Portrait test shoots / by Lasma Poisa

These portraits were photographed early on before having a clear idea or particular strategies to use for this body of work. I am pleased with these aesthetically, the stillness and timelessness in expressionless, blank faces is what I was hoping to convey. I feel that the studio portraits are perhaps stronger than the naturally lit ice cream photo, which stands out from the rest. 

On reflection I became aware of couple of issues.

  • Compositionally my images look very similar. Poses are almost identical, central to the image and facing the same direction. When it comes to strangers, I have not been very creative in asking them to perform in a particular way.
  • Using 35mm full frame in portrait stretches the image making them look squashed in. I had a portfolio review with Michelle Sank and I was suggested using a different aspect ratio to visually create more space around my sitters. Also, I might use 35mm lens instead of 50mm I have been using so far. 
  • I could be more adventurous in creating narratives in my pictures. Perhaps I need to plan my shoots better, coming in with clear ideas rather than improvising in a moment. 

After the f2f event in Falmouth I have come away with much clearer ideas in where to take this project further. I received a lot of great and constructive feedback which I found very helpful. 

  1. I should be photographing political youth in all parties, not just young Corbyn supporters. Now it seems like such a no-braner. I have emailed Manchester regional Conservatives, Lib Dems, Greens and UKIP calling for participants. I am hoping to get responses from all.
  2. It was suggested I should photograph young farmers, an idea I like very much and might explore during the next module, but currently would be a logistical nightmare as I am not near any farming communities. 
  3. I have to be more considerate with my framing; firstly by changing the aspect ratio of my photos and secondly by considering the edges of my photos. Even though I think I have come a long way in constructing my images, I know I can be hasty when photographing, becoming too excited by the sitter and forgetting about things in the background and around the edges. I need to slow down, look and observe. 
  4. I should look at paintings for composition and consider fashion in my photography. I have since visited Manchester Art Gallery and looked at people in paintings, compositions and poses I could translate in my photos.