FMP proposal

Christy Cook


With my final major project I intend to base it all around my little brother Joe and for him to be the main subject within my images. I want to develop and further my relationship with him, creatively, and I aim to show an audience, that I am not currently involved with, to be able to understand and relate to the relationship and the images. I my images to look like any other family album images, images at home, on holiday, at school, ect. I intend to make the images as domesticated as I can therefore trying to further my point about sharing personal, private and intimate moments. I want to make my images as personal as I can and hopefully the exhibition outcome will lead to an audience be able to understand and appreciate my work.

My symposium DVD was on the subject of family photography and I wanted to stick within this theme for my final major project because I have always enjoyed photographing my brother Joe and wanted to re-establish the photographic connection I have with him. I have looked into a lot of practitioners that work within the subject of family photography; artists such as Sally Mann, Steve Pyke, Nicolas Nixon and Richard Billingham. Their work has influenced me a lot and given me further knowledge about family photography, for example, what they shoot, how they shoot and why they shoot. I have recently been interested in why photographers shoot such personal, private and intimate moments and share them to a big audience. I have found it highly difficult to answer this question in relation to why I shoot my family so by furthering my research and photographing more of my family I hope to be able to answer my own questions and theories. As my family are well aware that I constantly have a camera with me I don’t find it too difficult to shoot around them. My only concern is being able to catch my brother Joe at different moments and in different circumstances, for example, I hope to be able to portray different emotions and feelings without him pushing me and the camera away.

I have been looking back at work that I have previously shot of my brother Joe and I intend to develop on from these images. I take photographs of Joe all the time so I know whether certain images work or not, therefore I am able to improve and re-shoot. I intend to continually shoot a new film at all possible times whilst with him and hopefully build up a large archive of images to pick from when it comes to choosing the final images. Currently I am searching for further practitioners that work within the subject of family photography and I hope to gain more of an interest and wider knowledge towards it, which hopefully means being able to understand my questions and theories more. So far I have been working with 35mm colour film and have started looking into ways in which I would like my images to be printed, for example, on what type of paper/printer. This will be an ongoing investigation until I find the right paper and printing methods for my images; I have currently looked into c-type prints and giclee prints but aim to find further methods of printing and paper. I intend to have all final images chosen and printed a month before the exhibition is due to start, this means that if I dislike the way I have had my images printed, if there are any mistakes or if I decide to change my final images I will have enough time to go back and change any problems and re-order prints, hopefully nothing like this will happen. My intended way of exhibiting my images is by pinning my photographs straight to the wall, this means I don’t have to worry about framing or mounting and then putting the images on the wall space, I will just need to find the right style of pin that I want. However I will take a small amount of time looking into different styles of frames and mount boards just in case I come across something that I might like.

The audience for my final major project would be quite varied because I believe family photography can relate to a lot of people. Even though the project is personal to me I think that other people could easily relate to my family photography because it can bring nostalgia and memories back to people therefore potentially being able to understand my project. I have previously read stories about practitioners that work with children and seem to get a lot of controversy, Sally Mann and Loretta Lux for example, but I hope to think that the audience will realise that my images are personal to me and a way in which I can express my relationship with my brother Joe rather than I am exploiting him and purposely causing controversy. I do feel that I will have to choose my final images carefully in order not to offend the audience or cause trouble but at the same time I will not let it affect my theme or work. I aim for my images to be able to tell a different story to different people, giving my work contrasting meanings.

I have thought about the presentation of my final major project and I think that printed images straight onto the wall would work best; I am still looking into different ways of digital printing. I have decided this would work well with my images, rather than the use of any technical equipment such as projectors, computers, ect because the previous work I have done with my brother Joe worked really well printed therefore I would like to stick with this style. I would also like my exhibition to be interactive and have briefly thought about having a table in front of my images with something on, such as old photographs of Joe or children’s toy camera but this is just a small idea for now that needs more thought.


  • I already have a large amount of disposable cameras £0 (unless I choose to shoot in a different format)
  • Developing the film £3 per camera
  • Scanning negatives £0
  • Printing final images £N/A (currently looking at about £3/4 per image)
  • Framing/putting up work £N/A (currently looking at about £3+ for a pack of pins)


Billingham,Richard; 1996; Ray’s a laugh; Zurich; Scalo.

Epstein, Mitch; 2006; Work; Germany; Steidl.

Fehily, Catherine, Flether, Jane & Newton, Kate; 2000; I spy representations of childhood; London; I.B Tauris & Co Ltd.

Gowin, Emmet; 1990; Photographs; Canada; Little, brown & Co Ltd.

Hirsch, Julia; 1981; Family photographs: content, meaning and effect; USA; Oxford University press.

Kuhn, Annette; 1995; Family Secrets: Acts of memory and imagination; London; Verso.

Leibovitz, Annie; 2008; At work; Great Britain; Random House.

Mann, Sally; 1992; Immediate family; UK; Phaidon.

Nixon, Nicholas; 1999; The Brown Sisters; Italy; The museum of modern art, New York.

Peretz, Henri; 2005;Family: photographers photograph their families; London; Phaidon.

Richardson, Nan; 2005; Conversations with contemporary photographers; Italy; Umbrage editions.

Spence, Joe & Holland, Patricia; 1991; Family snaps: The meaning of domestic photography; Great Britain; Virago press.

Sullivan, Constance & Weiley, Susan; 1991; Family pictures: Photographs by Nicholas Nixon; Italy; The Smithsonian Institution press.

Williams, Val; 1994; Who’s looking at the family?; London; Barbican Art Gallery.; 1997; Emmet Gowin by Sally Gall;; November 2011.

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