Second year photography student Annie Birdseye tells us a little bit about her ideas and thoughts from her final project of first year.
I am currently in my second year studying photography at Nottingham Trent University. After graduating, I am hopefully planning on going travelling as I am hugely interested in getting into documentary and travel photography. I want to look at the world and show people what they may not see otherwise. I want to photograph people and cultures throughout the world and bring awareness to areas in need. Although this is what I would like to do once I have graduated, at the moment I love trying new things and medias. I love the briefs we get set throughout the terms as they allow you to experiment and photograph new and exciting things. I enjoy the fact we are able to photograph what we like and there are no boundaries.
This project was for our third term in which we were able to create our own brief. The first thing I decided was that I wanted and needed to do something with portraiture due to the fact I hadn’t done much of this previously. I was never a big fan of portraiture as I didn’t find it interesting or exciting but after this brief I have changed my mind. In addition to this, before this shoot, I hadn’t done much studio work so I was a bit apprehensive although I’m really happy with how the photos turned out. I then struggled with what to do as I didn’t want to just do standard portraiture in the studio; I wanted to do something different. I wanted to look at the ideas of concealing identity as well as revealing identity and I tried many different medias to try and convey this concept and play around with it. I experimented with taking portraits and painting on top of them, using polaroid’s and smudging the ink and also stitching on prints and polaroid’s. I was really pleased with the images I had stitched upon because you could just about make out the face although it was still heavily hidden although I didn’t feel this would work well for final prints/images. Then I came up with the idea of using paint within the actual shoot. I bought a clear Perspex sheet and painted on top of it, I wanted to show texture and colour in this shoot and I think this idea really helped to portray that. When I did the first shoot I had asked my models just to come in a black or white top and although this looked good I feel it wasn’t as effective as it could be. I then decided to ask my model if she would be willing to be nude whilst taking the photographs. I was really happy that I did this as I think it completely changed the aesthetics of the work. I feel it really helped to enhance the idea and it looked a lot more effective. Through these images I wanted to covey the idea of identity and obscuring identity and I feel these images work successfully in order to portray this. This brief helped me to build my confidence within the studio and the theme of portraiture which is something I now enjoy doing.
By Annie Birdseye
BA Hons Photography