LIVE PROJECT: Haylo Theatre

I met Hayley and Louise in the corridors of campus. I took interest with them as they were carrying a clothes rack that I was curious about. We got talking and as they were telling me about their new show I offered to photograph it so they could have some promotional materials for it. They seemed happy with the idea and we had arranged to have me come in to their dress run and photograph that so it won’t disturb the viewing of the show.

I was a bit nervous as I had never “officially” photographed a performance. I had photographed music shows as a member of the audience in the past, however never as close as I was there, standing with them on stage.

I wasn’t too sure how the lighting conditions will be so I had prepared myself and set my camera on auto ISO so I could have full control on the other variables.

The experience itself was very positive. Hayley and Louise were absolutely lovely and made me feel like a part of their team, consulting me on issues and inviting me to take part. I feel that as they had made me as comfortable as they had, as well as how engaging they were while they were performing, made the images very good, much better than I expected.

I had played around with different compositions to the images, tried different angles, from closer and further away, and got a good idea on how to proceed in situations that I am not used to.

I feel that out of anything from this experience I got good contacts for the future, and I would love to work with Haylo Theatre again.

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My photos on the Haylo Theatre website:

 

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Haylo Theatre: Sisters, Seagulls and Send offs; A REVIEW

Last night I had the pleasure to watch the show Sisters, Seagulls and Send offs by Haylo Theatre at Storyhouse in Chester.

The show portrays the process of dealing with grief of two sisters who recently lost their dad. The show, written and performed by Hayley and Louise took you through stories of the sisters’ dad, the happy moments with him, and the moments after his death.

It takes you through a whirlwind of emotions, from funny moments that have you laughing non stop, to the sad moments that bring you to tears. This showed, in my eyes, the process of grief. Grief doesn’t end a few hours, days, or even years after the effect. As the show stated many times, grief is a wave.

Life goes on, as it should, however it is in those happy moments that you remember something is missing, and it brings you back to the harsh reality that they are gone.

The show is a heartfelt, moving, and incredibly raw human story, a story that most, if not all people have gone through. This show gave it an uplifting twist, a performance that shows you the happy of the day after, alongside with the sad.

Sisters, Seagulls and Send offs is a show that must be seen to experience, and I highly recommend it.

More information about Haylo Theatre and any upcoming events can be found on their WEBSITE and FACEBOOK

 

A day of meetings

Today I met up with several people regarding potential projects.

The first meeting was with Emma from Black Mango, an event’s management company in Chester. I was introduced to this company by my friend Fiona who had her placement with them last year.

Black Mango are organising an art’s fair in Chester in November and they needed a few people to photograph the event. The meeting today was pretty successful, Emma went over the event’s schedule, floor plan and what is expected from us for the event.

The second meeting was with the cafe Beatons who I contacted a few weeks ago. We explained to Elaine, the manager of the cafe, our two projects: the first one was with the international office, who wanted us to photograph students having afternoon tea as the brief of the project was to show Chester as a “true British experience”.

The second project was one that Fiona and I wanted to produce as a more publicity project for Beatons, creating some photos of the cafe for them: the staff, the food, and possibly use them for a banner or a poster for the place.

Elaine seemed very enthusiastic about our ideas and was happy to help out. We agreed that we will start work on these projects the week after development week.

Steve McQueen-Ashes; a review

On the 24th of October I had visited the Whitworth gallery in Manchester.
One of the exhibitions held that day was Ashes by Steve McQueen.

The installation projected two videos onto two sides of a screen, one side showed a video was shot by him in 2003, the young Ashes is standing on a boat. The sound used in the video is a combination of the speech and ambient sound from the other side video, with soft noises of waves at sea.

The other video was shot in 2015, after McQueen returned to the island to find out Ashes had been murdered by drug dealers. The second video shows the making of Ashe’s tomb.

I felt the way that the video was presented added a lot to the atmosphere of the piece. It added context to it and made me feel connected to the story.

When I first came in I only saw the one side and I didn’t really understand what it was that I was watching and didn’t have much of a connection to the story. I later went to the other side and watched the video showing Ashes when he was young. When I returned to the first video they had just finished making the tombstone where it said Ashes was only 25 years old when he passed. At that moment it all clicked and I had understood the impact of that story, as I felt like I now knew who Ashes was.

The way that the video was broadcasted, on the two sided screen, to me symbolised the balance of life and death. The physical move that you had to make while watching the film represented to me the moment when life stops, and the actual cross over to death.

The fact that the one making the tomb knew Ashes, and was speaking about him, showed the people who were left behind.

When exiting the room there were posters free to take with a photo of ashes and the text which quoted the words of Ashes’ friend which were played throughout the film. This to me was an invitation to take a part of Ashes’ life and story with is, it was an act of memory.

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Overall I felt that this was a very powerful and moving piece of work. It left me with many thoughts and contemplations, and one I am happy I got to experience.

Ashes is exhibited in the Whitworth gallery from 22nd of September 2017 until March of 2018.

Read more on this exhibition and others at the Whitworth Art Gallery onilne.

Starting to work

It’s 3 weeks in and so far I have contacted many people and organisations. I’ve messaged 3 animal shelters around the area but with no luck.

In the meantime I have been introduced to two new project that I would like to take part in:
The first project was introduced to me by Fiona, it’s with the company that she had a work placement with last year and they would like us to photograph an event in town. We have a work meeting with them next week regarding the subject.

The second project in a way came to me, I received an email from the university’s international centre offering me a project to create some promotional photographs of Chester to be used in a start of year presentation for the office. I was very excited for this opportunity as if all goes well, this could lead to more projects I could create for the international office’s promotion team in the future.

I had a meeting with the people behind this project, Ela who’s the one giving the presentation, i.e the client, and Alex, she is a volunteer in the office and the president of the international society, who I will be collaborating on this project with.

The idea for the shoot is showing how “British” Chester is and basically promoting it as a “true British experience”. Photo ideas that were suggested in the meeting were the likes of photographing students having afternoon tea, a photo of a red phone booth, photographing the architecture of the the city etc.

In the meantime, I had a response from the cafe I emailed a few weeks ago for a project I wanted to create with Fiona, they have responded saying that they would be happy to have us do a project with the cafe, this links now perfectly to the project I am creating for the international office as we did say we needed a place to have afternoon tea in to photograph.

The next few weeks will probably consists of meetings with the relevant people for each project in preparation for the shoots.

The beginning of the end

Third year of university has began. This is the year where we’re expected to start finding our own paths. The assignments are much more broad, a lot more freedom is given to us to find our own way into the world, as people and as practitioners.

One of our modules this year focuses on finding projects and clients to work with, trying to make our mark and create connections, a task that sounds daunting yet exhilarating at the same time.

As a photographer, my aim is to become a fashion photographer and work in the fashion and editorial industry. Whilst this is my goal I do want to try and branch out and take this year as a chance to explore different areas that I feel I did have a chance to in the past two.

So what’s my plan?
I’m hoping to take part in at least one project this year if not more. So far projects I had thought would be of some interest to me were working in promoting, shadowing and assisting a photographer, and work with fashion designers on their photography.

For promoting my good friend Fiona and I have considered contacting a cafe in town we both like and collaborating on a promoting project for them. Fiona and I have collaborated in the past in our second year on an exhibition project and I would love to have the opportunity to work with her again. I was also considering contacting an animal shelter and photograph the animals that are up for adoption.

I have already turned to a professional photographer I know and asked if he has any projects lined up that I could assist him with and we agreed to reconvene when a project comes up.

Lastly I would contact the fashion department in the university and offer my services as a photographer to the fashion design students. At the end of last year I had photographed their final year runway show and enjoyed the experience and felt that it added a lot of value to my growing portfolio. I would like to get the chance to do so again this year.

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This year it is also very important for me to increase my online presence. I already have a professional Facebook page to which I upload my photographs, however after speaking to several people who are closer to the fashion scene it has been recommended to me that an Instagram page is the way to go.

I opened up a new account and would make sure to maintain it during the following year and onwards as an online portfolio of my work.

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My plan of action for the next few weeks is to contact as many people as I can in order to be able to start work as soon as possible.