Week 6: Oral presentations

October 25, 2019: Oral presentation draft presentation opportunity next week. I have been thinking about this, but not ready at all.

October 26, 2019: I have a freelance assignment at the Vermont Institute Natural Science (VINS), a family-friendly outdoor nature and bird preserve. The event is a Halloween-themed walk with entertainment along the way. The walkers were gathered into a building prior to the walk, and one of my colleagues and his family was in attendance. It’s a challenge for me to ask families if I can photograph them, as I am respectful of privacy. I feel more comfortable taking pictures of the entertainment as they expect to be observed. I think my discomfort comes from being a nurse and prioritizing patient privacy. I think that there is an opportunity to think about this differently, as it is a different purposed and audience.

October 27, 2019: I took pictures at a Volunteer Fire Department Pancake Breakfast. Every opportunity I have had to take pictures has been a challenge. This time it was the lighting– very harsh overhead lights. I used my LumeCube to light people’s faces with some interesting results. I did not get a picture of a family at a table, which I should have done, but was happy about the picture I took of the former fire chief in front of the fire gear. These assignments are helping me to develop professionally in that each is different and I need to find a way to “solve” the picture problem. I submitted these and the VINS pictures to the newspaper and will wait to see if any are accepted.

October 30, 2019: Photos were accepted from both stories. I have a new assignment for tomorrow night- kids in Halloween costumes, which is fun. I suspect I’ll need supplemental light so will bring the LumeCube and my flash, which I am not so fond of 🙂 Also, I had submitted a few of my photos to Getty Images last week and was accepted into iStock, the subsidiary which is cheaper and pays less per image. I am thinking that I have photos which I would not do anything with anyway that could be making money as stock. I don’t have time to contribute right now, but will plan on doing this in the next couple of weeks.

November 1, 2019: My group presented our draft proposal for the CityID brief project. We only have three more weeks and the pressure is on. We presented our inspiration, critical to quality elements and two solutions which are very different from one another. We received encouraging feedback and an idea of which solution would be the better way forward. Our group will (hopefully) meet this weekend and confirm our plan and work. I have been pushing along three projects and am really exhausted!

I did not start on my oral presentation, nor did I attend any session this week. I am starting my outline now by referring back to what I said I was going to do in my research project proposal.

Week 5: Stronger together

October 19, 2019: Update on Group Brief CityID/B. I had an idea for a visual strategy which was difficult for me to describe in a web conference. I decided to see if I could create something like what I saw in my imagination. My original idea was to create a negative of a visual collage demonstrating the elements of brief B: Personal agency in a smart city environment. City ID also identified other key elements such as diversity people and geographies, physical, social or economic barriers; agency and belonging in the context of technology and place. I would then print the negative using cyanotype, thus create a blueprint. As in a blueprint toward a smart-city future.

Boston,Portugal, Sweden, California, France, China, New Hampshire, Vermont and Tokyo

October 20, 2019: I heard back from the newspaper and a few of the pictures I took have been sent on to layout. I received very helpful feedback about the depth of field (deep, not shallow), telling a story, taking names (of people in the photos), think postcard rather then art. It’s a steep learning curve but I think that this will help me grow as a professional.

This place has an Instagram account. The owners posted a small sign inviting people to take pictures, but asked that the the photos posted are tagged with @houseanddog.

October 22, 2019: Our CityID/B group met for 90 minutes today. I think that we are moving along really well and have some work to do to get ready for our mock presentation which is next week. I will be working on creating the proposal after another student did an excellent job describing the company and our objective, among other things. Another member shot a roll of 35mm film to see what the effects of exposed sprocket holes would do to our images. This has been a really nice experience and checking in with the group weekly has added to my experience this term. My suggested approach will probably not be one that we will take for this project, and that’s an appropriate choice. My work expresses a sense of frenetic while we were going for a more peaceful approach.

October 23, 2019: Received word back from the newspaper that they are using one of my photos. Yay! First paid photo job. Will wait to see if there are any further opportunities this week for additional work.

October 25, 2019: I really appreciate the opportunity to have a one to one conversation with my tutor. We reviewed my recent concept of demonstrating willful blindness in the context of historical events, such as America’s nuclear testing program. I received helpful feedback and will pursue this idea but without the dinosaurs. The dancer and dinosaur concept works well when the figures are isolated in a created world. However, I am wondering if I should pull out the dinosaurs and try to integrate the dancers more closely into the nuclear testing photos. Overall, I am enjoying this project and am awaiting inspiration for my next focus.

Week 4: The current commercial environment

15 October 2019 : I have been grappling with the questions of “who I am, what do I do and who cares” of late related to the recent post prompts. I have had some public exposure- through exhibitions and social media. However, I don’t know if people like my work, or would ever want to purchase it. I had great feedback yesterday, however, when co-workers expressed interest in my work specifically to decorate their offices. What struck both of them was the fun, feminist message contained in the photo. I thought – oh good, I am not crazy– that other people who work in this same very hierarchical environment may feel the same as me– disgusted by being asked to take minutes, or prepare a PowerPoint for a man who could do it himself. We do have administrative assistants who could do the work, but sometimes it seems that any person with xx chromosomes can be asked to clean up the lunchroom. So there is a potential market! The other thing I did today considering marketing myself was apply for a contract position as a news photographer. The advertisement stated that one could work as little or as much as desired– even if I could cover a couple of stories per month I would gain experience.

I met with the CityID Brief B group last night- three of us were able to get together. While we are still developing the ideas for what our visual recommendation will be, we also have started work on our timeline and I will attempt a written recommendation for our approach. At this point, we are thinking that we could shoot in film and take an experimental approach. While there is an inherent risk to a strategy like this, we feel that using a retro approach could be helpful in emphasizing future vision.

October 16, 2019: Update– I did not get selected for the Leica Women Foto award. This opportunity was open to female photographers in the US whose art expressed a female perspective. The artists who did produce inspiring work. I have a tiny bit of disappointment: however, I knew it was a long shot for me, but also that it’s important to put myself out there in hopes of being selected.

In response to ‘all genres of photography are commercial: Hearing the delineations of commercial vs art and how the two can work together is really helpful. I had wondered if my thought about taking on commercial work and doing my own work was unrealistic, but know now that this model is common. What was uncomfortable was thinking about what my personal style is. I don’t know and I don’t know how to know this.. Will continue to think.

October 17, 2019: Update on the freelance position at The Vermont Standard: The editor said that he and the publisher liked my work, so responded that I can start. First assignment: Halloween and fall decorations on the green in Woodstock VT. Will receive very little pay ($50/39 pounds) per assignment. I will try to do an assignment every weekend, or every other weekend. What I hope from this: I am excited to have the opportunity to produce commissioned work. I like the challenge of thinking through how I am going to get the paper what they want, in an interesting way. I also wonder if, by covering events or stories, I will be exposed to interesting things I might want to pursue as a project. Lastly, I really like the area of the state where the newspaper is based- it’s beautiful.