Guest speaker- Bronia Stewart.

This week we just had another guest speaker Bronia Stewart. 

She started of doing a 6 month course that was primarily practical based. Then went on to assist for 2 years. She said how you have to mainly work free at this stage or with people who aren’t that great, but it all makes great experience. At this point she would be working full time whilst studying part-time.

Her first work that got exhibited was Babe Station, at this point she talked about access. Throughout all her projects access to the subject can be hard. And with this one it was that it was a very taboo subject. She started it online asking for participants and a couple of times got dangerous to her. Have to think about your location and ethnic considerations as well.

Because of the type of people she is photographing she knows not all can be emailed images or look online. She always gives them prints to have of the work she has done of them. She fully explains what she is wanting to do. Clarity and openness is how she goes about her relationships to the people she works with. She had to also be empathetic with her subject matter, as close as she would get to the people she worked with she had a project to complete. But you also can’t be judgemental about who you work with, they have their own reasons as to why they are in these situations or like they are and have to respect that.

she also spoke about the way in which she shoots. She very rarely does digital that is for her commercial work. She uses film and a basic flash. Bronia spoke about how she doesn’t have time for intricate lighting systems.she likes the exposed raw style of her images, she is capturing more often than not raw subjects why try and cover them up with pretty lighting and Photoshop.  What you see is what you get.

With her Pepe work she would be looking at gang members, and had quite a surprising outcome given how much they relish the violence and during her time there was shooting between gangs. She captured how much family is everything to them, they are completely family orientated.

Essex she had the problem she didn’t put a timeline on it really. She liked Essex so much she kept going back for almost a year. She also couldn’t get into the big clubs she wanted to as didn’t fit the criteria but she liked the link it set up to Babe Station. How women are influenced by media and expectations. How they have been shaping themselves in relation to the media.

She then went on to talk about commercial work, and how a lot of photographers don’t put their name to it. As they can receive a lot of backlash about how it doesn’t relate to their own practice. But needs must commercial pays for the projects. It doesn’t flow with their work that is already out there. And how it helps her to put deadlines on work. As even own projects need a deadline or will never be happy with the outcome of the work.

I think having her talk to us was really good. She has worked with a wide variety of people and works in many formats.  She is almost an opposite to our last guest speaker Sophie Abbott but I think that made it better as well. We are getting a well rounded variety of work to talk about and take from.


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