Self: Project Evaluation

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.

Laura Williams

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.

Kyle Thompson

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.

Abby Malone

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.


Final Outcomes

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.


Self: Shoot 6 Plan & Outcomes

In order to meet my project proposal, and therefore my brief, I will be producing an outcome that portrays a variety of my successful experiments. In order to do this successfully, I will be using the technique of multiple flash exposure, replicating myself and any alternative props or models in one image multiple times.


My biggest inspiration remains to be Brendon Burton, with his concept of a photographic diary, however my most successful experimental shoots have been those incorporating flour, mirrors and dogs. The photographers who have inspired me for each of these shoots are Kyle Thompson, Laura Williams and Abby Malone.

My camera of choice for this shoot will be my Nikon D7100, accompanied by my 18-55mm lens. A tripod will be used to stabilise the camera, maintaining a level and still background when creating the outcomes. Further props include flour and a mirror, as well as an alternate model (dog). Editing software, including Photoshop, will be required during the post production process.

I will be shooting in a studio environment on a black background, using soft boxes as my light source. In order to maintain control over my lighting as required in multiple flash exposure photography, the lights will be flashed manually.

For this shoot I will require assistants, including one of my peers who can manually flash the lights and press the shutter release on my camera, and the owner of my secondary model (dog) to avoid incorporating him into parts of the shoot that he is not required for, as well as catering to his needs (water, short breaks/walks etc.).



This shoot was my second attempt at multiple flash exposure, and a first using multiple props and models. This proved difficult, as in the dark it was difficult to predict the composition of the final outcome.


My concept of combining these techniques was to be an effective representation of my concept, portraying themes from social media that suggested confusion and disarray, as well as the comfort of an animal. However, the execution of these photographs was poor, as none of my concepts were clearly represented.


I went on to use Photoshop in the post-production process to crop my outcomes, since my backdrop had not been adequately sized for the space consuming shoot, as well as creating a stronger contrast in an attempt to draw out the details within the photographs.


Due to the darkness in the studio, each outcome varied completely, with little structure to their composure. However, one commonality of all of my three outcomes was that the dog is not definable, and has little impact on my outcomes. However, the mirror frame proved to be a strong aspect to my images, and is clear and sharp in each photograph.


My outcomes were typically more powerful in colour, however the tonal differences in the black and white outcome which I produced in Photoshop allows my models to blend into their areas of the photograph, creating a more harmonious piece. Due to this, the above outcome is my most successful outcome from this shoot.


I would not consider this to be a successful shoot, as my technique of multiple flash exposure photography was not well executed to clearly portray my experiments. However, the messy outcomes have a strong relevance to my confused concept of mental health, which allows the pieces to play towards my theme when appropriately conceived.