Initial artist Research – Look Book Workshop

Untitled design (2)
Jackie Nickerson  Peter Granser Daragh Soden  Benjamin Cooper Cian Oba-Smith

This mood board, a collection of perhaps more aesthetically pleasing photographs than a set that work together to compliment, I love for specifically that reason. They are beautiful photographs, not just compositionally, but the colours and sense of place is explored so thoughtfully, in a way that puts the subject, whether it be person or place, at the forefront of the images. I used a combination of landscape work and portraits, feeling though, as I knew I would, more connected to the portraits and story behind them. This though, is something I am willing to explore, why within my analysis and thought processing do I fixate on the person and then find it perhaps more cathartic and honest to shoot surroundings and still life? I think when putting this project into practise I need to push myself away from doing what is ‘safe’ in my eyes, and developing this idea of more of an attachment to people.

When doing the research for this mood board I specifically went out in order to find images that fit with the pastel, pale, and ‘gentle’ look, as I feel like the explorations that I’ve done in the past have always been succesful in this way. What is ‘funny’ though, is this attraction to a soft colour palette and then the type of photography that I could be producing for this project. With my two ideas, iI either take the approach to ‘home’, in which case I can allow myself further exploration into these tones, or I go with the idea of documenting the lives of my brothers friends, in which case, knitty gritty dark photos, with true blacks and minimal standout colour come to mind, although, could break the idea of these stereotypes by shooting the type of ‘gang culture’ photography, with a gentle palette – could be interesting?

Also though, I know how dangerous it is to be so connected to one specific outcome within the initial days of a project, as this can put you in a corner and leave you trying so hard to adhere to the ideas at the beginning that you end up with outcomes that you’re never going to be happy with. For this reason I think I should definitely keep branching out and looking at perhaps photographers that fit into a wider brief.

Within the lookbook workshop with Jason on Photoshop, it was definitely interesting to see how the different photography aspects could fit into the various categories, especially with my pull towards exploring colour and the necessity of using a black and white mask. I found this frustrating as the clear approach I was taking was focussing on colour and really had to zone myself out to be able to contemplate how to look for other things within the work.

Artists explored in this look book varied from artists pulled out of the documentary Powerpoint and my own that I knew I liked. These ranged from of course, the great William Eggleston, to Jackie Nickerson, John Spinks, Spencer Murphy (especially relatable), as well as Ewen Spencer (again, someone to look further into), and Tyler Mitchell (to name a few).

Again, I felt like I was attracted to these different artists as inspiration for both the ideas I have, Jackie Nickerson, Eggleston and Spinks relating to the ideas and connotations surrounding ‘home’ and the others contributing towards the ‘youth culture’ idea. Seeing some of the images in black and white made me appreciate them more, as the light, tone and composition was enabled to stand out to a point that gives a deeper understanding to the photographs. This gives way to a deeper level of analysis, as you can really strip the photograph back to its basic elements without being distracted by colour aspects.

William Eggleston

John Spinks

Jackie Nickerson

Spencer Murphy

Ewen Spencer 

Tyler Mitchell


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