I wanted the subject of this module to have a big say in how they were represented rather than me talking for them. As I am not a member of the LGBT+ community, I do not feel qualified to speak on the subject. I contacted some people that I knew via facebook, and some in person. Everybody replied to me and as expected, some had conflicting schedules with mine, and some were not willing to be in them, but three were. I originally was going to photograph two of my friends and a member of the University’s LGBT+ society, who I managed to contact through the society’s president on Facebook. I contacted Revolutions about their LGBT+ nights on Thursdays, asking if it would be possible for me to join some people and photograph the evening. They said that I was welcome to do this but it fell through because the people I was going to photograph there could not make it. It became clear that I was not going to be able to base my project around all three people, as I struggled for a few weeks to get two of them into the studio to do a shoot. I had chosen the studio for the first set of images because I feel like it is one of my strengths, and it would get me into the swing of the project. I also thought that some studio portraits of different people would have been a great way to introduce the project.
In the end I decided to base my project around Chloe, as she was reliable and also felt comfortable around a camera. We discussed the topic and I outlined the idea to her, which she was comfortable with so long as I did not publish/ post anything publicly to social media. I felt that the studio photographs of her were very successful in portraying some parts of her personality, as well as being visually successful. Some of the images present her more professional and intelligent side, and the others her warm and silly personality. I think that these photographs were successful in allowing the viewer to see a window into her life, and her bubbly personality. This comes across most in the studio photograph above.
After some discussion, we decided that the aim would be to show her in her day to day life, and that she was a normal person. I followed her to her radio show, on an outing with some friend and photographed her in her home. I felt that following her around her usual routine would allow her to act naturally, and also would make an interesting subject. I would have liked to photograph her with other people another few times, but I think that it was otherwise successful as an idea. I planned to attend a newspaper meeting but that was not possible with our schedules.
Photographing the radio show was not as challenging as some of the other shoots due to the high key lighting and the amount of time that I had to take photographs whilst I was there. I felt that the close up of Chloe’s hands on the mixing desk was the strongest image, because it was compositionally interesting and added a bit of variety to the project.
The photographs from the house and the Christmas market contrasted the serious and formal photographs from the studio shoot and the radio shoot. I feel as though the Christmas market photographs were successful compositionally because there were so many colours and stalls in the background, which gave me a lot to work with. The available light was also helpful, because it was the afternoon which meant a few of the photographs were backlit and the lighting wasn’t harsh.
I struggled more with lighting indoors, especially with the baking photographs. I was hesitant to use flash because I thought that available lighting would be more flattering but everything was underexposed because it was dark indoors and I did not have a tripod. I think that for the most part the flash worked but next time I would probably borrow a tripod just encase. I think that using the flash is not as limiting and I often expect it to be, or quite as hard. I think that they ended up being simple and effective, and the photograph where she cracks an egg was interesting. They were probably not the strongest images in the set, because the content wasn’t as emotive.
The shoot at the Frog and Fiddle was the most challenging shoot for me, and I feel like it was one of the more rewarding ones too. This was because I had never shot a gig before, and there was a lot to consider with lighting and white balance. I also was challenged by the crowds of people, and for a while there were a lot of heads in the shot. I decided to go up the stairs at the back of the room and get wider establishing shots and then try to get closer later on, which worked out well. The lighting in this photograph was interesting because there were so many colours and a professional light show.
I wanted to include this image in the final prints because on its own it is strong, but I felt that it seemed out of place in the context of the series, unless paired with the above establishing shot. I thought it might be excessive to use three photographs from the event in the final printed edit. However, I did think that the tones and lighting in this image were effective. The subject stands out against background and the viewer’s eyes are immediately drawn to him and then to the Frog and Fiddle sign behind him.
If I were to do it again, I would try to photograph Chloe on a night out and putting her make up on beforehand, as well as following her to her overnight coverage of the presidential election in the Newsroom at University. I could not make it to that particular event but I think that it would have been helpful to show her in charge of the news paper.
Overall, I think that the project was successful. If someone were to look at it without reading the title or captions, they would not be able to tell that it was about life as an LGBT+ person, which was part of the intention. I wanted to present Chloe as a normal person, going about her life. Instead I do think the project turned into me celebrating her and her achievements. I feel like her warm and bubbly personality is evident throughout the series. She is also an incredibly hard worker, which I think is also apparent from the photographs that I have taken. I would like to have spent more time photographing her, partially because I enjoyed it and partially because she is so busy, and a really interesting person.
Full document with images:evaluation-of-process-and-final-work