Task 5: The Empowered Portrait

Through the first four workshops you have explored the power relationship between photographer and subject, starting with yourself before looking at someone close to you and a stranger. You should now apply your skills garnered through these and the technical workshops to assist either a stranger or someone you already know* to make their own portrait. 
You should not take charge of the photographic conversation but should empower the ‘subject’ in being able to make their own pre-visualization and chosen representation, a reality. 

*You should not work with someone who has previous photographic experience

For this weeks task I had to photograph someone who had no experience of working with a camera and had to be taught how to take a portrait of themselves. I decided to photograph my friend Demi as when he had come over before he had asked me to teach him how to use my camera but I never really got round to it, so thought this would be a perfect time! I went round to his house with my tripod, cameras, light meter and shutter release ready to try and teach him how to work a with an DSLR camera. Demi was really keen to learn so he helped me set up the tripod and the camera on it then I went on to teach him about how to use a light meter etc. He decided he wanted to sit on his bed for his portrait so he got behind the camera to see where he should place it and at what hight (using me as a subject in the frame to see where he should sit). He used the shutter release cable to make his images on the dlsr, he got really into it and started to take loads of images of himself doing different poses etc! Demi then decided he was a great photographer after learning how to use the camera and wanted to go and photograph his friends around the house.

DemiWeb Fred&LamarlWeb

I also had brought my film SLR to his house incase he wanted to try and take images on film and see the reaction he had to not being able to see the images after, I helped him set it all up again but this time we had to put in on self timer as it didn’t have a cable entrance. Demi also then asked Fred and Lamarl to come get in the images with them.


I really enjoyed teaching Demi how to use the camera as it turned out to be quite a laugh when everyone got involved and wanting to have a go. They were all very keen to see the developed images that they took of themselves with the film camera.


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