Not long after my first shoot I started my photo books. I wanted to start getting and idea of what my book was going to start to look like. I wanted to be able to see where the holes were in the work. Which meant that I could plan my shoots a lot more effectively knowing what I needed to put in where.
In the end I had about 10 Or so dummy books (Not all in the image above). They had all types of edits in, I had big 50 page edits down to condensed 20 pages. I was trying to find the middle ground for what was going to work. This helped in terms of what photos I could eliminate. I wasn’t sure what photos would work, as an individual image they worked put together in a sequence some would not fit into a sequence.
Because of this it turned into a lot of trial and error. While a group of photos would work in another sequence I would try after another shoot the sequence would fall apart again. So the middle ground of shooting got quiet complicated as I wasn’t sure what to shoot for fear of messing up a sequence.
It was only really in the last two sequnces that it really came together. It felt like it took forever to get to. And I remember being repetdly told that out of nowhere my work would just click into place. And what felt like to last minute for my liking it did end up just falling into place. Which left me with very little and next to no time to then test paper types. But I luckily knew what paper I had in mind. And it did mean that in the end I have finished with a sequence I am happy with!!
Sequencing has been a problem throughout, I originally just throwing my dummy books together. It was only after I did my final few sequences after I had finished shooting I really started thinking about it.
Because of the variety of images I had I thought it was better to have them in threes. I would start with a standard studio one followed by a location one, then finally I would finish with one of my high key idealistic portraits. Though I did use objects or double page portraits as breaks throughout the book. I started off with approximtly 64 photos that I thought counted an narrowing them down!! But I eventually after having to be cruel about my work cut them down to 30 Images in final that I was positive I wanted to use!
For this one I struggled over something I thought was trivial. As daft as it now sounds I didn’t think that the font i picked would make any difference. But really I guess it could make or break a project, picking a font that looks so dull compared to such an intricate personal project. This should have really been as personal a decision as the whole project has been..It had to be something that matches with Jess. I had a vague idea of what I wanted.
So I thought I would test both the title and quote I was using in each font. In the end I picked American Typewriter, It has always been one Jess liked from a previous book she has read. She has always liked the font and even wanted a separate quote tattooed in this font.
This week also saw my last one to one tutorial, after so much trial and error with my work I had a final sequence I was happy with. The start of the week saw my last shoot done and dusted, then a very long evening through to morning in the library.
I had got to a sequence I was happy with and added in that latest shoot, I also had tried to print the work relatively similar to the sizes I want to print in the final print. We talked about adding in extra photos to pages that looked dull with only one image on or adding multiple images like a collage. At this point I was little skeptical to the idea of change this late in the day, but I do have time to add more photos in and see how I find them.
Another point that was brought to my attention was image size and quality. My origional thinking was that all the images had to be same size and placed in such order. Whereas the new idea now is three large prints ranging from A1-A3 stuck in some order but not uniformed. And lastly a small A5 print from first year that is almost hidden. In said image it was Jess’ first time in the studio and that is apparent by her terrified expression, which I think would fit both nicely and humorously.
But overall it was a nice official last tutorial, I left feeling happy about the work I had shown with only small things to consider which did make a even nicer change!! I will not miss the what feels like project re-write every single tutorial. :’)
Over the last couple of weeks I have been looking at various websites to find free paper samples to get an idea of what I want to print my photo book on. Flyer alarm has so far sent me the most useful sample booklet. It has shown me all sports of papers from metallic to textured paper. I have the problem now that there are several paper types that I want to look at with my prints. I also have to think about if the university printing facilities, do they possibly have the same or similar printing paper that could be more cost efficient. As another problem I have had with paper costs is that they can be extortionate. Which is a flaw with this company the samples are great and have so many options to consider, but what will work best for my book.
Because my last shoot didn’t go as well as planned, I have decided to to another I did not want to have to shoot again. But this shoot I have decided I want to use it to add more images to my final photo book.
But this time I wanna change up the way I photograph her ideal side. Instead of the more body focused voyeuristic style to it, I wanna brighten the colours and do a genuinely pretty shoot. I want to make this shoot more fun and will be including props in this one as I haven’t done before in this project. I want to see if I can incorporate a fun side to the ideal, but only use a maximum of three images in the final edit.
I don’t feel anymore would work and am unsure if the last shoot will fit into the narrative I am trying to make. But either way I think if the shoot goes how I want to then I would like to use them as a final print for my work exhibition. I still want to be able to show her in a way that isn’t over sexualised, more beauty shots and vibrant colours.
Looking into travelling performers, this book has it all. From different cultures to different generations. He doesn’t just document one type he wants to show all aspects of their lives. The side we never see.
He uses a simple set up in his photo book, with both black and white images and colour. He doesn’t bleed his images across the whole page, but likes to show as much of them and lets them fill as much as the page with simple titles that tell us who is in the image or where they are.
His work shows the real life side that we never consider. There is no stereotypical images that cloud your judgement, if you didn’t read his description at the start it would take you a while to understand what you were looking at. I find that could be a good tactic there is so much surrounding this that people judge and categorise the people living that life. Which takes away the focus from the work so leaving it minimalist means they look at the raw work not filled with description.
This guy has gone and photographed the youth of an Irish town, he has mixed both portraits and spontaneous encounters and collaborative performances. His photo book is simple and to the point.
He has found a stereotypical council estate style town. That has fallen down and the youth seem to be caught up in this. He mainly looks at the kids- adolescents they seem to mimic a trend that follows on from their parents, with a very 90’s vibe to both the style and location.
He has been selective in what he shows, but not selective in how he shoots. He talks about his spontaneous encounters and to me this makes the work better. He has captured them in the most natural way, he hasn’t forced the encounter or for them to perform for the camera. Even his collaborative work they have chosen how they want to be photographed it is their decision so not a forced performance they are giving him.
As I am still in my testing phase of what images I want to include. I have very few definite images that I am fully dedicated to at this stage. So I have been testing different images and sequences to slowly work down my images.
I started off with a 42 image edit then down to a 20 just to see how it worked. My trouble is at the moment is that i have more images in some sections than in others which is creating a bit of a problem when it comes to balance. And for this book I feel I will need a balance or at least my non-idealistic sections to bare the same weight. With the idealistic section smaller but more complex.
In the next few weeks I am aiming to make more dummy books and narrow my images down to a final 60 then work from there on what will make the final print. I realise this will be difficult decision as there are images that I am attached too but do not fit in the sequence I am wanting to make.
However this exercise of putting my books together gave me an insight to the work coming together. For months I have been worried about joining the dots. And seeing the work in the book format did give me clarity that it really is coming together after all.
In this next shoot we experimented with high key fashion ideas. Taken from a mood board created by my sister in preparation for this shoot. We wanted to look at something more vibrant and different from what we have done so far. This stays with the idealistic theme and adds more variety to the work.
These also not yet edited show the raw image that will soon be altered to match with the ideal version of who Jess wants to be. Which for my research will show the progression of who she wants to be in comparison to who she is in my other work.
All these images will slowly get selected down to create my final photo book and 3 main prints for my exhibition. I want the idealistic images to all be unique and vibrant. Just so you know what is beyond the ordinary and without the same realistic quality as the location style shots. I want to make her stand out in a unique way without any certain narrative to this section, just her in almost an individual identity with each studio shot in a new way that has her in one idealistic way in one way or another.