As I had this idea at the very start of the project, I jumped straight on it too quick and didn’t want to steer away from it as I was originally very intrigued by the idea of doing plastic pollution. I wish I had sat back and thought about another idea that I would’ve enjoyed photographing more. 

A positive note of my project is my digital workbook on WordPress. I put a lot of effort into filling up my workbook with a lot of research, images and writing and feel that this is a good reflection of how much effort I put into doing my work and that I am capable of getting a lot of work done in time for a deadline. I also feel I have created a series of images that have stuck to my narrative throughout, which is obvious in my workbook. They work individually and coherently to show the topic of plastic. 

I feel like I will enter the Sony Photo Awards again, but next time with a stronger set of images that show off the best of my photographic ability.

To finish this evaluation off I will sum up how I feel overall…

– Unhappy with my images, not my usual photographic style, perhaps too narrative driven?
– Disheartened and down after my meeting feedback
– I like how full my WordPress is and feel I have done a good job on it
– Next time, pick a topic where I can really enjoy myself and create images that show off the best of my photography skills

Career Plan…

 Throughout the ‘To Master’ unit, it has been very much based on our careers after uni, mastering photography, getting our work out there and learning what the industry is like from professionals coming in to speak to us. Over the last few months I have learnt some new things which are going to help me in the future. 

First of all, my images. Now, although I am not 100% happy with them, they come under the category that I love photographing the most, Portraiture. Portraiture has always been my favourite thing to photograph, whether it be a fashion or beauty shoot in the studio, to a fun outdoors shoot shot on my mobile phone or 35mm film camera. I love capturing peoples expressions, fashion sense, colours and individual looks. It is a very diverse industry/category to like photographing and want to go into, as you can do a lot and experiment with portraiture. It can be used for a small commission such as an advert for the back of a leaflet, or it can be used for a bigger commission such as shooting the new AW18 campaign for Louis Vuitton. It can even be composed in a more contemporary arty way, making it more abstract and put a meaning behind it. Its very open to allow you to put your own twist on it, and that is what I like about portraiture so much. 

Every day I am seeing new inspiration from photographers and artists that I keep saved my phone or noted down in a notebook and I always refer back to them when finding inspiration for a photoshoot. I like to take inspiration from a number of people and almost add my own individual element, to combine the two ideas together. This way, I am keeping my photography fresh and individual. 

I decided to photograph portraiture with a narrative behind it as at the start I thought I could execute this quite well. Along the way I came across some problems and overall I am not 100% happy with the final images I have produced (will be explained further in my evaluation). I love both portraiture and a debate so what more could I want. So this was the path that I went down as I thought that I might be able to expand my portfolio with a more abstract attempt at portraiture after this project. 

Secondly, during this unit we have had to have a think about some other competitions we may want to enter throughout the year to get our name and work known in the photography world. As part of this unit we had to create a competitions table/calendar so we could easily keep track of which ones we might enter and when. I have put the deadline dates into my diary to remind myself of when I need to enter some of the competitions by. I came across some very interesting looking competitions that I did like the look of and will most likely enter before the deadlines. The ones I chose interested me the most due to the categories I can enter, the type of work I can submit, and the prizes you can potentially win. These are the competitions I am looking at possibly entering…

I am hoping that by creating some new work for these competitions and entering them will give me a chance for someone to notice my work and to potentially have something come of it, whether it be an email of congratulations or a small job commission. Any form of recognition would be good for my career at this early stage. 

Lastly, during this term we have had a number of guest speakers coming in to talk to us about their careers, their success stories and what it is like to be working in the photography industry. I have made notes throughout the term from the speakers we have had in and have been putting their tips to use… with emailing people, how to approach clients/useful contacts, how to act professional, and how to just keep trying your best. I found the Bruno Bayley talk the most useful one as he was young, been to uni and got a job, he seemed like the most relatable person to listen to at this stage of my degree/career. He gave us some really good tips, tricks and stories on his experiences within the industry (which I have included in a previous post with my notes). 

Combining everything, I feel like I have gained a lot of extra inspiration, numerous tips and advice on how to tackle the industry and a good set plan of what I am going to do and when by, making me feel a lot more confident for after university life and my future career. 

Other Competitions I Am Going To Enter…

During this project we had to think about other competitions we may enter throughout the year as well as the Son World Photo Awards. In the first few weeks of this unit starting, Matt talked to us about creating a table of competitions we may enter in the future. I made a rough start on one during the early stages of this unit…

This was a rough draft that I drew up in my notebook so I could keep track of the competitions I had seen of interest to me. I decided to make it neater and easier to read, so I typed it up on a computer…

I decided to focus on these competitions in particular, as while searching for which ones I could enter (based on the deadline, entry fee and prizes), these ones appealed to me the most. I wrote next to each of them why they appealed to me and why I would enter them. 

Now I am coming to the end of this project, I am going to put the competition deadlines in my diary and brainstorm some ideas for some competitions I may enter next year. I would like to create some new, good quality work to enter as I would like to give myself the chance to be noticed and get my name/work out in the big wide world. 

My Image Series Description…

As well as submitting our images we had to give our series a name and write a short description, no longer than 150 words, about our images. Including information like why we took them. I went simple with mine. This is the series name and image description I submitted…

Series name- Plastic Pollution

Series description-

Plastic pollution has been on the rise in the media lately, it seems to be all we see in the papers, on TV and on posters. Seeing it everywhere, it has been on my mind a lot. 

I decided to create this series of images to get a message across about plastic pollution, the message being, if you wouldn’t pollute your friends and families surroundings, why are you doing it to aquatic life in the sea? 

I used a model covered and submerged in plastic to get the eerie feel across, with her looking lifeless and uncomfortable. As it is only what happens to the animals in the sea. 

Experimenting With Text/ Turning My Images Into Adverts…

During my project, I had the idea of my images possibly being used as plastic pollution adverts. While doing research and finding ideas for my project initially, I came across a lot of plastic pollution adverts with text quotes on them, which helped enhance the message of the images. I have had ideas of possibly using text on top for my final images, but decided against it for the competition as I didn’t like how they looked for submission to Sony. However, I am going to show my experiments with text on my images anyway. 

I couldn’t seem to find the the right place for the text to go over my images, it didn’t sit right anywhere around her face, and if it did go over the top of her face it took away too much from the image behind it. I didn’t like the writing at the side as it didn’t look like it should be there, and overall, not figuring out where it looked right, this made me decide not to include text altogether.