I was lost with different ideas for this assignment, most of them were ideas related to sad memories. However, I refrain doing so after assignment 3. I want to try different ideas, something fun and delightful other than sadness.
I emailed my tutor my proposal for assignment 4 in order to get feedback and help before I start. My first thoughts were combining photographs with drawings. My kids have a day at school where they are supposed to dress up as a character in a story book and this gave me the idea of talking to kids and asking them to draw themselves as the character that they would love to be so the text would be: “If you are a character from a story book, what would you be?” The idea is to take a portrait of the child and scan his/her drawing then combine both together using Photoshop. I still don’t have an exact idea how the outcome would be but I am willing to experiment.
My tutor Jayne Taylor thinks the drawing is a nice idea but asked me to rethink about the text adding “might there be something rather expressive in each child’s individual handwriting style?”.
She also thought I might be interested in the work of Jan Von Holleben “Dreams Of Flying” invoking fantasy in a novel way, or the community project by Brandon Cawood “When I Grow Up“. She also suggested I check the Tate Modern site for the work of inspiring artist as it is about to run a talk on text and photography.
Jan Von Holleben’s work “Dreams of Flying” is very inspiring:
The behind the scene shows the amount of work that went into this project:
The behind the scene of “Dreams of Flying”
In this series, Holleben makes nostalgic dreams come true in his photographs using visual representation of childhood and his personal childhood memories. He gets inspired by classic childhood books and works with children from his local neighborhood to produce his projects. Everything is possible. You can fly, you can hide and you have all powers you want!
I personally liked his project “Mystery Of Monsters” where Holleben took the kids to explore their adventure places and search for secrets and interesting things to discover the mystery of monsters! I loved his use of conceptual illustrative photography where he tries to translate a subject matter into an image. The use of different materials such as leaves and fruits and others gives me more to think about other than the drawing of the kids by itself. Holleben comes with his own story and ideas and sometimes the kids push him for other adventures and come up with different ideas themselves. He does not use photoshop but he creates his images using materials and capture them on camera. I am now thinking to involve the kids with the initial idea and see where it goes from there.
For “When I Grow Up,” project by Brandon Cawood, Cawood created cinematic portraits of 5th grade students acting out their future careers. He dressed them up and shot against a white background in the school auditorium. The photos were published as a calendar and the money raised from them went towards the charity City of Refuge for tutoring programs and funds to further the education of impoverished youth.
I liked the concept of the project and the good cause behind it, however, the result to me is disappointing. I personally did not like the overshopped HDR images. I do enjoy cinematic photographs however, these are too much for my liking.
On the other hand, I came across the work of Lorna Freytag who combines her love for photography, illustration and children stories to come up with beautiful images. Freytag is a children’s book illustrator, author and fashion photographer who uses digital camera and post production techniques to produce an image.
My next step will be experimenting with different techniques to see where that takes me.
Bibliography / References:
Cawood, B. When I Grow Up: Cinematic Portraits of Fifth Graders in Their Future Careers [online]. PetaPixel. Available from: https://petapixel.com/2015/11/15/when-i-grow-up-cinematic-portraits-of-fifth-graders-in-their-future-careers/ [Accessed 29 April, 2017].
Freytag, L. Lorna Freytag Website [online]. Available from: http://www.lornafreytag.com/illustration/ [Accessed 29 April, 2017].
Holleben, J., V. Jan Von Holleben Website [online]. Available from: http://www.janvonholleben.com/project/dreams-flying/ [Accessed 29 April, 2017].