1) Identify where you would like to situate yourself
Despite having studied photography over the past 2 years and working as an assistant photographer for working professionals Edward Taylor of Digital Flow and Darren Key of Dark Lens in which I’ve covered live music events, burlesque shows, weddings and studio fashion and portrait shoots, I still feel I have a lot to learn. As a result, I hope to continue as working as an assistant photographer as opposed to a freelance professional photographer working alone and building my own brand. I want to continue in building my portfolio whilst learning from existing working professionals and develop my Photoshop, lighting and studio skills, which will not only helpful when producing my own work but will make me more sufficient when wanting to assist others. I hope to assist on larger scale jobs and with other individuals whose work I truly admire. This will help inform my own practice and improve my repertoire which is beneficial when wanting to land more jobs.
2) What are you interested in and where would you like to be?
What is a “normal” gender identity? This question has been the main driving force behind all my latest research on gender, self-identity and sexuality. The innovative works of Judith Butler and Marjorie Garber as well as research into the representations of gender identities in mainstream visual media brought me to the conclusion that there is no “normal” gender identity. Instead, gender is free-floating, an imitation of an imitation with no essential origin. This notion of gender being a construction and fluid is what interests and inspires me.
I would love to assist photographers like Sarah Davidmann, Claudia Moroni or Bettina Rheims. All their work encompasses the personal and social, questioning the relationship between the individual and society, something I too want to achieve through my own photographic works of Trans identities. Davidmann, Moroni and Rheims have been transforming the stereotypical notions of Tran’s individuals in the United Kingdom through beautiful images which hold a strong political agenda. Their works highlight the individuality and fearlessness of these alternative individuals, re-defining beauty and gender “norms”. They are utterly inspiring and I’d love for my own work exploring gender and identity to one day be on the same par as theirs.
3) Consider what work you do and what is your market?
My current project entitled, “Gender Benders” which is an on-going project is political and current. Fashion in relation to gender is in a state of transformation, where gender bending is all the rage. As a result, my socially defying portraits of individuals’ whose identities move away from the gender binary in a rather quiet and mysterious way definitely have potential in finding a place within the fashion industries. I may approach fashion magazines and editors with prints of my images to see if they would perhaps like to feature them or learn more of the project. It would be amazing if my images could feature in a fashion magazine or exhibition, thus reinforcing these trans identities as mainstream, current but what’s more acceptable and beautiful within society.
4) Do you have an exemplar (role model) you identify with?
Many photographers and individuals inspire me, mainly those who are fearless to push boundaries and defy social norms within their works. These include photographers Sarah Davidmann, Claudia Moroni and Bettina Rheims all of whom are helping to re-define beauty and gender “norms”, something I too want to achieve. All of these professionals graduated in art related degrees and pursued the very topics I’m interested in, which has encouraged me to continue in creating my very own gender bending portraits.