Today is the morning of the deadline and therefore the end of this project so I think the perfect time to evaluate the progression and development of my FMP.
The project started with a strong personal element that focused on creating a diary out of my visual interpretation of nostalgia and memories but soon I learnt to look at things more objectively to create stronger more engaging work. I think developing my theme to look at symbols of nostalgia such as yearbooks and photo albums will allow the viewer to relate and engage with my work more deeply.
I started with my first shoot, my family and home based shoot which challenged and explored perceptions of family memory. I did not entirely remove the personal element from my work as the concept and presentation for this shoot was heavily inspired by personal experience with the family snapshot. My family has heaps of photo albums with family photos stacked in them that conjure the warmest memories and carry that musty old smell. I set out to recreate this atmosphere but with a twist and a fashion context. I shot a series of successful images which subverted the warmth and comfort of family and home imagery by having a cold and mechanical mood created by the models deadpan expressions and stillness . My intention was to create a visual metaphor for nostalgia, an experience that is essentially fake as it causes you to recall memories as better and warmer than they were. By having these models fake that family atmosphere I alluded to the fakeness of nostalgia. This shoot really built my confidence and conviction in my theme, I just wish I had explored the work of Tina Barney and Deana Lawson before hand to get more visual inspiration and strength. However, I think its nice that it has a style and aesthetic as it shows how I have progressed into my own photographer. I think displaying the images in the context of a family photo album really expresses my theme and brings the concept to life. I think when set up at exhibition accompanied by my yearbook, wall display and photo booths the shoot will be even more powerful as it will build a narrative of my development and concept.
My ext shoot was the yearbook shoot, a concept I have wanted to execute and explore for some time. Aesthetically these images are completely different from my first shoot, but they don’t clash as they each tell an individual story to me, they each explore a different aspect of nostalgia. The images from this shoot are some of my most successful to date as they show good creative direction, expressive models and professional lighting. I think the lighting is the most important aspect here, it shows my development as a photographer as I can now use the studio effectively and correctly. I think this showcases how my professional practice in the previous year has enriched my learning and ability. I am very thankful I decided to partake in the experience. My only critique of this shoot was timing , it was a big production with lots of models and props so there was a lot of planning. I had to postpone it once which I think set back the development and schedule of my FMP. It has shown me that timing and planning is something I need to consider seriously and account for if I want to succeed in the professional industry. Presenting this shoot in a yearbook is based in the same intention for the photo album, I want to create symbols of nostalgia . I believe having them in the familiar book format will invite viewers at exhibition to engage with the pieces and relate to them, to hopefully invoke a personal nostalgia in them.
Finally, towards the end of my FMP I engaged with a project that was more conceptual and focused more on direction. I took to creating and collecting a series of photo booth strips based on the question ‘how do you want to be remembered?’ this is to round off the more fashion elements of the project with something more personal and conceptual. I enjoyed this portion of the project a lot as it allowed me to remove myself from the role of photographer and also become the subject. It gave me different view point and approach as I wasn’t shooting the images but curating that narrative and directing the concept. My one wish it that I had more time to produce more strips and explore this theme with greater depth as I think it could build into something really spectacular. The examination of human behaviour and how we perceive ourselves/ want to be perceived has a lot of potential and is something I may pursue further post graduation. I think putting the strips in the context of the rest of my pieces really ties everything together as it showcases three strong symbols of nostalgia. The photo strip, the school photo and the family photo are almost universal experiences and shared memories so I think it will successfully invoke nostalgia in the audience.
In conclusion, I think the development of this project has not been linear or easy but it has definitely opened me up to some new ideas and developed my ability as a photographer. Most importantly, I think this project has opened me up conceptually, prior to my FMP I didn’t consider myself a conceptual artist or thinker. But the research and exploration I have had to undertake for this project has made me analyse things with more depth. On to the degree show now!
Below is a slightly revised statement of intent to match my progression.
Put a revised statement of intent here, how the project developed, a change in direction, what you have learnt, what you are happy with, what you wish you’d done more with etc