At the beginning I was struggling to express my feelings into my photographs. I had my model, camera, lens and location at my own home all ready and figured out but the ideas were not flowing. I lost creativity and felt no connection to the photos I took. The results felt forced and lack emotional impact.
While shooting, I did not feel that I was able to translate my ideas and inner feelings into the staged shots (see thumbnail below), therefore I decided to stop shooting and do that on another day. However, a couple of days after losing hope and inspiration and regretting the situation I put myself into by choosing this subject; I decided to download the photos I took into my computer in the hope of finding a connection to any of the shots. I thought maybe perhaps I can express my inner spirit through editing some of them. Editing didn’t do magic to the photos either. I believe energy should be given to create something good in the first place, anything less will be hard to fix in post.
Dismissed Set: (click on thumbnail to view)
No matter how hard I try, my efforts were useless, I started to get frustrated and lost interest. I already passed my deadline and felt overwhelmed with tension and stress so I decided to give my self a break for a couple of days doing nothing related to taking photos. All I did was read, research more and look at others’ photographs for inspiration.
While reading “Behind the image” book by Natasha Caruana and Anna Fox, the book stated that one could be inspired by being somewhere or hearing something or even through reading, watching or looking. I started thinking what would bring more memories and would help make my photos more genuine? What reminds me more of my grandmother? What things do I remember when I think of her? How and where do I see her in my dreams?
I always see myself with her in my dreams at my childhood house, her old house not the one she lived in recently. Her old house is a place that no one can live in anymore and for safety purposes, my grandmother was advised to demolish it but she passed away before the work was finished. Construction and maintenance were stopped till further notice. I decided to go there with my model (my daughter) and my camera and spend time recollecting memories. It was a nice experience for my daughter as well seeing the house for the first time as I explained to her about each part of the house and the memories I had with my grandparents. Suddenly my feelings started coming out, my feelings are rather sadness but I felt it was easy to express it at that moment in that location without having to force ideas, it gave me a feeling of calmness and peacefulness and I felt connected to the photos. When I see them; I can read them easily and connect them to what I feel. I went twice to the house. The first time I explored and took photos and went home to edit and check the results and then after a week I went again for more shooting and I even took some props for the shots.
Every location in my grandmother’s old house expresses a certain feeling. The photographs I took expresses my sorrow. Although I had a happy life around my grandparents; those times can’t come back since they are now both dead and all I felt at that moment is sadness and fear of what the future holds. My camera was like a therapy on that trip to my grandparents’ old house.
Bibliography / References:
Caruana, Natasha; Fox, Anna (2012). Behind the Image. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.
Kim Eric. Zen Photography [online]. Available from: http://erickimphotography.com/blog/zen-photography/ [Accessed 28, January 2017].