Narrative Unit Evaluation

At the start of the unit I found myself confused and unsure about what to make my narrative about, I knew I wanted to do something with a documentary feel to it but needed a subject matter. The basis of my idea formed after a talk with my mum, she has been working as a nurse/midwife for nearly 30 years, which influenced my thought process around documenting a pregnancy. At that point I felt the idea was great and had potential but I didn’t know anyone who was pregnant, I decided to then advertise online via facebook and local pregnancy center sites in order to find a complete stranger to be involved with my project, that’s when Jo responded to my advertisement and we went from there, I was able to develop a friendship with her in a very short amount of time which made it easier for when we did meet up and I took photos.

 

Having known that for my first narrative I was going to create a documentary style video including Jo’s experiences of pregnancy, I then wanted the second narrative in my book to link with this and document the few weeks after she had given birth but using a different narrative strategy. My main influences were Annastasia Taylor-Lind and Elenor Carruci whom photographed pregnancy for their own documentary projects. After our formative review of the digital piece I found myself waiting around to take photographs of Jo when she had given birth, this didn’t seem like a good idea seeing that her due date was so close to the deadline and I had work experience the week before that there seemed to not be a lot of time left and the clock was ticking. I found attending tutorials very useful as it helped me to get a range of ideas for my printed matter. I then decided to use my existing photographs that I had taken of Jo’s experience of pregnancy as I had shot so many of them, I then made an edit of photos I found had relevance and interesting cropping. Experimenting and looking at different types of cropping helped me with putting together my final idea for my printed matter.

 

During this unit I have really enjoyed using programs such as Adobe Premiere and InDesign that I have not known anything about before, it was really helpful to extend my knowledge of using these to produce my own work in different ways. Developing a new friendship with Jo and being able to document her experiences too was an enjoyable part of the unit; I hope to carry on taking photographs of her and her new born baby to carry on the story for my own personal work. Although I found making a book quite frustrating, the end result was very satisfying to see my own work finished in a printed matter. I do feel that my digital piece was the more successful of the two, I prefer the documentary and emotive feel from it.

 

My biggest problem that I found with this unit was having a steady idea for the printed narrative, due to my original idea not being suitable for the time scale it left me in a bit of confusion about what to do, however I did overcome this by attending tutorials which were very beneficial in forming a new idea using my existing images which was much more suitable for planning my time effectively without having to rush. Luckily I did not wait for Jo to have her baby as she ended up being a week overdue, which would’ve left me with less than a week to shoot photos before the deadline, and taking into consideration that I would’ve been the least of her priorities after she gave birth to her baby. I also faced a few problems when it came to printing my book, some of the pages did not line up when I binded them, having left myself plenty of time to bind my book together it was not a problem to re-do it.

 

Overall I found this unit very challenging, it pushed me to develop my skills in areas that I hadn’t even touched on yet which I now feel confident in such as putting a video together from start and finish and binding a book. However I did prefer the digital part of the unit, I feel that my idea for this narrative strategy was stronger and more successful. If I was to improve anything I would’ve probably developed a stronger idea for my printed matter, I do feel that it could’ve been more successful had I planned it a bit more. With regards to managing my time effectively I don’t think that I did too badly considering I had missed out a week of narrative due to being on my work experience placement the week before the deadline. Lastly this unit has taught me how important it is to attend tutorials to get a variety of idea’s and opinions when you feel you are struggling, rather than not attending because you feel your idea is in a bit of a mess.

Quotes to Include in my Book

“No matter what people advise you to do, the best way to know what you’re doing is to think ‘mummy knows best’…”

 

“Seeing your body change completely and knowing there is a little person inside of you”

 

“Just hearing their heartbeat on the monitor for the first time, I think that’s the first realization something is real and there”

 

“Putting your faith in professional’s hands and hoping that everything is going as it

should”

 

“Sitting in constant waiting rooms thinking shouldn’t nine months be enough to wait already?”

 

“Knowing that your child will be cared for and loved by all their family when they arrive into the world”

 

“There’s so much time for preparation, one of the most exciting things is buying the clothes for that little person you haven’t even met yet but knowing they’ll look so adorable in them”

 

“Whilst being pregnant you’re eating for two, its more than okay to send your partner out at silly hours to get you food you’re desperately craving”

 

“Being surrounded by friends and family at your baby shower is good enough, being spoilt with presents is an added bonus”

 

“There’s that feeling as a mother that you’ll never be on your own again, you’ll never be bored and you’ll be responsible for your baby’s life the moment they arrive”

 

“Relishing the early weeks when only you and your partner know your special secret.”

 

“…a great excuse to buy lots of pretty new bras.”

 

“Decorating the nursery: one of the most exciting things you’ll ever do.”

 

“Feeling those first fluttering kicks and thinking, ‘Is that what I think it is? Or is it just wind?’”

 

“Getting someone to take photos of you smiling over your enormous bump so that, one day, you can look back and be amazed you were ever that size.”

 

“Imagining what he or she will look like. My sweet little ears, of course, and his sexy eyes!”

 

“Looking at your growing bump in the mirror and realizing there’s a person in there!”

 

“I love wearing stretchy pants, they’re the best”

 

“At least if my I drop my food it lands its going to be somewhere clean so then I can eat it”

 

“Planning for the future, for my baby is so scary but exciting”

 

“Some people look at your stomach and can’t help smiling, as if the mere thought of your being pregnant has actually made their day a little bit brighter.”

 

“Getting to name another human being is just an amazing feeling”

 

“Naps, lots and lots of naps. And nobody can tell you off for them!

 

 

 

 

Possible Titles for my Book..

Started to think about possible titles for my book.. here’s some of what I came up with

The Bump

Expectancy

My Little Human Being

Soon to be a Mum

What to Expect

Nine Months

Bump in the night

Little Kicks

Waiting Game

Anticipation, Tears and Happiness

Worth the Wait

Is it a boy or girl?

The Life Within

Growing Inside

Printed Narrative – My Book

So my original idea for the printed publication was to take photographs of Jo after she gave birth to her baby to show the after side to pregnancy. However realising that my time scale might be a bit tight and not realistic I changed my idea for the printed publication. After a tutorial with both my tutor’s Emannuelle and David I was able to develop an idea that I could possibly use..

Focusing on the subject of ‘pregnancy’ still I will use my existing images taken from the digital narrative but crop them to make the photo’s anonymous and to restrict the viewer from seeing the individual’s identity. In doing this I will make a small book that generalizes the experiences of pregnancy for women as a whole, alongside the images I will use quotes from what women have said about their experiences. The book will adopt a non-linear structure to show the variety of things that happen during pregnancy.

Rineke Dijkstra ‘Mothers’

Dijkstra’s portraits of three young mothers (Julia, Saskia and Tecla, all 1994) holding their new born babies to their chests with absolute, exhausted tenderness, exemplifies the restraint and deceptive simplicity of her approach towards representing people whose lives have been touched by commonplace but monumental change. Replace the sand with a floor and the sky with a hospital wall and the only thing that separates these images from the beach series is the nature of the transition that these people are experiencing. Our culture’s puritanical fear of the body, so beautifully reflected for hundreds of years in scores of paintings of bloodless, saintly motherhood, is countered in these truthful, unflinching images. One mother stands in her underwear, her sanitary pad bulgingly visible. The other two women stand naked, swollen, scarred and bloody.

Unknown

What I like the most about these images is that she does not glamourise the after effects of birth at all, she shows it with complete honesty.

Looking into Book Layouts

So I thought it was best to start researching into book layouts, I’m going to design mine on InDesign but just have no clue how to lay it out. Here’s some of my inspirations so far..

 

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I quite like the more simple designs, the ones with smaller text and less images. I think for my final book piece the less I have on the pages will suite my narrative. The spreads that have a photo over two pages are quite nice as well, they make a statement.

 

What do you guys think?