After thinking that it was possible to be able to do both ideas at the same time for the first couple of days, just incase either of them fell through, I decided that I want to concentrate on the ‘home’ idea. Although this might not be fully stretching me to go out of my comfort zone etc, getting a group of young lads together where I live (not near to where they can easily get to) and also work around when they could fit it into their time, I realised that the likelihood would be that I’d be looking at only being able to shoot at the weekends, or friday night. This threw a spanner into the works, not only because that would mean waiting until next weekend to shoot, but also if I needed to reshoot and further my experiments, I would have to then wait, but then the project would be over.
The matter of permission and access also came up, considering all the guys are under 18, I would have to get written permission from parents, which would prove tricky if they wanted to see the photos afterwards, especially if I was photographing the guys smoking (both tabacco and weed). I thought I might be able to get around it if I was photographing anonymously, without including faces, just bodies and hands/jewelry, but I felt this moved into the category of portrait photography very quickly, and might be an idea for the portrait project we have down the line, maybe just transferring the idea of looking at different ‘subcultures’ and taking formal portraits instead of documenting their activity. This would also mean I would feel more comfortable asking for parental permission, as I wouldn’t feel like I would be ‘dobbing them in’ if I shared the photos to others. I would also feel better because I would know I wasnt trying to ‘sneak around’ the model release forms.
I do feel slightly disappointed that I can’t fill the brief with that idea, as I did fall in love with it, but I think I can definitely keep it on the back-burner for the future, or even do it in my own time as a personal project.
Here are a couple of initial edits I put together after the initial shots (put together for Instagram story layout).
I used the iPhone app VSCO cam, with a preset filter to bring a more magenta tint to the whites and then a green tint to the blacks. I brought up the shadows and highlights, finding detail in the blacks and emphasizing the whites in the flash. I also applied a ‘fade’ filter oer some of the images, applying a white layer and creating more of a uniform effect. I like the direct eye contact the model takes on with the camera, as if it suggests a feeling of confrontation, “you looking at me?” The straight poses and the way I have framed the image puts emphasise onto the mode, whilst mostly also adhering to the rule of thirds and the compositionally pleasing layouts. Even though they are dark, the depth is conveyed in the way that the background is picked out by the flash, and the white wall compliments the model with the shadows. I purposefully didn’t shoot him flat against the wall, moving him slightly further in front so I could manipulate the use of shadow and depth. Thai was also explored when I changed my viewpoint, putting the wall to the side of the model and allowing for a shadow to fall there, whilst also including the black background to the right, creating a direct contrast between the two.
So now the idea of looking and documenting ‘home’ and ‘lifestyle’ comes through, and so does a whole new set of research and approaches to the project. I think initially documenting life around my home in the form of ‘family snaps’ and an approach of taking photos of the more intimate moments of home life, such as mess, tidying up, and things that really point towards telling someone on the ‘outside’ what really happens within. Possibly then I could ask family members if I could do the same around their houses, or even look at an alternate definition of ‘home’ detailing the more ‘human’ aspect involving people and the idea of ‘my home is wherever you are’.
I think the main hurdle I might come to is trying to make sure that the images don’t just come out as ‘quick’ snaps around the home, even though in reality, that’s the idea of documenting around the house. I think the project will step up and be shown as more of a documentary when I contrive an idea of the finished shots that will be used in the final print. I think, in an addition to this, I want to include some text and some kind of alternate explanation to photos, that, can speak for themselves, but I would like to perhaps enhance these with possibly just a list of smells, feelings, or longer amounts of prose. I feel this could be quite effective if I were to really make sure the final images looked the ‘felt’ the way I wanted them to, conveying and representing the right kind of ‘mood’.
I want a mix of candid shots of family members (although mum did ask to try to hide her face in as much as I could) and my immediate surroundings, and as quite a close family, I think this wont be difficult to get, although the challenge will be getting the shots that detail the truth, or at least, how I want to present the truth.