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.

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