This semester I am taking a course called Photography as a Means of Self Expression. In this class we are taking either an already existing body of work, or creating more images within a certain theme, to then put into a book. It is mostly focused on editing and storytelling, along with obviously everything that goes into making a photography book. We consider layout, titling of photos, page numbers, colors, styles etc. In order to get ideas for how we want to implement all of these things within our own books we have each been bringing in photo books to get inspiration from as we work to narrow down our decision for our book’s subject. With such a broad expanse of subjects to choose from, at first I found the project daunting. How could I possibly choose just one idea to photograph for this book, and what idea would best fit a book? During a brainstorming session I came up with a few different ideas including: light painting, experimental lighting in general, black and white portraits of women, macro shots, empty spaces, multiple exposures, and finally, emotions expressed solely through the eyes. This final idea seemed the most intriguing to me, and was inspired by a self portrait I had done a few years prior. For a person who is very camera shy, I find that my eyes are one of the only parts I don’t mind being photographed, and tell a story for viewers that they can interpret for their own.
So with my theme for the project chosen, I needed to shoot a lot of photos. And a lot of different people. I quickly realized I don’t know a lot of people. So, I put out a post on the Marywood app asking for models and this idea worked quite well! People responded and then brought friends along with them and now I have a large selection to get started with. My setup in terms of lighting was quite simple, just a large flash in a octobox softbox on one of the studio’s lightly textured backgrounds.
As I’ve started going through and editing the photos it’s reassured me that this was the right subject to choose, as so many of the photos came out exactly how I envisioned them. While I do still need to take a lot more I have high hopes for this project and the way I’ll be able to document and capture people and their expressions. This is a semester long project so I will likely write about this again towards the end of the project! For now, here are some of my images I’ve captured so far.