Artist Statement

In reference to the brief ‘Sense of Place’, home for me is my sense of place. When I am at home I feel a sense of belonging and my family and friends are a huge part of that. They make me feel at home regardless of the geographical location and i always feel at my most comfortable and completely myself when I am around them at home. After much research and inspiration from other photographer such as Sally Mann and Susan Sontag I decided to photography my family and our home, using portrait photography to capture my family and wide/shallow depths of field to capture images of my home with my family in it.

Due to my project photos being taken over the Christmas holidays when I was back at home from uni, I was able to reflect the festivities which bring my family together. Traditions such as decorating the house with lots of lights, family meals/parties and going for walks around the Christmas markets to see the Christmas lights are important to my family as we like to spend time together and enjoy the season. I used inspiration from Susan Sontag about capturing memories through photos to get quite a variety of photos for my final portfolio. Pictures ranging from food displays at our family party to pictures of my brother playing on his xbox. I feel each one captured my sense of home and frames me in a certain moment in time with my family.

I captured different lighting, experimenting with the natural light from the kitchen to the artificial lighting coming from the fairy lights. I particularly like the picture of my mum  in the kitchen as it just sums up my feeling of home. I took that photo pretty much as soon as I arrived home, it was one of the first things I saw when I came through the door, my mum cooking our family meal and I feel the picture really captures the image of my mum that I see  through my eyes and the love and care that she puts into looking after us. I also like the picture of my sister lying on her arm, I like how the lights from her mirror reflects off her face and the natural lighting from the window which creates shadows due to the angel I saw shooting from. I think both the pictures of my brother sum up his personality and his love of video gaming. I like the position that he is led in, intensely concentrating on the screen while the lights reflects back onto his face. I also like how this works with the second image of him slumped on the bed after falling asleep playing xbox.

Through the use of Camera practise and artist research, I was able to create a portfolio of different and interesting images that overall I am very happy with as I think they perfectly reflect my sense of place and belonging within my family home.

Art school (camera practice)

Using the Camera

In our second camera session we looked at developing our camera techniques further. We were set a brief in which we had to represent ‘Art school’ using visual rules to create these representations. We were given half an hour to come up with 10 photos focusing on this brief, practicing our skills such as aperture and shutter speed.


We focussed a-lot on the equipment and the art rooms, capturing a before and after effect with some photos being taken of the art work still being created and then some shots of the finished art works and the dried paint and dirty equipment to show the after effect of the art work.

We were also set another breif in which we had to capture pictures of an ‘art student’. For this we worked in the same groups, taking portrait pictures of each other representing an ‘art student’. This was a slightly harder breif as we had to represent the breif using equipment and oursleves instead of just taking different photos of art work and equipment like in the first breif. However we managed to get some good images of us representing art students whilst also practising portrait photography.


Artist research- Mark Power

Magnum photos ran an exhibition in March 2018 called the home project where a selection of photographers, photographed their home/idea of home. Magnum quoted ‘”Home” is not only defined as a space for physical living. It holds various other associations that are emotional, biological, cultural and societal’. They allowed the photographers to openly interpret this idea surrounding home and explore what this meant to them personally. Mark Powers was one of those photographers and he photographed his family home in Brighton. I connected with Mark’s work on home a lot as he exlpored this idea of leaving home as his daughter was packing up and getting ready to move to uni. Having recently moved to uni myself I could really connect with the different feelings and emotions that the pictures expressed having experienced those very same emotions when I packed ip and left for uni. The project sees Mark photograph portraits of himself, his wife and his children as well as aspects of their home and the place they live. You can see the final selection of images chosen by Power through the link below:


I plan to use Mark’s techniques to create my own story behind the pictures of my family and my homecoming over christmas.

Photography practice shots

In todays photography session we looked at aperture and shutter speed. We had to figure out the correct exposure to fit with the correct aperture/ shutter speed we were using. To practise this we used autumn leaves and captured the motion of them falling after throwing them in the air. We had to create a fast shutter speed in order for the camera to freeze the motion of the leaves falling from the air. You can see the way the leaves are more out of focusses and blurred due to the movement of Jess throwing them.


We also looked at depth of field and Capturing the leaves in a shallow depth of field and a wide depth of field. You can see in the picture of the leaves that the brown, crispy leaves are pretty equal in terms of focus, where as the green leaves focus in on different parts of the leaf showing more in depth texture. I plan on using shallow depth of field in some of my final photos to really focus in on the subject and smaller details of my home.


In the pictures of Jess below I used a wider depth of field but still kept the focus on her which I like as it reveal slightly more in the frame but brings a slight mystery to the picture as we can’t see Jess’s face.




My Home

In reference to the brief ‘Sense of Place’ i looked at my home and how for most of us this is one of the first senses of place we experience. I initially looked at corners of my own house and bedroom, experimenting with different lighting and exposure. I particularly love the dining/living room in the evenings as there is soft/low lighting in these rooms due to the fairy lights. The living room makes me feel very at home as it is where we spend most of our family time, either watching tv or playing games.


Each room in the house has special memories in it. My dad used to live in our house when he was a little boy so its got lots of different memories for him. The dinning room in particular has memories of my late Grandmother as we kept the original carpet that she picked out when she lived there. We also have photos on the walls of all us kids but also grandparents and my parents wedding photos, all which add substance and make our house a home.



Family portraits

After inspiration from Sally Mann, I decided to practise taking my own Portrait pictures of my family. These photos are Portrait pictures I have taken of my Sisters. I tried to capture natural photos of them going about their business in and around our home and in Bristol. My family are a very important part of my sense of place as home would be a very different place without them. I have grown up making memories with my siblings which is why I want to capture them in my project. I particularly like the picture of my sister with her face mask on as she is very natural looking and caught in the moment.


I also like the below photos, meeting a new family member. I feel it represents those feelings of love and protection towards family members, and you can see that expressed through my sisters facial expressions in the photos.


I also love spending time with my friends from home as they are also part of my sense of place in Bristol. My experience of home and my love for it wouldn’t be the same without my friends and family who I have made the memories with.



For the last 19 years my home has been Bristol. It’s where I was born, raised and where I have always lived. Bristol is very special to me and it is where I feel my most sense of place. The city is full of memories that I have made growing up there and is a place where I developed part of my identity. When I am away at Uni I really miss my home city and whenever I go back from being at uni I always feel most at home. In my project I plan to incorporate Bristol into my project by photographing my family when we are out and about in the city. Bristol often has a lot of activities going on around Christmas time so there will be lots of opportunities for me to take photos when we are out doing things in Bristol.




Artist research- Sally Mann

Sally Mann is an American photographer best known for her controversial photographs of her children. Mann captures portraits of her children in a photo series called ‘Immediate Family’. In the pictures her children can be seen in quite unusual circumstances for young children, some naked or smoking or with a bloody nose. Sally uses these black and white photos to reflect the childhood of her 3 children through photos taken in Virginia which is where the children and Sally grew up. In Sallys eyes she was photographing portraits of her children however critics claimed that her photos were ‘child pornography’ and reflected her as an irresponsible mother but photographing her children allowed Sally to be at home with her children and allowed them to be involved in her work.

Image result for sally mann photographySally_Mann_Family_Pictures_03.jpgSally_Mann_Family_Pictures_10.jpg         Sally_Mann_Family_Pictures_09.jpg

Copyright © Sally Mann. All Rights Reserved.

I really like these images and the way they are presented. I find each image to be though provoking and a real reflection of the sense of place she feels within her family and as a mother. I Like the way she incorporates the sense of home into her pictures, photographing  in rural part of Virginia which is also where her childhood was reinforcing that sense of home in the series. I plan to use similar ideas in my final portfolio, picturing portraits of my family members going about their natural day and capturing them in and amongst our home.

Reading- Susan Sontag

In response to the reading In Plato’s Cave by Susan Sontag I took a lot of inspiration for my own project. Susan talks about photography being like a memoir and giving us a sense of nostalgia. I like the idea of photography being like a memory and a way to freeze a moment in time. We use photos often to capture moments in the past which we want to remember, ‘It is a nostalgic time right now, and photographs actively promote nostalgia’ (Sontag 1977:15). I plan to use this in my project to carefully think  about what I am photographing and why. Susan also goes on to say, ‘To take a picture is to have an interest in things as they are, in the status quo remaining unchanged (at least for as long as it takes to get a “good” picture), to be in complicity with whatever makes a subject interesting, worth photographing’ (Sontag, 1977: 12). This made me think about why I want to photography my family and why they are worth photographing. My family reflect my sense of place and I want to portray that in my work, not just take ordinary pictures of my family but really capture the meaning behind my sense of place and how my family fit into that.



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Sense of Place

In response to the brief, I have been thinking about the idea of sense of place and what this means to me. For me sense of place is like a sense of belonging. Where I feel the most at home and the most comfortable being me. Family is one of the most important things in my life and I don’t believe I would feel so at home in Bristol or in our house without them being there. This is why for my project I want to photograph my family in our home in Bristol. To do this I plan on taking a camera home over the Christmas break and photographing my family while I am home from uni. To prepare for this, I will be researching photographers who photograph their family and looking at different way in which I can really capture the essence of my family and our home.

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