Introduction to Photography
This week, APP Introduction to Photography students began their two-week study of self-portraiture, and started to discuss creative ways of incorporating themselves in images that convey something about them and their unique experience of the world. Students spent part of Tuesday’s class practicing using the self-timer function on their cameras, and photographing themselves in found or constructed scenarios outside of the Dairy Barn. Lacking tripods, students were forced to come up with creative ways of balancing their cameras and framing their self-portraits. The piles of bricks were a great help.
Thursday’s class included a “body sculpting” exercise, in which students practiced expressing certain emotions through their body posture and facial expressions. Students directed each other on how to pose in ways that conveyed these emotions. Some of the emotions modeled included awkwardness, fear, and love. The hope is that students will consider a variety of self-expressive forms as they continue to work on their self-portraiture.
All images Copyright Lauren Pond
We each experience the world in a unique way. And this unique way has value. A value equal to that of anyone else’s perspective.
It can sometimes be hard to understand and put into words exactly what you are experiencing. In fact, I think it’s not that important to name and package your unique perception of the world, since we have the freedom for our perspective always to evolve and change.
This week we are going to explore self-portraiture as a form of creative expression. By this, I mean that we are not taking photos of ourselves just for the sake of having a document of our lives at this moment. Rather, we are using the camera to celebrate our valuable lives and unique experiences.
Our goal for this assignment is to be honest with ourselves, find ways of showing our life experiences to someone else, and honor their lives and self-portraits.
Include yourself in each photograph. Somehow, somewhere, include yourself.
Experiment and play. Some possibilities include: handheld self-portraits, portraits in a mirror, reflections in water or glass, your shadow, using the camera timer to show yourself in a meaningful place that reveals something about your life, using the camera timer to show yourself up close, using the camera timer to show yourself in action, using the camera timer to show yourself immersed in a scene – or in the distance.
This week the Advanced class continued to edit from their contact sheets. The majority of class was spent writing rough drafts for their artist statements that will accompany their portfolios. As a class the artists browsed the works of the OH+5 exhibit currently on display at the Dairy Barn to read the artist statements. While many of the artists have general artist statements from previous exhibitions, the goal is to have a statement that is concise and specific to the work included in their portfolios. After brainstorming and working with the TA’s and instructor, each artist read aloud the paragraph that they had thus far written and group discussions formed from each: what’s working, what’s unique, what could be added? to make the artist statement complement the images in the portfolio. The artists approached the writing workshop with enthusiasm and creativity. They were encouraged to think about how and what their work says about them. Several artists included to write about their other artistic mediums as facilitators to their photography e.g. printmaking, calligraphy and poetry. Others wrote about personal experiences present in the photographs. Some wrote about what they hope the audience will interpret from their photographs as a means to provide an emotional service to the viewer instead of praising the artist.