Caroline Molloy feedback session

Today I had a skype feedback session with my mentor, below are my notes and responses;

Why and what do I like about photographers work????- to answer and acknowledge this question, it may be possible to further understand why I am photographing Joe and what point am I trying to make!!!

What to I want my images to represent and what’s the reason for doing them?!?! –  what are my intentions for photographing him/what do I want my images to represent!!!!

I put together slide-shows of Sally Mann’s and Nicholas Nixon’s work and made lists of reasons as to why I like the images. Here are my notes;

Sally Mann – Immediate Family

  • I like the intimacy between the photographer and the children/ the intimacy between the children and other people in the images
  • I like the vulnerability that the children express, but seeing as the photographer is their mother it sparks questions as to why they look this way
  • I like the controversy that comes with these images because I feel like it gives them a deeper because of the way people have different interpretations of the images.
  • It is easier to interpret and relate to the images when you know the background behind them (the photographer is their mother, photographing everyday life and everyday happenings, documenting the growing up of her children)
  • I like the depth that the images have, the closeness of the photographer to the subject suggests a close and loving relationship which then makes the viewer feel more comfortable.
  • I find the images really emotive
  • I like the way the children have a ‘I don’t care’ attitude – they are aware of the camera and I don’t believe they are self-exploiting themselves (neither to I believe Sally Mann is exploiting her children)
  • They are completely unaware of the extent and effect of the images which makes the children and the images seem innocent
  • The major thing I like about this series of images is that they are relate-able – (I find that family related images are relate-able to most people anyway) but I find these images can provoke a lot of memories and nostalgia
  • I like that there is always a strong focal point in the images – normally always one of the children
  • I like how the images are relaxed and casual they are easy to look at and don’t seem forced or too posed
  • I always find this series of work really intriguing once I see one image I want to see more which I love. The images make me want to;
  1. find out/see more of the family and understand who the family is
  2. be part of the family/be there with the family
  3. understand how they children felt/feel
  4. understand the photographers intentions
  • I like the fact that the development and growth of the children is obvious
  • I noticed, after looking through the images a few times, that the children rarely smile in the images. They have blank expressions a lot of the time and yet this doesn’t make me feel that the children were sad, for the children the images are of them going about their everyday life and enjoying the life that they had so there wasn’t much need to express an over enjoyment especially when they are doing things they do every day.

Nicholas Nixon’s family photographs

  • I find the simplicity in this series of work really fascinating because even though the images are clean and simple they are full of such small details, for example – stitches, slobbering, cuts/bruises, birthmarks, moles, etc
  • I like the closeness and intimacy with the photographer and the subject, which makes the viewer feel comfortable and like they are interacting with the family.
  • I find it nice to be able to see the obvious relationships that the subjects in the images have and the casual attitude they have
  • The children seem to be aware of the camera but do not act up to it which I like about the images because the fact that they are so unaware about the photographer proves that these images are photographs of everyday situations and moments
  • Again i find these images are relate-able to almost any one because of the way in which the relationships are so intimate and obvious for people to see, which then leads on to provoke memories and nostalgia from parenthood, childhood, being part of a family, etc.

Books Caroline suggested for me to look at by Gillian Rose;

  • ‘Doing family photography’
  • ‘Visual methodologies’ – chapter about audiences

Vernacular photography

Caroline bought up this word which I had not heard of before but it really interested me as I have not yet found a style of photography that I class my work as. I looked into the word and here is a little definition;

“Vernacular photography or amateur photography refers to the creation of photographs by amateur or unknown photographers who take everyday life and common things as subjects. Though the more commonly known definition of the word “vernacular” is a quality of being “indigenous” or “native,” the use of the word in relation to art and architecture refers more to the meaning of the following subdefinition (of vernacular architecture) from The Oxford English Dictionary: “concerned with ordinary domestic and functional buildings rather than the essentially monumental.” Examples of vernacular photographs include travel and vacation photos, family snapshots, photos of friends, class portraits, identification photographs, and photo-booth images. Vernacular photographs are types of accidental art, in that they often are unintentionally artistic.

Closely related to vernacular photography is found photography, which in one sense refers to the recovery of a lost, unclaimed, or discarded vernacular photograph or snapshot. Found photos are often found at flea markets, thrift and secondhand stores, yard sales, estate and tag sales, in dumpsters and trash cans, between the pages of books, or on streets and sidewalks.The use of vernacular photography in the arts is almost as old as photography itself. Vernacular photography has become far more commonplace in recent years as an art technique and is now a widely accepted genre of art photography.Vernacular photographs also have become popular with art collectors and with collectors of found photographs.”

Caroline has helped me think more about my project and critiqued me well, I will be seeing her next week to go over more of the things we spoke about.

I will follow with another post in reference to my own project and how I can further it and understand it more for myself.

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