My project has changed in many ways over the course of the year. I have changed my ideas multiple times through reading and also what has been current within society at the time as it was what really interested me.
I wanted to use my Polaroid camera and explore taking photographs on that and how they differ from digital technology however I found it more difficult because they needed to all be taking during the day and fairly bright as a few of them came up quite dark or blurred. I also found that it was quite expensive getting new film for it and without easy access to a scanner became quite problematic.
Because of my keen interest in celebrity culture and current trends, i then decided to look more towards social media and it’s impact on photography and how this has had an effect on people’s body image and self esteem.
I still wanted to incorporate the idea of using Polaroid photography to some extent but with additional work with photo’s taken on smartphones, i.e iphones, samsungs etc. However, I have only done a few shoots with the Polaroid camera because I have had many fairly blurred images with not great quality. I am not sure if I need to have more practice to perfect my angles and lighting to get better images but I had already wasted lots of expensive film.
I also wanted to bring in the ideas of how people ‘over share’ their social lives and how this is done through social media and other means. I didn’t really explore this as much as I could have done although I did look into how Facebook and social media websites allow people to put pictures of us up without us knowing and can often be very invasive, for example, the blog I posted about ‘Women who eat on the tube’. However, I did mention the trends of the ‘Belfie’ and ‘Selfie’ images which potentially show a great amount of flesh and are perhaps a bit too explicit for many people to see.
I also wanted to research into “Selfie” culture and explore what makes a “like-worthy” ‘Selfie’ on Instagram and Facebook. I wanted to make a montage of “selfies” using different people and see the variety in expressions. Whilst I didn’t really discover what makes a ‘like-worthy selfie’, I did create a montage of my friends selfie and found that most people seemed to take images from a higher angle looking down, perhaps because we find it most flattering. People also only seem to do one of two facial expressions, smiling or pouting, which I found quite interesting. I also looked into the different celebrities who are promoting taking images like that through uploading them to their social media but how also this can be a problem in making people compare themselves to the celebrities. However, it was good in other ways such as helping to create donations for charity. What i found the most interesting though is how quickly the trend has picked up and is changing the way we take photographs because even the latest images of the Queen have appeared to look like a ‘selfie’ from Instagram. Therefore, proving how this style of photography is changing tradition.
However, what I found the most interesting through my research was that the images that media and celebrities put in the magazines, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms can affect our body image in different ways. Whilst many can become obsessed with becoming ‘perfect’ and wanting to look like a barbie doll or getting lots of surgery because they see imperfections that are not always there. But also, how the images that are seen in the media are mostly ‘Photoshopped’ and fake themselves yet many men and women still compare their bodies with them and this helps to create eating disorders and a lack of confidence and self esteem for many.
Initially, i was more focused on social media as a platform and how people take images differently but after doing lots of research in journals and seeing newspaper articles about the way that ‘selfies’ can actually have a negative effect led me down the route of body image and distorted reflections. I also found it more easy to come up with creative ideas because I read lots of magazines and know a lot about current affairs and celebrity culture so was able to make it quite current with contemporary culture. I found that it is definitely good to find a topic that you are passionate about or interested in to find out more because that certainly improved my creativity and enthusiasm in the last three weeks. I have enjoyed coming up with innovative ideas for my images and I have also developed a better understanding of using Photoshop by playing around with my photographs despite originally not wanting to use any digitised images.
Despite adapting my ideas many times, I think that through lots of research and looking at different photographers work and gaining inspiration, I found that I became more passionate for my ideas in the end and I hope that it is visible to see in my final images below.