Looking back at when I first started the #PicBod module I now look at certain image making completely different. Remembering Phillip Gefter quote of about if the portrait is in fact a self portrait of the photographer or of the subject and Anthony Luvera’s work with the homeless where he assisted his subjects with their images. I based my final piece on my subject taking their own images but with my assistance, help and input…would you classify that as my work or their work? Now at the end of picbod I think I would classify it as mainly mine because if I wasn’t there to assist them in making these images they would never have been made in the first place. I do still also believe that they are partially the sitters images as well of course since they were the ones technically setting of the shutter butter/self timer.
When I first started thinking of ideas for the exhibition I really wanted to create images to do with the body, the body close up so close you couldn’t tell what part you were seeing. I wanted to photograph many parts and create a huge contact sheet of all the images I had taken. After the 5th Task of the empowered portrait and realising I really was pleased with my images and many other people enjoyed them too I decided to carry on with assisting people with making their own images of themselves but this time with more than one person in the frame.
I really enjoyed creating my Assisted Group Portraits as I found out a lot about myself as a photographer doing this project. I found out that I really enjoy teaching people how to use the camera and teaching them how important it is to set up a shoot. I also found it fascinating how most of the people I photographed, although I had already told them that it was on film they always after the first shot taken came to the back of the camera to try and look at what the first one looked like. I think it was the right thing to use film for this project because it taught the subject to not be self conscience of what they looked like in the image as they could not see it and be like ‘oh please delete that, I look horrible’ they had to come to terms with they would only be seeing the final image after a few days of it been taken. They also had to relax and have fun since they knew they wouldn’t be seeing the images, I think this really helped them come loose and enjoy the process.
Photographing people in their ‘tribe’ I found made everyone feel more comfortable with taking 24 photographs of themselves as it was a 24 roll of 35mm film I used for each group. I really liked watching each group interact with each other and with the camera. The way they all messed around in front of the camera and acted completely different to how I usually saw them was quite fascinating to watch. I found this to be one of the main parts of my work, seeing the interactions of each member with each other and the camera through each of the little photographs.
I knew straight away I wanted to create a set of an equal number of images, images within the main photograph and the actual main photograph. I decided on having 16 small photographs within one and then 6 main photographs. I chose to frame them in plain glass frames with black boarders around it as I wanted them to look simple as there was already a lot to look at within the main photograph. As well creating equal numbers of images I wanted each image to have a sequence in them, I allowed the groups to move the tripod left, right, up and down slightly but never to completely move it out of it original starting place. I wanted there to be a similarity in each photograph so that at first glance all the small images looked the same, only when you really look a proper look at them you can see the full beauty of them and the people in them.
Creating the digital artefact was really fun as I got to exhibit them online to the people who would not be able to make it to the exhibition at Fargo and also guide people on how to make their own Assisted Group Portraits as I enjoyed doing it so much I thought others could as well! I am also really pleased with my physical artefact as the framing and printed images came out exactly how I visualised them in my head.
My final images and physic artefact…