Assignment 1 – Rethink

I had a very interesting discussion with my tutor about assignment 1. In which he said:

‘It’s clear that you have engaged with the assignment and produced an appropriate response to the brief. Photographing strangers can be a fairly daunting prospect so it’s great to see that you embraced the situation and assignment brief. Your idea to set up a table and photograph outside of your house is an interesting concept. It’s evident that you made your subjects feel comfortable resulting in their willingness to sit for you. As we discussed, it’s clear that you could have taken more control over the portrait sessions, remember that you are the creative, you are the author, the one with the vision. In future try and take more control over the situation, you are the director. Mostly it’s about confidence and the more you engage with portrait photography the more accomplished you will become – so make sure that you continue to pursue this genre.’

Further discussion was around the fact (that I was already aware of) that all the people were smiling. He suggested I went through the images again and tried for different edits:

  1. All the people with a deadpan face
  2. All the people looking in different directions.

We also discussed that I could have been more directive with where I wanted my subjects to stand – to avoid the problem with random variations of background.

Deadpan Edit:

Assignment 1 redo (5 of 5)
The Plumber
Assignment 1 redo (3 of 5)
The Lady (retired)
Assignment 1 redo (2 of 5)
The Businesssman
Assignment 1 redo (1 of 5)
The Postman
Assignment 1 redo (1 of 1)
The Teacher

Different Directions:

Assignment 1 redo (1 of 5)
The Court Usher
Assignment 1 redo (2 of 5)
The Businessman
Assignment 1 redo (5 of 5)
The Lady (retired)
Assignment 1 redo (3 of 5)
The Entrepreneur
Assignment 1 redo (4 of 5)
The Social Worker

Both sets have a very different feel, and also a different feel from the original edit. Overall, I think I prefer the ‘Deadpan’ set. I was fascinated to find how such a relatively small change in the edit could make such a difference to the project.

I further change I have experimented with is to make all the deadpan images black and white which I think suits the style and also takes the focus away from the clothes and the bright colouring onto the faces. It also deals with the background variation problem.

Assignment 1 redo (1 of 5)Assignment 1 redo (2 of 5)Assignment 1 redo (3 of 5)Assignment 1 redo (4 of 5)Assignment 1 redo (5 of 5)

Summery and Learning Points:

  • Make sure you are in control of the image
  • Decide in advance what ‘feel’ you want to the series
  • Be in control of the exact placement of the person you are photographing


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