Keith Lovegrove- Pageant: The beauty contest.

This work looks at the behind the scenes at all varieties of pageants, he has collected work from all around to create this book. It is almost his the good, the bad and the ugly. He shows us the world we hear so much about but don’t really see as much as we think we do. From the tears to the backstage horrors.

He shows us the world of vanity and backwards morals an opinions. But leads it into the alternative pageants, the best lady boy or drag queen!

So focusing on the whole book and looking at every one’s different definitions of idealistic beauty, he shows how everyone’s ideals are different from others. He wanted a well rounded view on this world of glam and glitz in all it’s forms.

We live in a world that is based on who looks best, and pageants are an extension of that. He has captured this idea of beauty in it’s most exaggerated form and how women strive to be Miss Universe for example. But why is it we only ever pay attention to the big end pageants, why do all the others get so ignored. And he shows all sides of it he doesn’t want any of them going unnoticed.

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Michal Chelbin- Strangely Familiar.

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.

 

Doug Doubois- My last days as seventeen.

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.

Research into Erwin Blumenfeld.

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.

Research into Rineke Dijkstra.

I like this work because she has allowed her subject to be in their environment. In most of the images anyway. She looks at the raw person in the comfort of themselves. From one girl at the beach to a new mother holding her newborn baby. Can clearly tell there is no discomfort in her photographs from her models. She picks a subject matter and works with the subject not against it which is clear by her images she produces.

Even work that isn’t often seen she has gone  in and showed the other side. For example with the soldier this isn’t what you would expect, but she used her own experience and knowledge to influence her work. and show the real person behind the uniform.

I have liked her work because she shows you can do a portrait without a studio and fancy set ups. That there is no need to make a model pose in a certain way, to just let them be as natural as they wish to be. Which is how I have tried to capture my model outside of the studio. I want to capture the most normal side of her that isn’t influenced by how she thinks she should be in a photograph but how she wants to be.

Research into Trish Morrissey.

This photographer looks at family album style photographs. They are from a bygone era the days of family albums seem to be behind us. I like how Morrissey has recreated this now retro style.

I find her work inspirational as it looks how a family album should look, holidays to the beach the accidental hand in front of the lens. It is all typical of what you would find in the album from when you were like 5!

She is almost representing the time gone past I look at her images and although strangers I get the feeling of nostalgia. We really are losing out as great as instant sharing of images is. We have lost the materialistic side, we don’t make family photo albums anymore.  But even in a digital social media based world she has gone in using film and carried on making the type of photographs a lot of us will miss.

So from her work with some of my own photographs I have tried to make them photo album related. As I feel like parts of my work need this family snapshot style to them, the not perfect but clearly from a family album feel to them. As there really is not enough family albums anymore!