Reflections Mod3 Week2

How am I going to move forward? How will it develop? Mirrors are a challenge at the moment as I really want to continue using them as a positive weapon against our false sense of body-image, yet I am struggling to come up with suitable situations where the mirror can be used as a prop. I may have to expand the selection of shots I get in the naked portrait strand in order to get a better range from which to choose the most powerful shots.
Research the tradition of the reclining female nude in order to either avoid (I am aiming for naked portraits rather than nudes – or should I be?) or else take advantage of in order to subvert. My lighting style has been picked up upon and mentioned as cinematic; which is reassuring as this is what I have been aiming for – another manner in order to compliment the models by placing them in a style that intimates they are worthy of being movie stars.
A question was raised about taking a selection of mirrors to the shoot – but this conflicts with my intent of stepping lightly within the space and making use of what is available rather than introducing lights / mirrors / props & ending with a studio set-up which isn’t ‘true’ – truth is very important to me within this project. It is a decision and challenge that I set myself in order to do something different to my studio work where everything is set-up & controlled by me in order to capture the scene I require whereas these domestic situations are the luck of the draw and force me to be more creative and open my creative eyes.
Other reflective surfaces were mentioned…something I had been thinking about in the manner of darkened windows etc (specifically thought of trying this during one specific shoot) – I shall need to keep my eyes peeled for alternate opportunities for reflective surfaces. There is also the self-reflective metaphor as well as the literal image with the use of mirrors.
What do I do when it comes to these images where the face is visible? Do I shift my intent or do I discard them because they do not fit the narrative I am wishing to portray? Is there an opportunity to re-shoot in order to attempt to capture the anonymous image that sits more accurately within my original intent?
David (Tutor) asked “Do you think if you relinquish control over the original intent or concept. Do you think that the work will become something that you’re not happy with?” Why have I set myself such strict limitations? I’m not working to a commercial brief but exploring something more ephemeral by looking at the human condition. I think for the moment I need to just keep shooting and building up a body of work which will hopefully either meld into something cohesive or at least show me the correct direction I should be following. I need to do some consideration with the final edit of images…some obviously work better than others & I need to teach myself to look objectively and sort the wheat from the chaff. Some supporting images don’t develop the layered concept of the portrait in it’s broadest sense – they seem red-herrings. Stieglitz idea of a portrait being a combination of many images taken over a period…not just a head & shoulders passport shot. The portrait as a complex entity. I need to search out and analyse why some combinations are stronger than others in order to be able to recognise those opportunities when I am in the situation. Dan and the Moth always seem to be held up as the benchmark to aspire to when heading for the next shoot.
A few words from the feedback on the ‘Trailer’ exercise struck a chord; “isolated”, “lonely” “melancholic“ – this pretty much describes my practice fairly accurately, but it is something I really should be watching for. Am I being truthful to my subjects in the manner that I am portraying them? Or am I placing a mood than does not correctly fit? Am I still portraying the ‘doomed homosexual’ when I claim to be seeking something that is empowering to them?

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