The rest of this course is devoted to your final assignment, a personal project.
Although most professional photography is made by commission, often with very clear briefs, there are many photographers who set their own briefs and determine their own projects. They may simply wander around the world with their cameras in search of a picture. Or they’ll research a specific subject and then work out how best to make photographs of it. This personally motivated photography is often the place where you find most innovation and experimentation.
The final assignment is your chance to do whatever you want with photography. You’ve experimented widely throughout this course, practised key technical and visual skills, and learned about different genres of photography. Now you can put all that into practice in your final work.
Your personal project
- Of all the different subjects and approaches you’ve worked on and read about during this course, which attracts you most?
- Which feels most natural to you?
- Which feels the most challenging?
Response to the brief
Of all the different subjects and approaches you’ve worked on and read about during this course, which attracts you most?
Narrative from a photograph is the assignment I enjoyed the most together with painting with light in which I also tried to include a narrative rather than just completing the exercise. I enjoy photographs that tell a story or ask a question. I also enjoy documentary photography a lot.
Which feels most natural to you?
Assignment 3 Narrative from a photograph felt the most natural to me, I enjoyed producing the idea (eventually!) then planning how the picture was going to be taken, scene, lighting, poses of the subjects etc. I do like to control these elements if possible, it is almost like producing a painting, creating a moment and a story rather than capturing something by chance.
Which feels the most challenging?
I think probably the most challenging for me would be some kind of street portraiture, I am sure I could manage it but I don’t think that I would be very comfortable with it. Generally I am not that keen on street photography although I do follow some photographers in this genre.
I have had a few ideas for this assignment.
- Mesothelioma – I started this projected a little while ago, it involves a business colleague who became a friend and is now living with mesothelioma. The project so far can be seen here My initial thoughts were to try to show how he manages with life outside of the house, also taking him back to the company that he founded and take some pictures in these surroundings together with his team. One of the potential problems is I am not sure how far I can take this within the time constraint for this project.
- Family – An important subject for me, I believe the family should be the corner stone of society. I think the dynamics within a family are interesting, the interaction between family members, their functionality but also dysfunctionality. The similarity and differences between family units and their environments. I would involve my own family, however, they as dispersed all over the place – London, The North West, Cornwall, Wiltshire, Manchester, USA and The Midlands. So again, getting all of this together within the time constraint that I want may be tricky. The other alternative might be to place an advertisement in a local paper asking for volunteer families, but this doesn’t appeal to me.
- Retirement – This initial suggestion came from my tutor. It is something that I now have some personal knowledge of and know a few others that are also retired. What surprised me when I retired was my emotional response to not being at work and having a lot of time on my hands, this what made me enrol in the FiP course.
At the time of writing retirement is my favoured subject.
I think this subject may be able to be approached in a number of ways even as a series of staged images to accentuate the emotional side of retirement through careful lighting and posing.
Another retirement option might be to try to document how people cope or interact with retirement and those around them, how they fill their time or not.
Any comments are very welcome.