Ladies Lunch for Children Today

A couple of days ago Delphine Wilson, the head of department for fashion design, got in touch with me and asked me if I could work with her and her students on some projects in the upcoming weeks, one project was a fashion event that raises money for the Children Today charity, the other project is some studio shoots of the first and second year fashion students.

Today was the first event. It was in a room that I had previously shot a fashion show last year, however this time the set up of the room was different as this was meant to be more of a lunch rather than a catwalk show, and so I had to accommodate to the new environment which was slightly challenging due to the fact that in this shoot I had to photograph the models walking down from their side, rather than head on like I was able to in the previous shoot. Luckily, some of the models lingered as they turned away and so I did manage to get some good images from the front.

IMG_9953

I took advantage of the event for quite a bit of networking. I have made contacts with Emma from the Children Today charity and had offered my photography services to her for any other events she might have. We’ve exchanged emails so I could send her the images after the event, and when I had emailed her to let her know I have uploaded the images onto dropbox, I had also reminded her that I am free for photography and directed her to my website to see other work I have done. Emma replied and had asked me if I could remove some of the watermarks from my images in order for her to send my photos to the press (with credit given), which I had send back to her.

Other people I have gotten emails from today include a speaker in the event, a fashion brand that was exhibiting, one of the make up artists in the event, and some of the models. I have shared the images from the event with them and will be keeping the emails for future reference. I had also made contacts with some of the fashion design students for a potential collaboration for my project I am working on for the final degree show.

I have made contact to the fashion brand Chameleon Style who have given me their card after the show. They are a fashion brand who also organises privet fashion events. They seemed happy that I have made contact and have raised the option for me to photograph their new collection that will be arriving soon and have said that they will get in touch again when the collection will arrive.

IMG_9851

Due to the fact I had shared my images with so many different people who don’t know me personally I had decided to watermark my images as well as attach a message in the email sent with the dropbox link letting people know what my social media links are so they can tag me if they will be uploading any.

During the day we also had our department development day. Today’s task was to create a magazine in a day. As I was already going to the show, it was decided that my group will write about it. We had agreed that once the show is over I will edit some photos together and send them over to my group mates back on campus for them to put in the magazine.

As the schedule was a bit tight I had to rush to get photos together for them. They had also changed their mind from our original idea of choosing our favourite print from the show and working with that, and so when I asked which photo they want me to send and of which garment their response was to just send as much as I can. This in turn staggered my working speed as I had to weed through many images instead of just searching for one specific one.

When I had sent the images I was told that the deadline had passed and so non of my images will be used and that they will just use some photos they shot on their phone when they came to see the show. I was quite disappointed that this had happened. I felt there was no communication in our group, I was not informed when the deadline was, I only found out after I had sent images in. I was also not involved in their decisions of what they wanted from the images. I also felt that due to the nature of the assignment and the time that the show had actually began it was not very plausible for me to get images in time for the magazine, as when I was told when the deadline was, it appeared that it was only minutes after the show had ended.

As I was working on this project regardless and for other people, I did not mind not having my images in the magazine, as I know they will be presented in other places.

Overall I had a very good networking experience today and I am hoping that this will lead to other projects in the future.

Next week I will have 2 days of photographing the first and second year fashion design student’s work in the studio.

Advertisements

International Office Project-Chester Day

Today we had the second shoot for the international office project. We had a bigger group of people to photograph today as well as different shots and locations to have during the day.

We started at the Chester Christmas market, we photographed some of the girls interacting with the stalls and the goods on them. This was rather challenging because we had to work quickly and with people walking past the camera or wanting to get to the stall.

_MG_9179

We later moved on to get some fish and chips and photograph the people eating it in front of the Eastgate clock, as well as having fun, taking food from each other and looking like they are friends having a good time, despite the fact that most of them only met for the first time that day.

_MG_9337

We later did some classic prospectus shots of the people looking at the camera and smiling, some of the shots included a University of Chester umbrella to include the branding of the university in the images.

_MG_9242

Today’s shoot was challenging. We had to deal with challenging and ever changing lighting conditions, people walking past when trying to take the images which meant that some shots that could have been very successful, but had to be cut due to the person walking past.

_MG_9327 Some other issues we had related to the models, while we were very grateful to have them all there, it was difficult to switch from the “friendly” vibe we were having in between the shoots to the more serious and professional feel that we were looking for, which made some of the models not as comfortable with the images, which in turn made so they were performing the actions we asked in a more obvious and “to camera” way rather than the natural way we were after.

_MG_9113

Despite these challenges we did manage to get some good images from today which will be transferred to out client Ela by Aleks. Based on how Ela feels about the images we might need to have another shoot after the Christmas break.

 

UPDATE:

After the Christmas break, the final images were selected and in addition to some existing images that already existed in the university’s stock the final banner was created:

IMG_0276

Chester Art’s Fair; Live Project

On the 17th of November I had worked with event’s management company Black Mango and photographed Chester Art’s Fair in the Chester racecourse.

The brief for the event was pretty clear, we need to photograph the people rather than the art, our client Emma made it clear that she hoped to have images of young people, people talking and laughing, and people drinking wine to express the classy atmosphere of the event.

IMG_5951

The event lasted for three days, a long weekend, however I was only available for the first day so I had tried to get as many images and a variety of different types of images as I can, to give Emma as many options as I can provide.

Technically photographing the event was difficult as the lighting in building. In order to tackle that I used a 50mm lens, both as it is a very good portraits, but also as it allowed me to have quite a fast shutter speed whilst still not compromising on the ISO. Despite this, as I was photographing some images came out as blurry or too dark, and whenever I had saw that one image came out not as good as expected I had deleted it straight away, something I didn’t use to do in the past however I wanted to help myself in the image editing and reduce the amount of unusable images to sift through in post production.

Some images were a bit dark however I liked the way that they came out, which was a different and more experimental approach to the standard event photography we are used to see where everything is very bright, and so I had kept some of the dark images and sent them over to Black Mango, to give them a bit of variety in case they wanted something different.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The event itself was a very good learning experience for me, I had previously worked in events or shows however it had always felt very unprofessional and so I had felt uncomfortable photographing the people in the event, with or without their knowledge, however in this event we were all tagged as official photographers and a brief was set and so it gave me the confidence to photograph as much as I could, as this is what I was asked to do and why I was there.

Emma emailed us all after receiving our images saying that she was very happy with the images and would keep us on her records for future events. She also said she would be happy to provide us with references and recommendations, as well as would send people needing photography for events our way.

This event was a very good experience for me, it gave me experience, confidence, as well as good networking opportunities, and I am very happy with the photos I produced at the end of it.

My photographs on the Chester Art’s Fair website:

Screen Shot 2017-12-06 at 21.41.20Screen Shot 2017-12-06 at 22.28.05

Guest Lecture: Fig Taylor creating a portfolio

Today we had a lecture regarding building a portfolio by portfolio consultant Fig Taylor.

Fig’s lecture was very informative regarding building a portfolio. Many of her tips were relevant to all faculties, the biggest tip that came from her lecture was regarding what we should and shouldn’t include in the portfolio.

Taylor has spoken of how to fit portfolios to a different amount of clients, how to make sure we show flexibility and how to modify your work and make it relevant to the marketplace.

When discussing the format a portfolio should be in she discussed the print format and the digital format. She said that if we were to have a printed portfolio not to have it as a very big portfolio, “keep it small and portable”. She also added that there is no need to mount our work on anything. When we have landscape images we need to make sure they are all facing the same direction as each other and the same for portrait.

She also mentioned that when using print is to make sure to protect our work even if it’s only a printout and we have a digital copy, it’s important to make sure that it is laminated or protected in another way to avoid it being ruined by water/dirt/etc.

On the subject of a digital portfolio she has made a point to make sure that it is always up to date and to only include the images that are relevant, and ones that we like and enjoy. The advantages for a digital can be related to the fact that some work cannot shown to it’s full potential on a print medium. It also gives potential employers the options to bookmark the work or save it so they can refer to it later.

I feel that for the start of my work I will use a digital portfolio using a website and social media, however once I have a bit more of commissioned and professional work I could have a printed book with a selection of work. However, I am considering an option of having an iPad in order to showcase my work instead as it is an easy way to have something physical to show clients and to take to job interviews, while still being a multiple use and there is no printing required which would make it cheaper in the long run.

Despite all this I felt that her lecture was mostly irrelevant to me as the lecture was very heavily focused on how to build a portfolio as an illustrator, which is very different than a photography portfolio.

During the lecture she often would mentioned one thing that is relevant to illustrators, then mentioned how it is not the case for graphic designers. As a photography portfolio is completely different than any of those portfolio it has left me very confused and in the same position I was in when the lecture started as there was not much information that was relevant to me in the lecture.

I will consult my tutors and research photographer’s portfolios online to get a better idea of what I need to have in my portfolio.

 

International Office project-High Tea

Today we had one of 2 photoshoots for the international office project.

As the main theme of the presentation of the office is “Chester-A true British experience”, we decided to photograph an international student having a traditional “high tea”. Thanks to my previous connections with the cafe Beatons Tearooms they had agreed to have us photograph their high tea.

Our model today was my friend Cienna who is an international student from the United States. We were meant to have another model however she had to cancel last minute.

The photoshoot went a lot better than the previous one I had during graduations as this time I had Aleks with me who knew exactly what our client, Ela from the international office, wanted the photos to have, what framing, themes, etc.

Aleks and I worked together and came up with different things for Cienna to do in order to interact with the food on the high tea, around the base brief we got from Ela.

We tried 2 different approaches to this, in some of the photos we tried to go for a more natural feel, Cienna was not looking at the camera and was focusing on the food, as if we had just caught her as she was going about her day.

 

_MG_7077

In the other photos we had her look directly to the camera, as this is something you see more of in student prospectus and other promotional photographs of students

_MG_7151

Overall the photos came out brilliantly today, the atmosphere was really good, Aleks and I work very well together, and with the addition of Cienna, who is both a good friend, as well as someone who modelled for me before and so I know what she’s like in front of the camera, made everything today just flow very well.

Beatons have been very generous with their help today, and before we left I made sure to let the owner know that Fiona and I are still very keen on creating promotional photos for them to use and that I will contact her soon to discuss dates when we could come over and do a photoshoot for them.

My next shoot for the international office project is next Wednesday where we are going to create some outdoor locations shoots around town to show the British experience that is Chester.

Wendy Mason-Guest Lecutre

Today we had a guest lecture by Wendy Mason from AA2A.

AA2A is a program that helps artists after graduation. It offers a way to connect to other artists, work in universities and colleges across the country and be able to access things like libraries, workshops, and anything you need to continue to have your creativity flowing.

The second part of AA2A Wendy spoke to us about is the option of becoming an ambassador for them and organise visits with artists or other projects in order to promote the organisation. This sounded really interesting to me, however as at the moment I have quite a lot going on between uni work and having a part time job, I feel that signing up for that might add in too much pressure to myself, however I might register to is after I graduate and have a bit more free time on my hands.

The rest of the lecture consisted of mainly discussing the benefits and possibilities of self employment.

At the start of the lecture Wendy asked the class who is considering self employment to which I had raised my hand. I grew up as a daughter of a self employed mother, seeing her work and build her own business over the years made me realise that that is something I want to do in my life. Part of the reason I wanted to work in media and the arts is the freedom that that allows you, which is one of the main points Wendy made regarding the benefits of self employment, freedom and flexibility.

Wendy’s lecture was especially beneficial for me as she spoke a lot about the actual practicality of self employment, rather than the concept of doing it. She explained about how to register as self employed, how taxes work when you register, different benefits you are entitled to and can claim and more.

Because my mother is self employed herself, I know quite a bit about the issues with taxes and about claiming expenses etc, however due to the fact that I come from a different country, I am not as well versed on how taxes work in the UK, and so far I’ve only been employed by companies, so I didn’t really have to think about that, but this lecture helped me wrap my head around how the system works and things I need to think about when I graduate.

My hopes for after graduating is to continue to be employed by my current employer, whilst trying to get freelance photography work. I thought about this in quite a calculated way, it will take me a while to start making profit from photography work and so it’s best to have a job that can sustain me, and as the job I currently have is a job in which I see many viable options for the future and future employment, it’ll be good to keep it and see to where each path leads me.

My concern with the plan I had was is it worth while and is it preferable to have another job. Of course I have my own personal circumstances to consider that might differ than of some of my other course mates, however Wendy repeated several times during her talk that many artists due actually have other jobs while they are self employed, and that is a completely reasonable thing to do which made me feel more comfortable with the choices I want to make in the future after my graduation.

Overall I really enjoyed this lecture, it was extremely beneficial for me and I have saved many notes regarding the technicalities of self employment to refer to once it is time for me to register as that.

 

International Office project meeting

Today I had a meeting with my partner for the project, Alex, who I will be working on for the international office.

We have looked into some dates we could use for photoshoots for the project.

The dates we have chosen are the 24th and 29th of November, in order to have them prepared to send out on the 30th. We also discussed new ideas for shots. As the Chester Christmas markets are now up we thought we could use those for our photographs, as a Christmas market, in our eyes, was quite a “British experience”.

After the meeting I have emailed the cafe Beatons who agreed to have us photograph an afternoon tea in their cafe for this project. I have given the dates that we have available as well as asked about the price for the afternoon tea so we could prepare in advanced.

I have already done one shoot for the project, photographing an international student during the graduation ceremony, however the photos were not approved as they had to be shot in landscape, which I was not aware of, and so these will not be used.

For the next photos we have a much clearer idea of what is required and so we should hopefully make photos that will work for the brief.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Taylor Swift Reputation; A Review

The 10th of November was the release date for Taylor Swift’s new album Reputation.

The new album, like many of her previous albums, became an answer to her critics over the years. Swift has reinvented herself several times during her career, her music started as sweet and innocent girl next door, her music was very much influenced by country music and had a soft and calm tone to it. The songs were love songs about lost or unfulfilled loves and she made a name for herself for writing songs about ex boyfriends. This name worked for a while however soon the media has started using this name against her.

In her album 1989 she answered to these claims in some songs however the album still focused very heavily on quite sweet love songs.

The album Reputation responses much more heavily to the name she made for herself and her, as the title states, reputation. In many of the songs during the album she does mention the reputation she made for herself like in the song Delicate and most prominently the first single from the album Look What You Made Me Do. The song itself, as well as the music that accompanied it references many “dramas” Taylor had during her career, the music video came out and announced her new self, her new sound, and her new album. The video as well mocked some different personalities she had and was known of having during the years.

The new album’s sound is very different than the normal “Taylor sound” people might be used to. It’s very electronic and not very melodic, but focuses on beats. The album does have some ballad and quieter songs like Call it What you Want, Delicate, and New Year’s Day however the majority of the album is much more up beat.

The lyrics of the songs still focus more heavily on love stories, however it’s done in a different way than the previous songs of hers. The song New Year’s Day to me represents the “Old Taylor” as she called her in the song Look What You Made Me Do, it’s sweet, innocent, talks about the want to be with someone in a naive way, of wanting a simple love “I want your midnights but I’ll be cleaning bottles with you on New Year’s day”.

In opposite to this song the album has songs like Don’t Blame Me which shows a more twisted, obsessed and unhealthy way to love “For you, I would cross the line I would waste my time I would lose my mind”.

My personal favourite song from the album is I Did Something Bad. I feel this song this song combines the two outcomes of the album, the going against the “reputation” Swift got for herself as well as the different type of love she is showing in her new album, the step away from the old innocent love she used to have in her music.

Overall I throughly enjoyed this new album. I feel that with a lot of artists when they reinvent themselves at this level, when it’s both their character and their music style, it often is not very well received, however I feel that Taylor is doing it well and in appropriate times. I also feel that many of her older fans have grown up and so the development was done very well.

 

Henry Pulp-Guest lecture

On November 6th we had a guest lecture by international brand manager and graphic designer Henry Pulp.

His lecture focused on two aspects that he felt led to his success:

The first aspect was collaboration, since he finished university he tried to work with a variety of artists from different fields, musicians, fine artists, photographers and more. He created a studio and welcomed whoever needed space. Over time they started creating parties in the studio and made a name for himself.

Eventually his parties and studio were shut down, but because of the name he made for himself through this he managed to hop from one job to the next and continue to work in what he loved. Throughout this he continued to work with different artists where appropriate.

He made a point during his lecture reminding us that we all need each other, a photographer needs a graphic designer and vice versa. He encouraged us to collaborate and create connections with other creators in order to grow our work circle.

The second thing Henry spoke of was on creating a brand that is well known and recognisable. He spoke of how he created a recognisable logo that he started integrating in different art works and tried to subliminally introduce it to people. He focused on repetition, he said that this a way to create a brand.

I thought that what he did would be a great way for us to promote our final degree show, once the design team create a logo and name for the show, us in the promotion team can take that logo and create different photos and posters with the logo on them and share it wherever we can, to get people talking.

He spoke of having his own brand’s logo tattooed as something that creates interest with people and get them to ask questions where he can introduce his brand. As extreme as this sound to some, I actually have done a similar thing. I have a logo for my company that was designed by a friend of mine who is a graphic designer. I had my logo tattooed on my leg, not in order to publish my brand but as it is important to me, however I had not considered that it can actually be used as essentially promotion for myself whenever anyone asks me about it.

I took a lot from this lecture, it was clear how enthusiastic Henry was about his work and how much he cares about what he does. He worked hard and he got to where he wanted to be. During the lecture I got called on as he asked us “who has big dreams?” when no one raised their hand he asked again, to which i raised my hand slowly, he caught me and told me that there is no need to be so shy about it. This resonated with me as I am very serious about what I want to do and where I want to be, however I don’t always speak out loudly about it, and maybe I should.

After the lecture I turned to henry and asked him if he needs any photographers for the events and shows he does. He took my email and said he’ll get back to me. He hasn’t so far, and I am contemplating getting his email and emailing him myself, however even if nothing comes out of it, at least I feel like I’m coming out of my shell and taking charge on my career and what I want to do.

Thor: Ragnarok; A Review (spoilers)

This review will contain spoilers to the film Thor: Ragnarok as well as to the previous Thor franchise.

 

On Halloween eve (31.10.17) I went to see the new Marvel film Thor: Ragnarok. 

The film, directed by Taika Waititi, followed up from the plot of the previous Thor film The Dark World, in the end of which Thor’s brother Loki faked his death and disguised himself  as their father Odin and took over his place as the ruler of Asgard.

The film was a complete change from the previous two Thor films that had a much darker tone, this film was funny, colourful, very energetic and felt like it wasn’t taking itself too seriously.

The film itself showed Thors battle against his long lost sister Hela and her attempts to take over Asgard. At the same time a prophecy has been looming over regarding the the distraction of Asgard, “Ragnarok”. At the end of the film Thor realises that the only way to save Asgard, was to fulfil the prophesy and destroy it.

This film dealt with a very serious topic, the destruction of Thor’s home planet, this film could have easily been the darkest Marvel film to date, however Waititi direction of the film, the cast that was chosen, the iconic lines that were often improvised by the cast during the film itself, made this film enjoyable to watch and the whole difficult topic much easier to digest, something that I feel would not have happened had the film continued with the dark themes of the previous films in the trilogy.

Thor: Ragnarok had very obvious 1980’s influence in it, something that has been becoming quite popular in the media with films like Guardians of the Galaxy and the Netflix series Stranger Things, however what I liked is that the film didn’t feel the need to include a large soundtrack from songs of the time. One of the great successes of Guardians of the Galaxy was the amazing and very nostalgic 80’s soundtrack, it was very easy for the creators of the film to include as many songs as they could in the film, as it has proven to be successful, however part of the reason it has been as successful with Guardians of the Galaxy was the reasoning for the songs, it was the music that the main character loved, it was the his soundtrack, therefore it fit so perfectly to the film. In Thor: Ragnarok there was no justification for such a busy soundtrack within the film itself, and therefore they did not use one, that felt like a very smart choice in my eyes.

Overall I felt that Thor: Ragnarok was an excellent film, it was engaging and fun, and a film that provided a great escape from a harsh reality, by putting a fun spin on a very difficult subject.