I was completely moved after listening to Jonathon Worth talk about having to create photographs of people with heart wrenching stories and translating those stories into visual terms.
At the end of the day, we were asked to listen to an interview of Lisa Potts, a primary school teacher from Wolverhampton, who experienced a terrible and life changing ordeal. We were then asked to think of how we would photograph Lisa Potts whilst conveying her story. Below are the notes I had taken:
It was an average school day when a man jumped over the school fence and stabbed/cut multiple children on the playground with a knife. In an act of bravery and intuition, Lisa attempted to protect the children, by stepping in front of the children. As a result, Lisa was severely hit whilst numerous children were left severely injured and traumatised, despite her best efforts.
The story of Lisa Potts is that of sheer bravery and selflessness, elements of her character I would like to portray when photographing her. However, I wouldn’t want to create photographs that would be considered cliché when wanting to convey someone in this way, someone who is strong, like a warrior. And so, I would maybe photograph Lisa in natural lighting, in a natural pose, with a soft expression, on the playground, as opposed to having her appear stern or in a strong stance. Their kind tender teacher is how the children on that day would have viewed Lisa, a gentle saviour. Having Lisa appear as she would any other school day would maybe reinforce the normality of her job and the regularity of the day of the incident, whilst making the reading of her story more shocking in relation to images. I would have her wear her teaching clothes, and have her look as if she were looking upon one of the children on their playtime break. I would want to reinforce that protective, motherly side, rather then have her appear harsh and angry, rather thankful for still being here. In the talk Lisa instantly lightened and softened when talking about some of the children who were hit that day, who are on the way to university and have done very well in life. It’s this element of Lisa I would want to portray in her photographs: hopefulness, care and protectiveness. I would be tempted to use film to create images with softer colour tones, again reinforcing a sense of tenderness and regularity.