- Mental health- a self care zine focusing on positivity and empowering messages
- Body positivity (THESE ARE OUR BODIES, taking control of imaging we see on media, being real/raw/honest)
- Have themes of the impact social media has had on young women
- Research into riot grrrl
- A zine based around empowering young women (body image being a large factor in this zine)
Although I have ideas and inspirations for this project, I need to find a solid connection to how I think it will relate back to the sole topic of identity. Who am I? Who are these people I am trying to portray? I have these ideas that I am coming with but I think my biggest obstacle is finding a way to piece these all together to really emphasise what I see as an ‘identity’ and how I am able to portray this through positive connotations.
Although it being my first illustrator experience, I had already felt comfortable and familiar with most tools due to my previous experience I have had with inDesign and photoshop. Using the layers, pen and colour picker tool were my best friends to create this simple yet effective illustration piece. To create this, I used the pen tool to trace around eat colour block of the image in a sequence of geometric lines. I then used the colour picker to select the colour in the area until it filled the shape with the desired colour. I repeated this step throughout the whole portrait until I was left with a quirky, geometric shaped portrait. The technique was fun and easy to use, however was very time consuming therefore I didn’t finish the whole image. I definitely need to experiment more with using illustrator and would like to improve on how to use all the different tools. I think with some more knowledge, I would have been able to create a more unique, interesting, in depth background for this image instead of it being just a solid colour or pattern.
I am extremely happy with how this experimental piece turned out and will definitely try to use this technique again with some more recent, relevant work. I think that the geometric shapes and lines can be seen to correspond with the themes of reality vs fake. It could be used to communicate the topic of social media in an exaggerated way of things being pixelated and distorted to highlight the idea of portraying self image on social media.
What is identity?
Identity is an incredibly broad and complex term that can be defined differently person to person. Despite this, there is a common underlying theme that connects and ties them all together in one- its the idea of being, that idea of being part of something, or being recognised as that thing. Identity is the recognition of what you, or someone else is. For this project we have been given an extremely broad and complex topic to explore, as identity is quite a subjective topic.
There are many characteristics that can distinguish what you perceive as someones identity, to name a few it can be down to their;
- Personality traits
(which can be down to your gender, race, social groups, style/trends, personality etc).
Therefore I need to brainstorm any ideas that I have in order to narrow down this theme and create a zine that is focused. I want my zine to be partially personal, but have aspects that others can relate to and understand.
MINDMAP GOES HERE: TALK ABOUT YOUR IDEAS SO FAR.
After brainstorming and thinking of ideas on where to start, I have solidified my views on what I believe identity is. Something I am definitely passionate about currently is what it means to be a woman, and the importance of encouraging and empowering other females alike.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ME
STYLING BY LAUREN COLLIER
I am extremely happy with the final outcome of this shoot and I think that it was very successful. We decided to use the studio for this shoot so that our model would be comfortable and confident with her surroundings as we did want to portray a strong, dominant, confident woman for this shoot and we really think she pulled through with this- making our concept show through. We decided to go for a strong, contrasting effect as we wanted it to reflect with the intense outfit and concept. Using the studio gave us great control with lighting and allowed us to create the effect we wanted. As I was inexperienced with using the studio, a lot could have gone wrong, therefore I think the practise that I did in my bedroom from previous test shoots really allowed me to be a little more confident with using studio lighting.
We also took a few images using a red gel infront of the image to create a hazy, effect. We decided we wanted to encorporate some red into the images as it is a symbolic colour that represents desire, passion, sex etc hence why we thought it would be aesthetically pleasing to include some colour. When narrowing down our image selection, we thought that the images were not strong enough to be included into the final selection as the red was maybe too empowering. We still wanted to include some redness into our photos, so I have edited it in to form a bold border instead, which I think compliments the images really well.
When it came to editing these images I wanted to go for an intense, strong black and white effect to really focus on the darkness of the goth subculture. I used lightroom and photoshop to touch up the images by increasing the clarity, contrast and blackness on each image- whilst decreasing the highlights to create a smooth effect that wasnt too harsh to look at.
Following on from research, I decided to conduct a shoot based around goth subculture by taking inspiration from fetish wear. For this shoot I wanted to primarily focus on shooting with the boots and experimenting with composition. I decided to use neon lighting strips- inspired by the Marc Jacobs campaign shoot I have previously researched. I thought that this would add an interesting twist on the traditional goth culture shoots that I have seen. Overall, I think that this shoot went okay, however it could have been better if I had the right things to style with as I do not think that her outfit reflects on goth culture or fetish wear. Because of this, I found it hard to focus on the concept that I had in mind which is based on body image and confidence. I do think that some of them do reflect on this theme- such as the portraits. I do think that the outfit ruined the whole theme however it was a valuable shoot to familiarize myself with photography and lighting situations.
Overall, I think that this shoot was successful and I was able to capture some good portraits. However due to space, I was unable to capture full length images well as things were in the way! Despite this I am happy with the images I got from this new romantics test shoot. If there is a next time, it would like to shoot in a studio space where I am able to fully see my concept and vision through.
For this shoot, I used two sources of light- the camera flash and a lamp. This was not enough exposure for my camera to handle therefore some images came out too underexposed than I wanted them to be. Therefore I went over to lightroom and photoshop to retouch some of these images. I have very little experience with both software therefore it was fun to experiment and play around, getting familiar with both software. I used youtube videos for demonstrations of all the different tools available- such as using the stamp and clone tool to remove imperfections, or how to use the curve tool. I thoroughly enjoyed learning how to use photoshop and lightroom and I now feel confident to use these learnt skills for further shoots.
For one of the final shoots, me and Lauren decided to create a shoot around her subculture- Hippies. Following up with a little bit of research myself and looking into the subculture I was then able to be inspired and to come up with some styling ideas. Lauren also taught me a little bit about the subculture too and what direction she wanted to take for the shoot. We decided upon coming for a concept of freedom and naturalism- and taking the idea of escapism that many subcultures encorporate to escape reality.
There were a few locations we could have used, such as the forrest, or on a field with flowers and trees which would create more of a floral atmosphere and have connotations with ‘FLOWER POWER’. However due to weather conditions in the winter, this would have not played out well. The studio was also out of the question as it was fully booked. Therefore I suggested the beach, where it could still hold these concept ideas however create a whole different vibe- the wind, the sea, the sand.
As I was in charge of styling this shoot, I went pinterest and stores to source the perfect outfit for this shoot. I wanted to go for something super natural therefore looked for colours similar to the beach- so whites, blues, nudes etc. As there is an element of freedom and escapism in our concept, I thought flowy tops or trousers would work best. I was inspired by Roberto Cavalli’s SS11 collection where they featured a lot of fringe and flowy pieces. From this, I was set to find something similar for the shoot.
I then found an all white outfit that I thought would be perfect for the shoot. I decided on an all white outfit as I thought it would work extremely well with the location of the shoot. Which it did. We picked the perfect day to shoot as the lighting conditions were spot on for the shoot, creating golden hues. This outfit was also successful as the movement of the fringe against the wind created dynamic images- movement fitting in really well with our shoot as it embodied the idea of freedom. :