Assignment 2: Reflection and Self Assessment

Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills:

With my first idea (Plan A) I don’t think I was prepared enough for the photoshoot.  Technically the outcome lacked creativity.  I was clueless on location and couldn’t fix much on post process.  My weakness was in using flash and coming up with creative angles and shots indoors when light is low and insufficient.  Therefore, I had to redo the shooting with a fresh idea.

With (Plan B) I tried to learn from my mistakes so I did a lot of thinking before hand on what sort of portraits I am looking for.  I had the chance to shoot using different lenses and finding new angles.  I had all my lenses packed including the white reflector.  I also thought of props to use (the stick) and planned the shots ahead of time.  I wrote down some ideas of how I want to take the portraits and used these ideas in my shots, some ideas came while on the photoshoot such as the subject with the goose for example.

I went for closeups, full figure, and head and shoulder shots.  I took shots from different angles (below and eye level).  I varied the lenses from a telephoto, wide angle and a fixed lens.  I was satisfied with the composition in general and post process.  I had to crop two photographs in the post processing though as I felt the results look better.

I think I managed to understand the light, composition and choice of lenses for the chosen portrait.  I also managed to make a decision in whether to represent the portraits in colour or monochrome.  I kept my editing consistent to help make the images flow.

Quality of Outcome:

The outcome was inspired by Julian Germain’s series : “For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness”.  I love capturing people’s personalities and telling stories about them using my camera.  I believe my series tells a story about my subject “Abu Mohammed”.  I did have a very hard time choosing the fifth portrait.  I had to choose what I thought completes the set and what is in my opinion coherent with the body of work rather than choosing what I personally feel appealing to my taste.

My subject was a bit shy at the beginning which gave the feeling of him being uncomfortable in some of the poses but I was able to put him at ease by chatting and cracking jokes since it’s part of his personality.  He then started suggesting poses as well!

I think planning was an essential part of the process, something I failed to do with plan A. I tried giving each portrait a structured narrative.  I thought about the images I wanted to capture to convey my message.

Demonstration Of Creativity:

I tried to be original with the portraits.  I did fail big time with plan A as my photographs were very ordinary, therefore, with plan B (Abu Mohammed’s portraits) I decided to experiment with different lenses, angles and even props.  I was very much interested in photographing my subject which I think led to a better series than my previous choice.  I think I managed to come up with good ideas for the composition of the portraits in general.

My main drawback is the fear of not knowing what to shoot and fear of rejection and criticism from others.  I did learn though that it is healthy to fail.  I shoot, fail, reshoot and learn!  I just need to be able to delete all the negative thoughts I have.


I have read in depth about portraiture for this assignment.  I am personally in love with taking portraits but I would always go tight, I was happy to learn more about framing, posing and gazing into or away from the camera but happier to learn that there is more to portraiture than all that.

With this assignment, I started thinking about the context, the background and other elements of the photos.  I also enjoyed researching about other photographers who are not mentioned in the course.

Just to add that both my subjects got copies of their portraits.


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