First day back and the first question we were asked to ask ourselves were simple: ‘What do I want to achieve by my exit module?’ which we were asked to jot down. Click on image below to see my initial answer.
In short I hope to tell a story on a topic or event, which fascinates and excites me, as well as others. Whether it is a documentary or set of images I hope to take inspiration and emulate the work of those I adore, such as films ‘Tarnation’ or ‘Control’ or images by photographers Ryan McGinley or Anton Borjin. I like hard-hitting topics but beauty and youth, which perhaps I could combine.
We were then introduced to John Levy, a British photographer, founder of photojournalism site FOTO8 and our other lecturer for this module. Levy showed us how our online environment has changed and developed over the years. He evidenced these changes through navigating through his old and current FOTO8 websites, from their initial origins until now. It was originally very text heavy due to the stories being for the New York Times. We were shown his projects on Prison Tattoos on his old website, which is still viewed frequently even today. I noted:
“I gave people a space” encouraging people to explore the story and to explore it again, giving people an endless, imaginative space. Prisons and tattoos are subjects people will always be fascinated with, thus people still return to that website and that same story even today. The stories are and were for people that were unaware of these stories, not just for photographers or journalists. These stories should have had and have the ability to communicate with your friends, family, community, and society and so on. Levy highlighted the poignancy of telling stories that you’re close too and the importance of this when creating our own work. Everybody has seen everything. It’s about finding your own niche and experience; going on a tangent to make it personal to you, make it more organic, more heart felt. It really made me think. What do I want to share? What is important to me? How would I represent it?
We were then introduced to a few photographers and series but one hit me the most, “Baby Mothers” a short, sharp portrait project of teenage girls with their newborn babies. It proved to me how a single image can stand alone, with very little context and still be so profound. It made me wonder if I could create single images, which would have the same striking effect.