Thank you to my tutor, Matt White for some comprehensive feedback on my first assignment. I was relieved to read the first sentence as ‘This is a good start Sam, well done’. It’s exactly what my confidence needed to hear so I could take on board the ensuing constructive criticism.
The first comment said that choosing subjects close my heart means its easy to become overly sentimental, I hadn’t considered this at the time. I think it only remained objective because although it’s an important subject to me, the people involved in the project had no correlation to the subject matter.
In part one of the course I remember being asked the question, Can pictures ever be objective? My answer can be found from a previous exercise, Eyewitnesses:
After revisiting this subject I had concluded that a photograph can never be objective however, my feedback is suggesting the photo series should be objective. I then reread the assignment and suddenly my tutors comment made sense.
The assignment brief was to create two sets of photographs telling different versions of the same story. Both sets needed to be convincing so I set about telling the story of opposite behaviours in the same child and therefore one set or even both would need to be untrue; and this is were the objective nature of documentary would come in to play.
I’m not sure from my tutors comments if he believed either side of the story but I also used text to sway the viewer into thinking that I was photographing a behaviourally challenged child.
As my tutor commented on this being a subject close to my heart I’m assuming I did a good job in convincing my viewers of this. In truth the children in the photographs are both impeccably behaved, top of the class students (albeit good actors!).