‘Dad.’ – Major Project Changes

I never saw myself in this position, having to write this post. Then again, no one does. Unfortunately, I’m having to change my FMP project majorly, due to a very big change in my life.

On Boxing Day 2016, I lost my Dad in a motorbike accident. It was always so obvious my Dad was an adventurous man, to anyone who met him. There was no way he was going to leave this Earth normally, it was going to have to be with something adventurous.

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Although it is very upsetting news, I am trying to keep positive and think of the best, my Dad would want me to carry on. My education was a very important topic within my Dad’s life, and he always wanted me to do my best (I know he was very proud of me being at university), therefore I wish to carry this on and make him even more proud.

Due to this, I plan to carry on my ‘Dad.’ project, but I will be changing the name of the piece to ‘So wait for Me in Heaven, Dad.’, and I will be focussing on his loss and legacy instead of his emotions. I plan to do this as a grieving and coping mechanism, as almost therapy for myself, and anyone who knew him and his character.

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and New Year, I apologise for my first blog post of 2017 being a very morbid, but now it’s time to pull myself together and make 2017 my year, for my Dad’s sake!

Rest easy, Dad.
1971 – 2016.

FMP – Dad, shoot 3.

You’re probably sick of seeing my Dad, just as much as he’s seeing my camera, but here’s another shoot, woo! This is probably my favourite shoot from the 3 that I’ve done! I feel like I’m finally getting somewhere.

For this shoot, I decided to not only focus on the natural images of my dad doing his day to day business, but to focus on portraits, and my dad actually acknowledging the camera. I didn’t tell my dad how to pose or how to look at the camera – I literally said ‘stay there and look at me’, it was up to him how he followed the instruction.

These are a few images from the shoot, my favourites –

I think these images are a lot more aesthetically pleasing, visually, as there is more to look at, and more personality than the images from shoot 1 and 2. There is also a lot of personality in these images due to the facial expressions my dad. Although he’s smiling in some images, it almost looks like a pained smile.

I also like the dullness of the weather, and the fact the area is blurred, therefore my dad is the only thing to focus on.

 

Liverpool Trip – 16/11/16

Today I travelled to Liverpool with my friends from university to see the Tate and Open Eye gallery. Liverpool is one of my favourite places to go, the Albert Docks are so beautiful, so it’s always a pleasure to visit! (Imagine Christmas shopping in Liverpool, pure bliss!!!)

Firstly, we visited the Tate, which I’ve visited a few times, but this time was definitely my favourite. Ever since I’ve been about 13, I’ve wanted to see Tracey Emin’s, ‘My Bed’. I’ve always found it to be a really enticing piece. And guess what was at the Tate?! I cannot explain how excited I got when I saw the piece was there and I could finally see it, 7 years later! I must have been the most excited in the room, but I honestly could not believe my luck, as sad as it sounds.

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Tracey Emin’s, ‘My Bed’ at Tate Liverpool.

Then we went to the Open Eye, where we had a talk from the curator of the exhibitions, and a talk from Matt Finn, about his project, ‘Mother’. I honestly have never been to such an inspiring talk and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it! The talk was full of so much passion and you could see the emotion through Matt thoroughly. It really inspired me to pick up the pace with my project, ‘Dad.’, as I’ve seen how interesting and how far a project of it’s kind can go.

Honestly, today was such an inspiration day, which I really wasn’t expecting. If I had any advice to give any fellow artists, it would be to visit one of Matt Finn’s exhibitions or talks, as you will not regret it!

FMP – Dad, shoot 2.

So, I’ve been working more on my Final Major Project, working on the theme of my dad. (Read more about this project, here).

I followed my dad around his house whilst he did his daily business – fixing clocks seemed to be what he was doing mostly that day (one of his many hobbies, I can never keep up)! To be honest, most of the images weren’t as successful as I’d hoped, due to the low lighting etc. and the movement my dad was doing. However, 2 of the images really stood out to me;

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I must say, I think the image in which my dad’s looking at the camera is one of my favourites – although it’s my dad, I almost get chills when I see the image, as though he’s really looking at me. To me, it really portrays the project, and really delves into the emotion which my dad feels.

I received some feedback from my tutor and Ashley Pearson, and they told me I’d be best playing around with different strategies, ie. using a tripod to really test the timing, creating new framing, staging the images. This will be my next shoot’s task, to see whether I prefer staged, framed images or the snapshots!

 

Can My Youtube Help?

In the past few days I’ve been thinking quite a lot about mixing up my career – I’ve been a YouTuber ever since I can remember, I’ve always been recording, editing and uploading silly little videos, it’s only recently I’ve become a lot more mature and cared more about my videos.

I’ve never thought of linking my photography and YouTube together, as I’ve always seen photography as my career, and YouTube as my hobby, however, recently I’ve been receiving a lot of comments and feedback, and it’s made me realise it could help me out.

My latest video, ‘My Sertraline Story‘ (click to watch), in which I posted in June 2016, showcases my story about my anxiety and depression. It’s something which I don’t usually talk about publicly, and like to keep to myself. However, I realised I would be able to help other people in my situation, and people who were too scared to overcome their problems.

Recently, I’ve been realising that this would link perfectly with my photography work, as I also use this as therapy to help other people with the problems. I also have quite a lot of feedback from my YouTube videos, including daily emails from viewers who want to find out more and ask questions. This could create an insight into my photography work.

I will look into this in my ‘Professional Portfolio’ module, in which I will see whether my work is better as a still or a moving image to give advice.

Final Major Project – “Dad.”

Here I am, in third year! Phew, I’ve made it!! Final year, here we come!¬†Along with the stress and being on the edge of a mental breakdown, third year has bought a lot of influence and inspiration for projects, projects and more projects!

Since last year, I have come to the realisation that I am very keen on specialising in therapeutic photography, especially focussing on mental health and mental illnesses. I think this is due to having mental health issues myself, and finding comfort in making imagery.

For the past 3 weeks, I have been working on the beginning of my Final Major Project (a semester long module within my third and final year at university). And if I’m honest, I think it’s going to be my favourite module since starting university! I feel so motivated and inspired to work on the project plan I have!

I’ve decided I would love to focus my project on my Dad and his lifestyle along with his day-to-day tasks. I decided to focus on this topic due to the fact no one realises my Dad has had a problem in the past with his mental health. I thought this was interesting, as I could explore into the fact mental illnesses and mental health cannot always be seen.

I thought it would also be interesting to blank out the identity of my Dad by covering his face and facial features within the framing.

Here are three images from my first shoot regarding this idea:

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Summer Shoot – The Abandoned Pizza Hut

Throughout Summer, I have been taking a few images along the way. Whilst working on an ongoing project (that’s a blog post for another time), I decided to go out to take a few more images for another project.

Me and my friend Courtney decided we would go to an abandoned building, which we think was a Pizza Hut. Our original plan was to get into the building through the broken windows and explore the wreckage and what was left behind. Unfortunately, we spotted a ‘No Trespassing’ sign, and didn’t think we should risk it.

The only thing we could do is stand at the rusty, old, locked gate and take images of the objects which were just slung onto the ground. I thought it was very interesting that some of the objects that were thrown were personal, for example, shoes and headphones.

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My own image of the objects slung into the area.
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My own image of the objects slung into the area.

 

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My own image of the objects slung into the area.

The objects made me wonder what their story was. Why were they there, and who were they owned by before? I thought it would be interesting to make up stories behind the objects, or to create identities around them.