Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Research Task #1

Thoughtful reflection:
At the end of the year I hope to become a Photojournalist/ Documentary photographer. To be honest it is not always what I wanted to become. First it was a ballerina, then an actress, then a aid worker but it wasn't until I travelled overseas that I found something in photography. But for me it wasn't about the beautiful girls in Vogue and it wasn't about the image that was put together with the magic of photoshop. For me it was about telling a story, it was about being people closer to the subject, unavailing the truth. I had always looked up to photographers who worked for editorials such as national geographic. So naturally when I started this course I was sure at the end of the three years I would step out into the world and still have the same idea of where I was heading in photography as the day I started. 
What I have learnt over the past 2 years, is don't ever count on being good at something because of your past. Photography is hard, you have to have patience's, perseverance, imagination, courage, you have to be hard and you have to know and really believe in what you are doing. I always thought that photojournalists worked for editorials and were hired as staff. I have come to learn the most photojournalists are freelancers, and that most have there own business, most these days have to be writers as well and have to go out and find the story and then make the hard sell to the editorials. To me there is much more work involed then I first thought. Also the face of media is changing meaning is there really a place for the photojournalist anymore. I don't believe that my approach has changed that much in the two year course, sure I have learnt more skills and I have learnt defiantly more behind the scenes information. I guess my lofty ideas have gone and have be replaced with certain realities.
By the end of the semester I hope to have been able to produce, work that not only affects people but when they leave the images and the stories stay with them, and move them into change. For there I would love to sell the photographs and have them published in a paper or hold and exhibition. Big dreams for the future? I'm still unsure whether I will have a full future, but I would like to work either freelance for a few different organizations or I would like to work for a regional newspaper in a place I have never been. What my dream is, is to affect change. 
Summarise your brief
  • Document 2 different major public events spread over the next few months and submit a series on each that consists of not less that 20 photographs. What you shoot will be largely influenced by the type of event and what you encounter on the days you shoot. The emphasis will be on providing an overview of each event. (total 40)
  • Select from the people you know someone about which you can produce a photo-essay. This should be more than ‘a day in the life of’, you should try to give the viewer an deeper insight into who this person is, don’t be afraid to deal with the emotional consequences that may arise. This will necessarily take a number of shoots. Ensure you get releases signed. (approx 15 photos)
  • For a cause that is close to you produce a documentary series that could be used to publicly further the cause or to make people more aware of it. Ensure you get releases signed. (no less than 15)
I am not really good and summarising so above is the brief I was given by my teacher for this semester.

For the first documenting two different major public events. What my plan is, will be to attend as many public events as possible!!! I plan to go to everything from Easter masses to gay marriage rights protests. I am not sure what events will be considered major but I am going to attempt to spread myself across everything. I have got friends at ANU keeping a look out for anything, I will also be attending a music festival, and I have a friend at Sydney uni looking out for things that will interest me. I don't want my assignment to be confided to events in Canberra. As it states it's an overview of the event, so I will be taking photos of people portraits are a must but will not be a large part of the shots. This is because I feel that while it is important to document what kind of people are taking part in the event I do not want it to turn into a portrait shot. I will also have to focus on the important moments of the event and a behind the scenes look at the event. With some of these events I will need to contact the event coordinators before hand to see if I will e able to take photos so bit of planning involed, but I don't really know how much I can plan each event, most of the time I will just have to goo with the flow!

The second is a photo essay on someone I know. I have about three people in mind for this task. I have let to chose which person, and I believe that I will need some help trying to decide. The first person is my best friend, he is an artist studying art at Sydney Uni. The advantage of Kieran is he is the most colourful, crazy, beautiful and creative person I know. I believe that following him around would give me some very humours photos. The disadvantage of him is that I know him better then I know myself and I feel that I would lose a bit of the challenge on him. The second is I guy I know that has Cystic Fibrosis and has had a lung transplant, advantage amazing story disadvantage he has had a transplant and I don't know if the story is over there (that is bad to say I know)! The last person I was thinking of was going to be methadone client who comes into where I work. Advantage it would be very good story, disadvantage it would be scary and with some of them I think it would be very unsafe and I am not sure how willing they would be.

Last the cause that is close to me..... well anyone who knows me will know that i have done this kind of photography before. In the past two years I have shot a number of events for the Oaktree Foundation which was an organization that I used to volunteer for and last year I took photos for Transplant Australia at the Transplant games held in Canberra. I love this kind of work because you get to know and watch the most inspiring people and the passion that they collectively share is amazing. For me this will follow maybe a few campaigns that the cause is implementing and then even a in depth look at the behind the scenes of the cause, I will also try and photograph some of the opposing efforts if there be any? As to what cause I am choosing that will all depend on what inspires me, I want to photograph something that is not well known.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Amy

    This is a great reflection and you have some solid goals to work for. I think your planned approach with your brief is great - I look forward to seeing some images. I will scan and send you some readings on photojournalism to look at as part of your research. Cheers. Silvia