“Instagram can’t replace therapy, but it can shrink knowledge gaps about mental and emotional health”
Something that has stood out to me throughout the last couple years is the new way me and my friends have approached self care. We often discuss staying off social media or at least re following accounts to change our feed to a more positive algorithm. Self help books are becoming more common and trying to learn from and understand the experiences we have been through. Therapy and counselling / a similar way of thinking is becoming more easily accessible which i think is really important as it is an uncomfortable journey which people do not want to take the steps for. Therapy is a very personal journey to each individual but opening up conversations around these topics can expand people’s mindsets. Mental health became a lot worse during the pandemic for a lot of reasons but when distractions were taken away from people and they had to face themselves and their troubles it became extremely challenging and put things into perspective for many. By having this unique pause we learnt to prioritise ourselves and our mental health so i hope to create content through this way of thinking.
The Art director Josefina Sierra Guzman inspired my shoot of object photography with the use of storytelling and colour. I asked my house mates to collate objects they felt represented journeys they had been through in their lives. Once we could see them all laid out it was interesting to see the narratives form whether it was through medication , photographs, jewellery etc. but they all represented memories and acceptance of various emotions. Some of the objects started taking colour form on their own which felt representative of their styles and identities so by using a bold colour pallette and back drop i wanted to showcase separate identities and stories.
The first image on the yellow background stood out to me as representing the journey of afro hair. We often have conversations covering the topic of hair and through living with alana i witnessed her process and commitment to nurturing her hair as part of her life style as an african women. Growing up we find it hard to accept many things about our physical appearance especially when it doesn’t fit the ideal beauty standard but it will be interesting to find out more about this relationship and journey.
The second image i felt was the strongest in identity as the pink colour palette revealed itself through the objects. However it was a contrast to the story of grief i was seeing in front of me. I had feedback in a tutorial that it positively challenged the viewer to see grief in another light and it reminded me further how we share so many journeys but it can be expressed so differently to one another. Jess also mentioned she felt unusually exposed when seeing her objects laid out in front of her, i was grateful she chose such personal items as it was as authentic as it could be. I was on parts of this journey with jess but what interests me now is how her perspective on life has changed and her relationship with herself and her mind.
Finally , The third journey was a long and scary process which lead fran to find out she had an autoimmune disease. She spent a lot of time in the hospital which caused a lot of anxiety and pain. I witnessed Fran overcome so many obstacles throughout this period of time such as graduating uni and rebuilding herself back into society but we are often communicating about working on ourselves,triggers and boundaries to become better versions of ourselves which is something i would like to explore more.
I am trying find a visual theme in my project to give me inspiration but im finding it really hard envision photoshoots in these situation. I personally have a very neutral toned style throughout my life however colour is something i really enjoy working with. i started looking through old travel photos i had taken to start off my inspiration I often gravitate towards bold colour palettes when taking pictures for my personal use and found many i had captures, i then realised through out both my placements there was a strong theme of colour theory and colour blocking. Although known for their strong neutral tones and suits MaxMara also they also used colour blocking through out there showrooms which i worked in and in there stores. Imogen heath also worked with a lot of colour in her interior design and i spent a lot of time colour coordinating social media and researching pallettles and designers. I collated all the images i took for research to start think about how i want my body of work to look.
Attempting to balance all three modules at this point of the course and the pandemic has been really challenging. I first thought as there was no distractions this would mean i could fill my time with work but i quickly realised to not give myself breaks and time time to pause would be detrimental. However, i am now struggling more than ever with motivation and creativity/ concepts. I find my inspiration through conversations and experiences and although contact has become harder i have also found my confidence to put myself out there has as a visual promoter has become more difficult. I have started to think about how i will incorporate my housemates further into my project and utilise conversations we have to create a body of work.
This film is a conversation around mental health and the pandemic, it shows the journey each item goes on to be handmade along with a personal journey of growth.
This is a short promotional film displaying a journey of how an item is made whilst also representing a story of kindness and connection during the pandemic.
This is the first version i edited and is slightly longer but should not have lost quality once the link is followed to Vimeo.
Over all, i think being able to cut down the information and footage was the biggest challenge for me because often i think information is taken in better in smaller clips so i thought it was important to show a version that could be used similarly to an advert, however , i enjoyed making the slightly longer ones and feel this is more suited to my project as it not rushed and the viewer can be more mindful when thinking about the film and taking in the information.
Whilst thinking about my fmp i have had a few different ideas as to how i want to approach it. One being a collation of short videos to make a series surrounding mental health, this could be lots of voices ideas and conversations layered over some visuals .I am concerned that my work revolves a lot around meeting people so i may figure out a way of only using audio.I will research into healing and plants as the visual element of the film which can be used as a metaphor for growth and journey. Another idea is to speak to specific individuals and tell a more detailed journey giving my interviewees an identity which i think is a good way to connect with an audience if you can see yourself in someone you are watching. I initially wanted to use creatives to showcase a creative journey alongside the conversation like how i have been experimenting with in this project but i will see depending on who i can speak too and how comfortable everyone feels. Finally i would like to take portraits of the people i speak to which represent hope and happiness. I also want to show the comparison of people looking happy whilst talking about something serious to represent the hidden journeys people go on and often can not tell through the versions of themselves people represent. I want to show identity so the interviewees are not defined purely by their mental health which is how people can feel when suffering but this is something which i find uncomfortable to discuss often therefore i know others might. I felt inspired by Susan Meiselas ’20 dirhams or one photo’ through giving the models choice and control over their decisions so will find a way to bring this forward with me to fmp. My aim will be to create a hopeful and relatable body of work.
When i started my project i felt as if my audience would be around 18-23 women who use instagram as a tool to buy fashion, they were still conscious consumers and wanted to help small businesses as i wanted my work to be based around sustainability and the product. I feel this is still partly true but i think now my audience will be those who are trying to move away from a world based around social media and are doing what they can do be more mindful of their mental health and making conscious decisions to stay off apps which could make this worse. Gen Z are an audience who are consumed by technology but they are also much more aware of social issues and although i feel my work will be important to reach those of different ages as their are mental health problems at all ages, it often it is important to try and change the the information on these social media channels to make it a healthier place to be. I will consider this as i go through the process and learn from who i am speaking too whilst narrowing now my target market.
Whilst doing the interview process It was interesting to have these conversations and they immediately became moments I knew would work with the footage. It can sometimes be an uncomfortable topic even with friends and as it’s not something often do, I tried to make Alana feel as comfortable as possible on camera so we could speak as openly as we usually would. Whilst editing the clips down I was finding it challenging to specify what were the most important parts of the journey we spoke about and managed to get the footage down to 3 minuets, but ideally I want to try and make some shorter versions which could be explored more as advertising. By having the contrasing journeys I hope to have evoked different emotions and feelings of something a lot of people can relate too.
As it is my first time filming anything I was apprehensive if it would be something I could do well. I like capturing journeys through photography and I enjoy promotional films for brands that often have deeper meaning to them as I think it’s beneficial for the brands and the consumers. I used a DSLR camera and I took as much footage as I could to show the process of this item being made. I was unsure whether to use a camera or my phone as i was using a tripod which was for both. Being able to zoom and capture smaller details in higher quality made me decide to use the DSLR.The lighting worked out a lot better than I had originally thought it would , it is quite dark in my living room and the space is very small so there were obstacles to get around but these shots became more about the materials and fabrics which I enjoyed picking up on the details of this.I also wanted to show personality and happiness in the footage as I want this to be an uplifting film.Through my research I have learnt that marketing on this side of covid is more about focusing on new ways of representing brands and designers through going back to the roots and finding out a way of showcasing what is important, as this mindset has changed for a lot of people. One particular mindset is how important mental health is and I am interested in exploring the taboo in a creative way.
After filming I wanted to practice piecing together the footage and creating a journey through with an inspiring and uplifting feel to it. The first challenge for me was filtering through all the footage and choosing what shots worked best alongside one another, I am using Imovie which is surprisingly easier than I thought it would be but got much easier once I had practised and learnt the basics. I think this took away from being able to reflect on the details and mood of the process as I was learning a lot but next time I hope I can be more particular about things as I will understand more from the start.
Alana is a young black female designer who deserves the platform to be creative and explore her passion for design, I chose a song which lyrically represented and visually reflected the emotion and tone of the music at each stage. This was something I found interesting as the footage changed a lot the more I worked on the timing of the sound which I will take through to next part of this project with the conversation. The next step will be to film a conversation which I want to be about who the designer is but also the journey of mental health she’s been on as this brand was born in the pandemic I think we can discuss how this helped her.Whilst watching the footage with the song layered over, I knew I wanted the the film to be about a positive journey which allowed me to ask questions in the interview and piece together what I thought would give the best message.