Well its that time again.. hand in time! Felt pretty good to have been able to produce a piece of work like this, I really enjoyed making a book and putting the whole thing together. Lets just say its not as easy as it looks!
Sunday 26th January
I made my travels back to Orpington to meet Jo for the first time, having not met Jo before I was a bit scared she would change her mind and not want me at the baby shower, but she was in fact really inviting and keen on the idea. Arriving at Jo’s house after driving back from Farnham I was pretty shaky. How was I going to go about this? Was everyone going to think I was strange taking photos? Would anyone mind me being there? When I first walked in it was so overwhelming, a lady opened the door and greeted me with a big smile welcoming me in, lots and lots of women were in the sitting room chatting and laughing, then emerged Jo from a crowd of people greeting me with a hug and assured me to make myself at home.
Okay so there I was in this house.. full of women and children… not knowing anyone.. wow I had really thrown myself in the deep end. But I started to talk to people, lots of Jo’s family and friends were there and they were all very chatty and interested in my project, after a while it felt natural me being there taking photographs. It was also a really nice chance for me to start and get to know Jo as a person, I’m really looking forward to showing the progression of my project.
Here’s a section of my contact sheet of photos from the baby shower..
Okay so I did like my old idea, but for some reason it just wasn’t doing it enough for me. Having talked to my mum about her experiences of being a nurse, midwife and health visitor I had a brainstorm for a new idea! I wanted to photograph a pregnancy (a few weeks before the birth), and then weeks after the newborn baby had arrived using the linear structure.
This was all good and well talking to my mum about how exciting this would be until BAM I realised that I didn’t know anyone pregnant at all.
I started to really think about this idea, being really keen on persisting with this idea determined my next moves… Facebook is a great way to get your words across so I decided to post on a few groups about my project to hopefully get a response. This is where my luck came in, a really friendly lady called Jo got in touch with me and said she was interested to be in my project, we exchanged conversation over facebook and agreed that our first meet could be at her Baby Shower on Sunday 26th January. This was great news, I was so excited that i’d found someone who was interested, the only problem being that it would mean i’d have to travel home (1 hour away) each time to photograph Jo, but that didn’t matter at all to me because she was so lovely! I just wanted to get on with this project after feeling so lost with it.
Having decided that documentary photography is the route I wanted to go down for this project I started focussing on photographers who used this type of photography to create their narrative.
After having a lecture and hearing Ellen talk about her work, her personal story ‘Previous Personality’ stood out to me. Her project explores her relationship to her mother as she develops dementia. Ellen explained in the lecture that for her it was a documentation that lasted 3 years over all, her mother started to forget that Ellen was her daughter when she started taking photos.
Some interesting words to describe this documentation from Ellen that I found on her website say.. “Photography as a medium seemed to serve the situation well. It was a record to capture my dying mother, a means to examine our state, and perhaps to create an alternative family album.”
When looking at the images in the lecture I found myself to have an emotional attachment to her work, it was very powerful and the photographs really spoke for themselves.
Here’s some photographs from the series:
Ellen’s work has inspired me to change my idea completely..
When I went to Berlin in April last year I bought a beautiful book called ‘Anna & Eve’ By Viktoria Sorochinski, and was even really lucky to hear her talk about it at the book signing. The book is a long term project (lasting from 2005 – 2012) which contains staged images which reveal the relationship between a mother and her daughter from Montreal. When Viktoria met Anna and Eve in 2005 the mother was 23 and her daughter was 3 years old. The images in the book are absolutely beautiful, despite being staged I can see a clear relationship between the mother and daughter, as this is a narrative story which goes by a linear structure it highlights their relationship as they both grow up.
Here’s a few images from the book..