Sup everyone, I’m taking a class and our first assignment was to take 30 self-portraits…Have a looksie, would ya? Tell me what you think. These were some of my thoughts that I wrote up for the accompanying journal entry for class:
The thing that is always so elusive to me is how to make photos that can accurately and succinctly tell someone about a time, a place, a person, a society, a culture, or a feeling. What is much harder for me than picking up on these things in someone else’s photograph is knowing when or if I’m successfully doing so. I find it difficult to abstract myself from the experience itself and thus I feel I lose the ability to see the image as a snapshot in isolation from the living moment. Therefore it’s often hard for me to assess how objectively strong or interesting my photographs are—whether I’m too quick to defend them or too desensitized to appreciate them.
As I was brainstorming about how to approach this assignment, I was thinking of photographs that portray everyday people in interesting ways. I came to realize that it’s important to make the subject relatable…or unrelatable i.e. something that is stimulating either because you can relate to it, or because you immediately know that you can’t relate to it. I’ve also been increasingly more interested in assigning greater weight to the context within a photograph (i.e. everything besides the subject such as furniture, walls, space, background in general), rather than having the overwhelming focus be the subject itself. This assignment was a productive exercise in negotiating what I think strikes the appropriate balance between the subject and context, and moreover how to even represent context in an intelligible way.
What I’m most excited about is to hear your comments on my photos so that I can grasp a greater sense of what you as strangers are able to pick up from my photos, and see how that compares to my intentions and own self-evaluation.