To start bringing my topic to visual matter I met with one of my subjects, *Rachel, who is the partner to one of my mother’s close friends. We have spoken over the phone and face to face and have met numerous times before. However, taking into consideration the thoughts and needs of my subjects first and foremost, Rachel said that she does not want her voice to heard. Rachel feels she still sounds quite masculine and is still working on ‘rounding’ her voice. Visually Rachel was happy for me to record her and is happy for me to continue in working with her to create photos and other pieces throughout this project.
I travelled to Rachel’s home and decided to focus on her doing her make-up. Upon reflection I wish I would have documented her home, pets and personal belongings but this is something I can explore another time. I decided to focus on make-application, as this is a part of nearly every woman’s daily routine. It reinforces ideas surrounding how we want to be perceived by others which every female and male can relate to. I myself can’t remember the last time I went out without foundation! This in itself reminds me that every female whether biological or transsexual, we all present ourselves in a way we want to be seen by others.
At first we were going to shoot the make-up routine in Rachel’s bedroom but she decided against it. I loved her room and wanted to get images of her in her grand dressing table mirror, but the room had little light, so I agreed. Instead, we did the shoot in her bathroom, which was lovely and bright. When doing each step of the make-up, I would ask Rachel to either slow down or pause. I think if I were to do it again, I would just document the routine as it happens so it would appear more natural. I also recorded her ripping up magazines, reflecting her love for fashion, which is something my other subject also enjoys.
Taking into consideration my final piece I began to play around with the footage in Premiere to make a short sequence but felt it didn’t work. I needed more context and insight into the character instead of just their make up routine. But it was something I could progress forward from. It also reminded me of the importance of collaborating with someone and to have him or her to be more explicit in how they want to be perceived. As I’ve spoke to my subjects more and more it seems their just on a journey to find happiness, just like everyone else.
*Have used different name to protect identity