Assignment 3 – Putting Yourself in the Picture – Shoes

Putting myself in the picture isn’t something I would usually choose to do! Part of the brief was to keep a diary which is something I’ve tried to do before, but have never succeeded in completing a whole year!! This time, I decided to take a different approach and bought myself a planning diary with lots of stickers.

Planning diary kept for this assignment

This actually worked quite well for a couple of months. In stead of writing reams, I was able to just write a line or a phrase and then set about choosing an appropriate sticker. This made the book look pretty and the snippets of information were enough to jog my memory. This was going ok until one day I realised I hadn’t written in it for a week! and there endeth the story of they diary!

I concluded that I really don’t find myself that interesting!

I considered my approach for this project would be ‘self-absented portraiture‘ as I don’t like being in photographs. However, I liked the idea of concealing myself and yet revealing myself through the use of a surrogate object.

In Eva Stenram’s drapes series she deflected the viewers gaze by covering parts of the women’s bodies, creating a scene that leaves the viewer without all of the answers and forces them to explore the image for further clues about the person. Like most people I am complex and multifaceted, but as an introvert draw my energy from within and therefore, don’t always show the ‘full me’ to many people.

I was very drawn to Elinor Carruci’s work which has a much more intimate feel. She is able to capture very graphic moments of life in a low light style using members of her family and herself. I really like this approach but didn’t feel that this would work for this project.

I have chosen to depict myself through a surrogate; my shoes. My aim is to give a glimpse of myself whilst giving the viewer the opportunity to explore the image for more clues. I have used natural daytime light to capture this set, so by that token focused only on my daytime activities.

In researching people using shoes in this way, I couldn’t find many, if any, examples. The majority of photographs of shoes are taken in order to sell them. Therefore, I wanted to make ‘real’ life photos with shoes that are worn in and being used. In some of the images the shoes are the primary focus of the picture, whereas in others, they are incidental in the image. In a few of the images, you are seeing the world from my point of view. On reflection, I think this is a good analogy of me.

We seem, these days, to think we know people because of the images they post on social media, this gave rise to the invent of the selfie and a trend of people posting hundreds of images of their face. But how much does this actually tell us about them?

I have chosen to present these images on Instagram because this is one of the most commonly used apps for sharing self-portraits. There are 12 images in this set, because this is the number of pictures you can see in a grid form on your phone when you click on someone’s profile. This is also why I picked the square format.

Below is a screenshot and a link to my Instagram page. I would like people to view them through this media and comment.

my research and planning can be seen here

click here to see the contact sheets for the assignment

my pre-feedback reflection and assessment criteria points can be read here

tutor report and post feedback reflections can be read here