Professional Practice Tasks

Task 1

1) Why are you here?

I decided to do commercial photography degree instead of an internship because I think I still have lots to learn and understand within photography such as techniques in photography and learning and analysing other photographers work.

2) Where do you see yourself in 3 years?

In three years I will like to have graduated from this course and begun my own career within photography or maybe have an internship working with a fashion photographer.

3) Three Things about your self

1) I love fashion photography.

2) My dream is to be working for a fashion magazine such as Vogue.

3)  I used to live in america until I was 3.

Task 2

1) Find two photographers/ Practitioners that you would like to interview and why?

Two photographers:

  • Lindsay Adler
  • Gary Stevens

I decided I wanted to email these two photographer asking if they want to be interviewed because Lindsay Alder Is Portrait and fashion photographer and I really want to lean more about fashion photography as that is the genre of photography I want to get into at the moment. On the other hand I wanted to interview Gary Stevens because like most photographers, he is not well known and can give me a down to earth view on what the industry is really like. He specialises in wedding photography which is very different to fashion and would give me a completely different perspective.

2) Have a schedule outlined and an action plan.

My action plan for interviewing photographers is to email about 6 or 7 photographers. Some are well known and so I would be amazed if I get a reply from them but I thought I would have a go as I like to be ambitious. The email I will send is:

My name is Laura Stobart and I am studying BA commercial Photography for Fashion, Advertising and Editorial photography at Plymouth College Of Art. For one of my projects we have to interview a photographer who’s work is in a style or field we would like to experiment more with or possibly with in after we leave university. My passion is Fashion photography and so I was wondering if you would be willing to answer some questions for me about your style and line of photography.

I know you must be incredibly busy but it would be really appreciated if you are willing to share some of your experiences with me. Ideally I would like to do the interview either by phone or Skype (which ever works best for you) and it should take no more than an hour.

Please let me know as soon as possible with your answer as I would love to speak to you about your career, background and experience. many thanks

However I will personalise email depending on what industry the photographer is in.

Task 3

  1. Research into photographic genres, fashion, advertising or editorial.

For this research I have decided to look into fashion photography as that is the genre I currently enjoy the most.

2) What are the Key characteristics of the field of photography (fashion photography)

Fashion photography is different from Editorial,Advertising or portraiture because it is wanting to sell you a lifestyle rather than just the product. I think these are the main characteristics that set fashion apart from the other genres:

  • It emphasis the mood and styling of the image and not just the product, So the idea is to sell the lifestyle not just the product
  • The product or the clothing are accessories to demonstrate the lifestyle you want to create
  • The images tend to be more complex as they don’t often use a plain backgrounds
  • Models are often styled dramatically to demonstrate a stylistic lifestyle i.e dramatic eye shadows etc
  • Complex lighting is also used often to help build the effect by using lots of lights
  • Frequently work in a team to create the set and style then want for the shoot. this often includes designer, art directors, makeup artists and hairstylists
  • A client brief is the starting point for bring the team together to create the ideas and concepts before then creating physical shoot

3) Find a Successful photographer in this area, how why do you think they are Successful?

Annie Leibovitz is a very successful fashion and portraiture photographer I love how she can capture a single emotion in just one shot. The reason I think she is so successful is because:

  • She is good at marketing her ideas/ creative output
  • Leibovitz has a good business ethics
  • a unique style sets her work apart from others
  • She works with celebrities and often uses a disney movie style as the starting point whilst also adding complexity and drama
  • She uses textured backgrounds to create drama and her interesting backgrounds attract the audience
  • Of the way she positions her models

4) How can you effectively pursue and gain a career in this genre/area?

Having researched how to gain a career in fashion photography it is a parent that the main route in is to assist a photographer and so gain experience and knowledge of the industry and how to take a client brief whilst making it your own but also meeting the clients needs. I would hope be able to get some of this experience whilst on my degree course especially when we start working with real clients and their brief. Another way to gain experience could be to do a series of shot internships during study breaks which may open additional doors after I have finished my degree.

Task 4

  1. Find one good and one bad interview and discuss why?

An example of a bad interview is one I saw of Donald Trump on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show. It was titled “Donald Trump has nothing to apologise for”, but by the end I felt he had lots to apologise for. Apart from not liking his politics, I think its a bad interview because of the way he comes across and the sly comments he kept making. All the interview question where highly predictable yet he did not have sensible answers to any of them. So it looked like the interviewer and the interviewee hadn’t created a strong enough relationship before the start of the interview to feel like a natural conversation.

Here is the link

The good interview is an interview with Ron Corbin, street photographer. I think it is a good interview as I like the way the music is playing whilst scrolling through the images however when he is talking the music is not over powering. He also shows his images as he discusses why he became a street photographer and why he concentrates on the people he does. I also like how there are no awkward pauses or any significant hesitations as her describes his work. By the end of the video I felt I had an emotional connection to him and his images and that what made it a successful interview.

2) How could you improve it?

If I wanted to improve the bad interview I would make sure that both the interviewer and interviewee had a relationship so that the conversation would flow more and engage the audience more. If I was to improve the good interview I would have not just have the photographer answering the questions I would also have the interviewer in video so the audience can see the connection.

If I was to

3) What makes a strong interview?

  • Clear open questions that encourage a full, honest answer
  • Pre prepared questions that are specific to that person
  • A flowing conversation between the interviewer and the interviewee
  • Both the interviewer and the interviewee are relaxed and focused on the interview whilst also wanting to be there
  • The right setting so that the interviewer and the interviewee can both hear the questions and the answers

4) Think about 5 key questions you might ask?

  1. When and were did you start liking photography?
  2. What series of events lead you to this point?
  3. What is your personal project are you working on at the moment?
  4. What is your main source of influence within your work?
  5. What is the defining image of your career and why?