For this project I was required to produce a series of four outcomes with relation to the theme of ‘Self’. My concept was to portray aspects of my social media, as inspired by Brendon Burton’s photographic diary, which held relevance to my thoughts, feelings or parts of my personality. This created a strong tie to myself, since the shoot directly correlated with my online presence.
I decided to tie this link with my positive recreational use of social media, incorporating the frequent stream of dog based images shared on my feed. This was particularly interesting to me as one of my aspirations within my career in photography is to become a pet portrait photographer, so whilst this shoot tied well to my previous concepts explored in the project, it also tied in an aspect I would like to have in my future.
Throughout the project I explored a variety of techniques, including use of moving and still props and alternate models, such as dogs, of which I had not photographed before. These proved to be successful experiments, with strong outcomes being achieved across my selection of techniques.
My most powerful experiment was that using flour, in which instance I was able to carefully capture the frozen motion of my subject, showing the substance both in a mist effect as well as depicted as the powder that it is. These effects were later strengthened using Photoshop, enhancing their sharpness and brightness.
Using my test shoots, I experimented using the studio as well as natural environments to portray unique effects. While the studio offered stronger control over my lighting, using soft-boxes and synced flash, my outdoor experiments resulted in equally strong outcomes.
However, I later opted into capturing my final series in studio based environment. This was because it was important that I reduce the variables in my scenario, as my control over my subject was significantly lessened. Having soft-boxes synced to my camera allowed me to capture sharp images quickly, as required when the dog modelling for me was posed correctly.
I feel that my final series is strong as a whole, portraying a varied selection of poses, costumes and lighting that allows the collection to stand together without appearing monotonous or dull. This is reinforced by the incorporation of a greyscale image, which evidences the tonal differences in each image in a way that may not be so closely conceived when displayed in colour.
Alternate Experiments of Final Outcomes
If I were to re-shoot, I would like to incorporate trick shots, such as rolling or begging, in order to replace one of my lying images. Furthermore, I would incorporate more of my previously used techniques, such as the flour or mirrors, to create additional impact and relevance to my previous work.
In conclusion, I consider this series to be a success as I have created four well executed pet portraits, which relates to my personal aspirations to become a pet portrait photographer, but also with the link to my initial themes of social media whereby I created links to dogs and animal themed images, which I frequently share during my time spent using social media websites. My outcomes also show clear relation to my inspiration of Abby Malone, and her studio based pet portrait business, and also has an underlying link to Brendon Burton, where I initially created the link of a diary and social media as a concept to follow within this project.