Professional Assignments

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Whilst developing my skills as a photographer I am always on the look out for new opportunities to practise.

All of the assignments that I have completed, have informed my thinking and developed my technical skills and confidence as a photographer.

My first opportunity/assignment was a shoot for an up and coming local band who had just secured a record deal and wanted some promotional pictures. Band photography was something I hadn’t done before and was therefore very keen to try out.

I planned the shoot and decided that I wanted to get a sense of the band’s roots and promote them in the area they came from, as well as producing shots which would be interesting to look at and add an element of fun to the shoot.  I also wanted to explore as many different scenarios as possible to make the band more marketable and give them more choice on which photos to use to promote them. It was a great day, the band were a lot of fun and ultimately they were very happy with the results and decided to use my black and white band shot for the front cover of their new album which was a boost to me as a photographer.

The finished article.  My photograph on the inside cover of the new Doll Set Tones CD. Issued April 2012.

Charity Celebration Ceremony

Through my charity work with Kids Inspire I was invited along to an Award Ceremony to celebrate the achievements of children who have gone through a programme of therapy called ‘Transition’  which relates to children transferring from Primary School to Senior School.  This project was run over a period of 8-10 weeks and I was involved as a co-facilitator with art therapists to help the childrenthrough a course of therapies which included art, music, yoga and self esteem.  This was a marvellous opportunity for me as it enabled me to form a bond with the children I was helping and see their confidence grow through the group sessions.

I was asked to photograph this ceremony by the Mayor and the Chief Executive of the Charity because the newspaper photographer failed to turn up. This was a fantastic opportunity for me as I had to think on the spot, get a large group of people together which I had never done before and then try to take numerous photographs on my small SLR, hoping they would come out as I didn’t want to disappoint the children by saying to them that the photo wasn’t good enough to give them, as the photograph taken of them will be a pleasant, lasting memory and hopefully inspire them to do well and go on to greater things.

The Mayor of Chelmsford and The Mayoress were also there for the evening but were very accommodating when it came to having their photo taken over and over again.  The Mayor asked me to forward some of the photos onto him at his office and the main photograph is going to be in the local paper next week.

Duke of Edinburgh Award Night

This was a charity evening event for a young adult charity I have been working with. I was asked to bring my camera to photograph the events of the evening which involved capturing the atmosphere and the guests enjoying themselves. Seeing the young adults in this light was a complete contrast to when I saw them at the homeless centre.   They seemed confident and most were willing to be photographed when I approached them.

I was also fortunate enough to get one of my photographs published from the evening in ‘The Essex Chronicle’ newspaper although I was disappointed not to get a credit. On the plus side though, the photograph promoted one of the resident’s and his DJ work and he was extremely pleased to gain some exposure.

I also used the published photograph to my advantage and have managed to get an afternoon with the newspaper learning about how they publish, how being a press photographer differs from other photographic occupations and get a chance to experience what being a press photographer is all about.

Furtherfield Gallery

My current work on ‘different backgrounds’ is currently exhibiting online through the Furtherfield Gallery in London.

Link to work is:  http://www.furtherfield.org/your-art/different-backgrounds-photography-workshop

College Photos

I was asked to take the photographs for all of the Art & Design students from the 2nd and 3rd years in readiness for the exhibition in May.  I set up the lighting in the computer room and  took photos of most of the students on the course, which were required to be in black and white and a head and shoulder shot.  Some students weren’t that comfortable infront of the camera so I asked them to make a pose which put them at ease.  Here are some of the results:

Photographer’s Assistant – Fashion Shoot

I was given the chance to be a photographer’s assistant for the afternoon and this was a fashion shoot which I hadn’t been involved with before.  The shoot was entitled ‘Summer’ but unfortunately the weather was against us and it rained for most of the time.

The bad weather though, gave me an insight into how photographer’s keep their camera equipment dry whilst on these types of shoots.  They use sealable, see through food bags to cover the essential pieces of equipment.  The model was also standing under the umbrella used for the lighting.

Whilst there I was also asked to take some pictures of the photographer for him to use in his portfolio.  I also used this opportunity to do some ‘reflective’ photography work.  The photographer was very keen to finish his work as soon as possible but the artist in me made me think that I wanted to stay on and take some more pictures.

Co-Facilitating Art Therapy sessions

I was fortunate enough to be asked to co-facilitiate 8 weekly sessions at a local primary school which involved creating art with children that were suffering with emotional problems.

This was a wonderful opportunity to engage with children that were younger than I had previously been working with, and I found that they became more emotionally attached to me than the teenagers did, very quickly.

It was important for me to attend every session, each week, at the same time, so that the children that attended would know that the same people were going to be there every week and therefore they wouldn’t be worried about attending, but would hopefully look forward to the sessions.

We told them we weren’t teachers and were there for them to have fun and express themselves within their art and the games we played and be able to talk to us about anything they wanted in a confidential environment.

Using art as a means to do theraphy is a way of a child to express themselves without having to say anything.  Sometimes their thoughts will come out on paper.  I also linked my art therapy work into the ‘Different Backgrounds’ with the homeless residents.

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