My initial thoughts for this assignment were leaning towards Photographing the unseen then to using props then backwards again and again. I finally settled on the idea of using props but some of my thoughts are below. I think I have maybe settled on using props with a little bit of trying to photograph the unseen as well!?!
I started off by thinking about what things could be un-photographable subjects to me, these could include things like:
- Emotions – love, fear, hate, pain, suffering, empathy, sympathy.
- Mental Health
- Panic Attacks
- Religious Belief or Faith
- Dementia/Cancer – my Dad
- Externalising the internal
- Thoughts or the ‘thought-process’
- Mental vision
- How it feels to be an introvert
- Social Anxiety Disorder
Some of the ideas I had for how these might be portrayed using photographs included:
- A day in the life of someone with Social Anxiety Disorder – the struggles getting out of bed, getting out of the house, walking down the street, in crowds, dealing with being at work around people, being in que, panic attacks, being in unfamiliar surroundings, being in a city or build up area, the underground.
- Trying to visualise what its like to be an INFJ introvert and how my brain operates differently to extroverts but also showing the strengths of introverts.
- I had thought about trying to portray a day in the life of my Dad who suffers from Dementia and Cancer but when I tried to play it through in my head, it just overwhelmed me with so many painful feelings, its too close to me I can’t interpret it properly at this point of time but I might return to it at some time in the future.
- Insomnia, how it feels to have insomnia. Made me think how well the film Fight Club had portrayed Insomnia its poetic. I keep looking back at the image by Jeff Wall, Insomnia 1994. Powerful staged imagery.
- Suicide – this was probably the darkest moment for me, thinking this process through and how it could be portrayed in a series of photographs in a sensitive way but brutally honest, cut through the BS.
- Memory – I had thought about trying to recall an emotion of a memory. I was thinking about Konstantin Stanislavski’s emotion memory technique used by actors to draw up the emotion but not the memory. I wasn’t too sure how to really visualise this properly.
I did reach out to my fellow students studying C & N for a bit of guidance and some motivation really and they shared their blogs with me, which was really helpful and spurred me on, so thanks folks if you are reading this!
I was struggling for some reason to realise an idea in my head that I was scared to approach about Suicide and Insomnia but eventually I settled on it and pursued trying to visualise it through photographs.
I did eventually flip my idea to incorporating the idea of a white shirt as a prop as I felt I could better visualise this throughout my storytelling about a struggling man, weighed down by debt and suffering from insomnia who eventually, sadly, takes his own life.
I wanted to show the suicide but almost suggest it through the use of the frame, rather than showing the whole thing within the frame, some how show it but not show all of it.You know exactly what’s taking place, I think your imagination fills in the blanks. I decided to not use any captions or titles for the images because I feel they speak for themselves. I had played around with the idea of titles but I felt they distracted the viewer rather than aiding in the narrative. I was playing around with the idea of photographing it all first person, through the eyes of the character I had created but I prefer the feel I went with in the end and for me it gives an almost film type snapshot.