Monday, 5 December 2011

Assignment Five – the background and the brief

I have a direction and a brief for my final assignment.  The course brief is open-ended, of course, but essentially boils down to – writing yourself a realistic client brief; completing the brief by producing 8-12 images; submitting with an appraisal/analysis of what you have done.  I have decided to base it on a photographic project idea that has been in the back of my mind for 2-3 years and which seems to fit very well into this context.  The project actually has the potential to go on developing beyond the assignment as well.

The idea came about when I was studying Introduction to Digital Photography and used part of an old photo of me as a child in the ‘Real or False’ Assignment.  Digging out the old photo, plus some other items from my childhood, led me to think about the type of things we hang onto from our childhood, into adulthood and, sometimes, into later life.  What do we keep?  What does it mean to us and why?  What does it feel like, for example, to hold an object in your hands that you held when you were, say, five years old – maybe even something you created then?  From those kind of thoughts came the idea of making photographic portraits of people in which they were holding (or interacting in some way with) an item that they still have from when they were a child.  I hadn’t done anything about it but when I started out on People & Place and read the open nature of the final assignment, I thought there might be an opportunity.

Of course, the whole idea of the assignment is that it involves creating and responding to a realistic brief.  So I have written one – here:

My tutor has also kindly taken a brief look at it and agrees that it has the potential to fit the bill for this assignment.

I have also given some thought to the theoretical context of the project/assignment, and done some initial research on other comparable photographic work.  But I’ll make that the subject of another blog post.

My first portrait session is organised, too – for the coming weekend!


  1. Haven't read the brief you've written but it sounds like an excellent idea with a lot of potential Stan.

  2. I think this has the potential to be really interesting, as I've said in the past. It has made me stop and think though - whilst I'm not in the 50+ bracket, I really don't think I've got anything from my childhood. A shame really, but maybe a sign I'm truly from the post-modern and disposable age.

  3. Thanks Clive (Blogger thought you were 'spam' so only just seen this!); I think I've set myself quite a tough brief, but at least I feel interested and motivated by this, which counts for a lot. The good thing is, I can see this assignment being the start for a project I can go on working at. You got anything from your childhood, Clive? Fancy having a portrait made? (Notice the 'make' not 'take'!!)

    That's an interesting observation, Rob; I really hadn't thought of it that way but you're probably right. And chances are it will only get 'worse' - old photos hidden on hard drives; old Play Stations dumped at the tip; or in 40 years time, will some people still have their first iPhone tucked away in a drawer? I think not!

  4. Well I don't 'do' portraits, they steal a part of your soul you know. ' } hahahaha

    But I've got loads of stuff, the biggest is probably the Raleigh Rapier touring bike my Dad bought me in '64? for passing the 11+.

    My theory is that for our generation you only got bought something that you wanted at Christmas and for your birthday, so you waited a long time for it and then you looked after it very carefully when you finally got it.

    Whereas for my kids it could be Xmas every week. I remember when my son wanted his first mp3 player, a couple of days after I bought one for him I found it lying on the bedroom floor with it's screen cracked. When I pointed it out he said, "Oh I must have trodden on it", without the slightest concern, there'll be another one along in a minute. Ha!

  5. Nice bike - and only £25-9-6 in flamboyant burgundy; that sounds as though it would challenge my colour management if not my pocket! I had a second hand Raleigh Blue Streak and I saved up for it myself by doing a paper round. AAAAHHH!

    Similar experience on the gadgets in our family - funny though, since our son has been independent the same phone seems to have lasted him for years ... and it's still going strong. Odd that, isn't it! Have to say though that, on the whole, the 'throw-away' attitude only seems to apply to the material possessions not their natural humanity; so no complaints there. And, the challenges we all face on the economic front might be about to affect some of the material values as well, who knows.