The starting concept that I had for this project was the idea of capturing portraits of strangers in the street. I looked at photographers such as Joel Sternfeld and Milton Rogovin who both create portraits in different ways, but both focus on all different kinds of people, people from different social classes, backgrounds, religions and ethnicities. I took inspiration from these photographers and decided to shoot the different people around the environment in which I live. I went out into the streets to photograph people in my new local town, Chatham. I did a few test shots in the area and decided that i wanted to focus of people who are going through the same experience as me; starting university and moving away from home. The new university environment became the theme new my project.
My project became personal to me as I began to photograph people living in and around student halls, people of a similar age to me, and who are going through the same new experiences and living in the same new environment. The main inspiration for my project came from Joel Sternfeld’s book ‘Stranger Passing’, I discovered Sternfeld in the first lecture we had with Chris Coekin, and I began to research his work immediately, I knew that his work could help and inspire me when it came to shooting my own pieces in this project. I wanted my images to physically look like Sternfeld’s, putting aside the contextual side, I was hugely inspired by they way he created beautiful portraits straight of the street, his subjects were not anyone special, but he made them special. I then had to find a photographer that inspired me that wasn’t in any of the lectures, and I came across Milton Rogovin. Like Sternfeld, he creates beautiful portraits of people around him, people in which the environment he lived. He focussed on the working class and the poor, and it is from this that i decided to focus on one particular group of people, instead of the poor, students.
Throughout this project we had to complete six reflective journal tasks, I found these tasks quite enjoyable as they helped me find inspiration and discover new photographers and ways of learning. I think that I had a good structure in the way in which I was completing the tasks, as I completed each task as it came to avoid a backlog of work towards the end of my project as i have experienced before. I then chose my favourites and uploaded them to my blog one by one, both visual practice task and task two and four of the contextual studies tasks.
If I was to do this project again I think that I should have focused more on the visual practice side. I spent a lot of time researching and thinking of ideas, I was almost avoiding going out and doing my first shoot because I didn’t want to commit to one idea. I neglected my actual shoots and because of these I don’t think that my final images turned out as well as I initially hoped, however I have learnt from this and it is something I will keep in mind in my upcoming projects.