This week was somewhat of a reaction to the previous two weeks being in self isolation. Struggling at home when it seems like the outside world is carrying on as normal. Therefore this week was a very busy schedule with two football themed shoots planned, in addition to a fashion shoot for the Oxfam brief.
The Oxfam Shoot was an interesting distraction from my football project and having convinced some of my friends to model, the challenge was to deliver some work that was well outside my comfort zone. As an experienced wedding photographer I was aware of some basic poses that I could utilise if I was struggling in a creative sense. I wasn’t working with an experienced model although he was a confident individual. The circumstances were made all the more difficult as the I had around 20 minutes of my dinner break to get something together.
I wasn’t unhappy with the results however I did have that nagging feeling that I could have achieved a little more but at the same time content that I had made a contribution to the group.
Whilst in self isolation I was able to organise two shoots for my football project which was quite difficult due to a local club being penalised as spectators were seen to be breaking social distancing rules. However, having contacted around a dozen clubs I eventually had some success. These shoots eventually concluded with my usual documentary approach.
Moving on to my one to one with Colin, I felt prepared however technical difficulties made sharing work difficult. The work I did manage to share was met with mixed feedback with the outcome being that I was trying to achieve too much, including documentary and portrait work, it was felt that there was no clear message or story with my work. This had been stated in previous modules and despite my efforts I feel that I haven’t developed within this area. As stated in earlier posts, my intention was to reconnect with my own time as a player, choosing to photograph the environments that I found interesting but it appeared that this wasn’t enough. The conversation concluded with my establishing of my own emotions to playing at this level of the game. Having played at a higher level, finding self within this world. My emotions eventually became that of fear due to the increased physicality and lack of technical proficiency.
My tutor advised engaging with written text to accompany my images, an idea that I had previously had but advise not to in past modules. As a response, I begun to reflect on what I might say then it occurred to me that I could approach some of my previous teammates and interview them about their experiences. Week six will now consist of at least two interviews which I have organised and intend to record.
With regard to the weekly theme of understanding who buys photography, I found a number of comments by Ryan (2014) of interest. Asserting that an approach to commissioning work can be a process of matching photographers from different genres and putting them in unusual situations in the hope that they bring something new to the concept. This assisted in my decision to take my work in the direction of portraits as I felt that my approach is quite unique within the football environment, allowing my photographic style to emerge and possibly transcend into other areas.
Ryan further states that the emergence and importance of websites leads commissioners to think differently about how the might proliferate their work online using images for web in formats such as slideshows. As a wedding professional I agree strongly in this sense as I often use such techniques to create marketing materials that appeal to an online audience. Within the context of a wedding photography there are ample opportunities to make high quality work however that isn’t enough. I favour making high quality work that revolves around the alternative moments of wedding. I ensure that I meet the generic expectations as quickly as possible before engaging with an approach which in my case encompasses humour. Take a traditional wedding group shot for example. There is lots of potential to produce high quality work here however encompassing an unusual element I find adds personality to my approach.
This approach is beneficial as a couple considering my services from an online search may learn something about my own personality to shooting weddings. I understand that the image below isn’t going to change the world or reinvent wedding photography. But placed within a sequence of high quality traditional wedding photographs. Images such as this serve to make my work stand out whilst making a statement about myself as a photographer.
Interview with Kathy Ryan [IN] HotShoe international Issue 187, Spring 2014 (HotShoe International) Creative Magazines Ltd