Another busy fortnight at the coal face of freelancing. Amongst my regular contracts I’ve been busy reading and gathering ideas for my self directed projects, whilst working on project editing. Read on for a selection of the articles and series that I’ve found interesting over the last fortnight.
The first work that caught my eye was ‘Invisible Britain: Portraits’that I saw over on Huck. I was taken by the staging of these portraits that make up a new book. That’s really the theme of this weeks posts, I’m starting to consider the ways that I would like to set up my subjects alongside figuring out which groups or areas of society I’d like to document.
Speaking of documenting society it doesn’t get much better than Joel Meyerowitz.
Two interesting articles this week on the Guardian and Huck websites to coincide with the release of a new retrospective book that coincides with a major exhibition in Berlin. I don’t really need to add anything else!
The British Journal of Photography featured the work of Martin Amis whos upcoming book is due for release. The images featured are wonderful candid shots of groups and a great example of what can be achieved by spending extended time with a group or within an environment.
Also on the BJP is an article sponsored by the University of Sussexdetailing their new masters course. Aside from it being essentially an advert for the course it does raise interesting points about the reasons you may want to opt for MA study (something I’m currently looking into and making decisions on) and also the importance of a theoretical interest and element to photographic practice.
Finally, if you fancy listening to some content whilst getting about your day I’ve recently discovered the Being Freelance Podcast. I’ve taken a trip through the archive and listened to all of the episodes featuring photographers but have now started to delve into episodes featuring freelancers from other disciplines. It’s full of ideas and interesting to hear about how other freelance creatives go about navigating the world of self employment.
Thanks for reading, more from me in two weeks time.
Some more photography related links for Sunday reading after another fortnight ambling around the internet. The last couple of weeks have been spent making work and largely looking at photographers that inspire me. My current project, which is as yet untitled aims to document community, or a community at least and so I’ve been drawn to photographers that make work depicting people and their environments.
First up is Oli Kelletwho was featured over at Creative Boom. I love the mix of both staged and incidental approaches to the work. There is a stunning cinematic quality to the city scapes which would be interesting to try and replicate during tests in my own practice.
Similar approaches are abound in ‘Sea Change’ by Lee Brodhurst-Hooper which I saw on the British Journal of Photography website. The project examines the challenges facing Britains coastal towns due to years of falling tourist numbers in the wake of cheaper holidays abroad and the people in the local communities that this affects.
Over the last year or so I’ve followed closely the research portfolio and website of Anthony Prothero. Anthony and I studied together at Falmouth University and is a very close friend. He is now in the midst of studying for his MA in Photography at Falmouth and we spend a fair amount of time discussing ideas and commenting on each others practice.
An entry on Anthony's Critical Reflective Journaldetailed the work of John Spinksan editorial photographer who’s personal project 'The New Village’ Anthony picked out. He raises an interesting point about the work in that the images are of an unnamed village but somehow they remain familiar as a viewer citing the “Fractured Sense of Belonging”.
Once again I’ve been drawn to looking at the way that Niall McDiarmidapproaches and photographs his portrait subjects. To coincide with his current exhibition at The Martin Parr Foundation in Bristol, a short video has been produced to demonstrate the techniques he uses to create his portraits. An interesting watch for people wishing to create portraits on the street or just to get an idea of the type of process that might be involved when approaching this style of work.
On the subject of work, whilst putting the finishing touches to my landscape project and researching my current project ideas I decided to release a new series which is now featured on my website.
'Findings’ is a continuing series of images that are not part of what I would consider a traditional “series”. These are images that are connected by my visual interests at the time of taking the photograph. They are to be exhibited solely online on my website and as part of an ongoing Instagram series. It’s an attempt to use images that were not necessarily part of an overarching project as a way of reengaging with social media in a meaningful way. After reading this article on the BJPI had been thinking about the ways in which I engage audiences of my work and felt that a project existing online could be a compliment to any future work that I showcase through more traditional methods.
Thank you for reading, as always please feel free to share with people that you think may be interested. More in a fortnight.
Hello! So, I’m still trying to figure out the format for this newsletter (and also the name). I’ve switched to using TinyLetter for the time being, cheers to JoeRipcordfor pointing out the platform for me.
It’s been a busy two weeks, carrying out shoots and editing but as always I’ve found a bit of time for reading and the following links are snippets of what I’ve found most interesting.
More in a fortnight, Dean
Often, like most artists I struggle to get ideas off the ground, or just struggle with the process of figuring out how to get things in gear. ‘The Start’ Podcast via The Guardian features interviews with artists about their creative process and how they found the inspiration to start a work or the journey that they took to create a piece that was their defining moment. Listen at the website via the following link or by downloading to your Podcast player of choice.
Whilst seeing out the final edit and output of a landscape project, I’ve also had an eye on a future project that I hope to soon get off the ground. At the moment it is likely going to be a portrait project based around groups of people in various settings, I’d also like to create some kind of audio element to go alongside the visuals…It’s very early days though. As a result I’ve been keeping an eye out for other photographers work that involves the documenting of groups of people or the environment that they find themselves in.
First up is 'The Space Between Us’ by Evan Blaise Walsh, who was featured on Lenscratch. Whilst the scenarios of the portrait series are staged and use repeat sitters, the style, set up and use of the space within the images is of particular interest to me.
I’ve also been considering the starting points for my new project may well be my own immediate environment and the people and characters that I come across, also how to document scenarios and people that are already familiar to me. The British Journal of Photography featured the work of Manny Melotrawho’s series 'The Broadway’ depicts his current surroundings in Southall, West London.
The work highlights scenarios that may go unnoticed to those that don’t live in the area and give a truer representation of the daily live and experiences of the residents of the culturally rich area of the capital.
My project will also involve working with people I’ve never met in unfamiliar situations, in an effort to push me outside of my comfort zone and present a set of fresh photographic challenges for myself. I came across some early work of photographer Philippe Chancelon the Guardian website, who’s work detailing life inside French gangs goes on show as part of the 'Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins’ exhibition at The Barbican at the end of February.
In the article Chancel states the difficulties faced when working from the viewpoint of an outsider, especially in what, at times, was a dangerous environment. The images, from very early on in Chancel’s career, have a raw exploratory feel. As a photographer he was finding his way and place in the world, much like his subjects.
Over at LensCulture was an interesting interview with Kaycee Olsen, director of the Von Lintel Gallery in Los Angeles. In the article she talks about the potential ways to approach galleries in order to get work seen by the public. Whilst here we’re considering incredibly high end galleries I found some of the thoughts would definitely apply to any type of exhibition space and would be worth considering in the future.
I absolutely love to watch cycling from the road side. People often ask “isn’t it a bit boring, I mean you only see the riders for seconds?” I love the waiting, the build up. The excitement of trying to capture some decent shots at speed. The elation when you manage to capture a legend of the sport as they fly past (in this case André Greipel).
Also, I like the planning. Picking two or more spots on the race route and creating my own challenge of getting to each location before the speeding peloton. This all culminates in the aftermath, the quieter moments. The crowds leaving and a few people roaming for autographs and bidons, mechanics and soigneurs busily going about their post race business. There is always a lot to see and capture, not just people on bikes.
Over the last three months I’ve been working closely with a local dress maker to create images for her blog and also forthcoming promotional campaigns. Working with Julia at Bobbins and Buttons in Leicester has been great fun and a good opportunity to create work in a very different environment to my usual commercial work. Julia came to the shoots with a very clear idea of the results that she wanted and I’m really pleased I’ve been able to make images she is happy to use to detail her own creations.
It’s also been good to get an insight into the creative process behind the making of clothing and to talk with Julia about her own creative approaches. It’s always really inspiring to work with people in other creative disciplines and just goes to prove that inspiration can come from the places you least expect.