Like Yesterday is a collaboration between myself and my sister. It has been an ongoing project that only came to life when I started seeing the change in my now not so little sister. Unknown to us both this project really kicked off in the early stages of my first year. And was only in final year this project gained both body and speed. Through this we have worked it into a transformation that so many young women go through and I have been lucky enough to photograph this beautiful young girl grow into this now young women.
I want to write about this as the backlash it received blew me away…
I have been watching and reading the Harry Potter’s for as long as I can remember, Emma Watson was always an inspiration. I mean who wouldn’t want to look and like her!! So 2001 6year old me goes to see what at the time is the most magical thing I have ever seen excuse the pun.
And what amazes me is 16 years later we are in denial that Hermione Granger grew up. We are in a day in age where all we do is make kids grow quicker, put the toys down and pick up the IPhone. I am apparently part of the minority who found this Vanity Fair cover tasteful and artistic, not revealing and shame worthy. She is 26 now not 10! And the criticism she received on this was enormous. The belief of gone is little Miss Granger and she calls herself a feminist… Yes she outgrew her school uniform. She is one of few celebrities trying to make a change. Feeling comfortable and empowered by her body does not lose her these titles, it embodies them.
“It just always reveals to me how many misconceptions and what a misunderstanding there is about what feminism is, Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality. I really don’t know what my t—s have to do with it.”
I could not agree more with what she has said, her views on equal pay have nothing to do with her breasts that are not even on show. How does it differ from the male celebrities we see shirtless all the time. Or the Kardashians and their constant no clothes plastic surgery look. Emma Watson is a perfect example of elegance and poise, and she showed this in a classy beautiful artistic way. With the smallest cleavage reveal since pre-Kardashian sex tape!
I for one respect her, she has grown and many of us grew with her and can appreciate that fact. Our generation should be more sad that the current generation will know her as Belle NOT Hermione!!
After my recent tutorial my project has been thrown out. And now am left confused as to what my project is really about now. My tutor after seeing my work for many months and knowing what it is about decided he did not like what the work was about anymore.
The idea of who she was, who she wants to be and who she really is now isn’t the basis for the work. But rather now I am to play with the ideas of too many photos of Jess like capturing her in every way. Or break it down into images she both likes and hates and then ones I like and hate. Which to me is going to get repetitive as we have very similar taste in the images.
So going to my second tutorial with my other tutor I spoke about the problems I was having. And had narrowed down my Images with approximately 5 images from shoots I have done so far. This brought my images down to 64.. Not the ideal amount. And then to be told to get rid of half of them again.
To me I feel like I am wasting my images, which I know isn’t the case as even I would not want to look at a 400 page edit. That would be mad, I just realise I have to be critical and get rid of images that won’t help me in anyway. Just because I like the image does not mean it will fit into the sequence.
I looked at this photographer as his work isn’t that well known but he has created some interesting portraits all in a very abstract way. They are quite surreal and have the look of work done by Salvador Dali in his paintings and photographs. He has distorted the body so it looks fake and like a mannequin.
I wanted to look at this photographer to see how people distort the body and represent it in many different ways. Although I haven’t done any work to match this I found it interesting to look into. He has clever use of color in comparison the the black and white which makes his images so much more bold and interesting to look at.
It has a retro sort of feel to it, with the pin-up girl style to the female models. Like the image of all the heads, it creates the idea that all women are the same. And detachable but it relates to the work that women are a kept commodity. He makes the women look plastic and false.
Now coming up to my last shoot for this project and Uni I feel totally mixed. On one hand I feel I could easily shoot for another couple of years and continue with the Uni life not ready for it to be over and responsibilities to start. But on the other hand it has been great being able to pull all my work together and show how much she has changed. And finally get uni over with as much fun as it has been. I feel ready to see it go now.
And in a way I have. I feel like You see this timid little girl at the start of my work when I was a scared fresher myself just learning to live on my own without my mum! And as the work progresses can see how Jess grows and how my work has also changed with it.
No longer are we the people from first year. Which is leaving me nostalgic and sad to see both this project and both the people we have been go with it. It has been a tough project and shooting with Jess over the last few years. From one problem to another we have slowly always managed to get the work done. Though this year I like how much more confident she has become and that has allowed us to push the boat out on what we can do. Also that we have collaborated a lot more so this project is as much hers and mine.
But now a handful of weeks from the end, it really is hitting home that my degree is pretty much at an end. Making me dread this final upcoming shoot with Jess. Although one last studio session with her now she is so confident and daring with so many of her own ideas seems like a great way to end it. Will be sad to never get her into a studio again where she thrives so naturally now.
After this point, then the last hard part is up to me. To narrow down all the photos I have been collecting. And show Jessica’s almost full circle during my time at Uni now as this young beautiful women she has turned into.
After my last shoot I wasn’t sure where to go with this one. So that is when me and my sister decided to collaborate on this one. I have needed more work belonging to the section about her ideal self and this shoot was dedicated to that idea about idealism.
This shoot was designed by Jess she picked colour and posed how she wanted to. We wanted to work on something that was about body image but very different to what we see in the everyday and past sections of this project. The contrast that comes through in my work now has shown me the development that I have been waiting for.
These images that are not yet post produced have began to give me an insight into the flow of the work. It is helping me to plan where my next shoot is going and how I want to present my work for my Final exhibition.
In the two images I have included the first looks at a more voyeuristic approach to the work. The female body in an over sexualised way which in modern social media is not uncommon now.
And the second image is one that has been seen before but we recreated finally after many mistimed attempts!! This image is almost symbolic for how she can be feeling in the last few years I have photographed her. It aligns with the idea of confusion and speed everything seems to move at that period of a persons life, Which is why I used the image.
Looking towards the middle section of my work I am wanting to show my sister as her ideal self. Incorporating what she wants to look like with ideas from what we see everyday. This section of my project is very influenced by her, she can be in control of the studio based practice.
We have been focusing a lot on body image and how she thinks she should look from lighting to poses we have considered many angles. I have been setting Jess tasks for the upcoming studio session to create mood boards and pick her own theme for the shoot. I want her to have the control over how she wants to look.
If she has control over the shoot then it really is about how she wants to look. It will shape to her body ideals, and how she wants to be seen and presented. Although this is a photo of Jess this isn’t her identity it is of her not about her.
She can put herself into whatever identity she wishes to have and it doesn’t matter she creates her own narrative of the idealistic self she chooses to portray. In this situation she can be vain and all about her body image. It’s her desires for herself she chooses to share with the audience which adds to my idea of every changing stages of her life.
I have been looking at Jess outside of the studio as another way of incorporating the real her into my work. As my studio work was turning into an idealistic form of who she wants to be, not who she is. So I have categorised my work down to who she was, and she wants to be and who she really is. This development has helped my work a lot as now I can see a clearer structure to the work.
So this work I did in her home and my own. I wanted to capture her as she is in the comfort of her own environment. And now that she is in her first flat with her partner it gave me an opportunity to show the change she is going through. Now with her own sense of Independence and the maturity of her living situation coming through in my photographs.
I handed the camera over to her a couple of times to see what she would take, and she liked to focus on little things around her flat. But through that she caught time and death as a symbol. The idea her life at this stage is ever changing as one chapter ends another begins instantly, time is of little consequence to her everything is moving at a thousand miles an hour.
When I compare her now to how she has been the similarities are getting fewer. Although she is the same person she looks more grown up and confident than ever.
Last week we had another guest speaker on Skype.We had an Ex-course student Sophie Abbott who now works as a retoucher for Boohoo talk to us about her career. She talked to us about interview skills and to imagine being the interviewer, put ourselves in their shoes. How would we want someone to stand out and then do it yourself.
Always try in an interview to have both a digital and paper copy of an images you want to look prepared and also helps in case of any coffee spill mishaps! It also helps as usually she says that there can be two interviewers so helps that they can both have a copy to view, instead of an awkward wait while one finishes looking. And always keep it relevant which led to her CV… She says how she got told like we did to make this creative looking one that is all bright and out there. But in the real world she says it did not get looked at. She changed hers to a standard one and started actually getting responses back and taken more seriously.
She said we need to be confident in what we do know and learn what we don’t. Always save in RAW files and Jpeg if you can, no one wants sending a massive RAW file or can even open it. Save work ideally as TIFFs and try send them as that as well. Jpegs are ok but the Tiff is what is the preferred format to send work in as or save as.
Some of the last advice was to always try stay interested in your work and make use of the studios we have. Keep a story to your work don’t leave it without a narrative. Now that Sophie is out in the industry all she does is retouching and now wishes she had access to the studio as much as we do now. That we will never have the same resources freely available to us as we do now. And to constantly keep on top of social media as that is where it is at now. We must keep linked in with the work we want to take part in ad what interests us so we always know what is happening.
I found her talk very interesting. She has been in our shoes as a student worried what the next step will be. She sat where we did wondering where we go from the brick wall we often hit with our work. And that to me helped here was someone who has really been there and done that.