I am very pleased with the phonebook that I produced to document the homeless. along with all the photos despite all the bumps in the road with it. I was inspired to pursue documenting the homeless after a cold winter night in Liverpool. I saw so many people who where freezing and it was honestly heart breaking. I decided to go to subway and buy as many coffees as I could to go round and dish them out to those in need. I wasn’t doing it for fame or praise like most, I just wanted to do something to help. So I decided to document there lives on the streets.
Though I enjoyed the project to an extent and the photos are good, the photo book wasn’t what I hoped it to be. I also had so many ideas that I wanted to explore and make them a reality. Like, interviewing the homeless however it didn’t seem practical or too safe. I also wanted to make an organisation of sorts where people could donate clothes and whilst I was on the streets I could give them something back. However I will still be continuing this project outside uni in my own time and hopefully I’ll be able to help people as many people as I can or even help people see. For people to use their eyes and not avoid them, they’re not trash, they’re people. They just happen to be in a worse place than you.
I think if I was to do this project again or one similar to then I would start it off earlier and definitely pack it full of research. Which I literally haven’t done on this one which is disappointing. I would also have more photos and definitely ones with a better quality than these ones.
I was told by my family and my tutor that directly photographing the homeless might be a bit dangerous and it could make me a liability. However I needed more photos so I decided to take some long exposures of people with a homeless man in the frame. I also had a friend with me to ensure I don’t get bullied or harassed by anyone.
This was an interesting day on the streets to say the least. I decided to approach the homeless and ask for there photo instead. I found this to be useful as they’re more friendly when they know you’re not a threat to them in anyway. Obviuosly I got a lot of NO’s but that was expected going in, I’m actually surprised in got some YES’s.
I decided to take some long exposures to enhance the visualisation of them being ignored by society. I did however get myself in a little situation later that night. After approaching a homeless man on bold street, he was over enthusiastic about getting his photo taken I offered a little money then he wanted more. I decided to get some change then he followed me into the subway. He might have been happy to recite attention or he was a conman and could see that I was naive. Ether way he was pushy and I just didn’t feel safe. I gave him the money and walked away, I offered it and he took it. It’s my Own fault but I don’t have a filter when looking at homeless people, it’s hard to see who is genuine and who might be playing me for a fool.
For this shoot, I decided to vent into Chester after uni to explore where the homeless shelter and behave there. This is where I decided to incorporate the habitat of where the homeless rest and shelter. The main one being the big underground.
This shoot was my test run of photographing the homeless in Liverpool. They’re not the best photos as you can see however they do show desperate people in need of help need in my opinion that outweighs the photo quality a bit. There is one photo that is so ironic its sad. there are always people sleeping outside Oxfam in Liverpool, probably because its well lit and provides some shelter. Oxfam say they ‘Help fight poverty’ or so it say so on their sign above people who are homeless. It’s hard to take a charity like that seriously when they literally have people at there sleeping door.
I’ve decided to follow up on what I did for the last project which was along the lines of documentary. Me and my tutor both came to the same agreement that I should focus on the homeless, this is a topic that I’ve wanted to cover for a long time.
I thought it would be interesting if I did a photobook as my final Piece, I think that this will allow me to present my best photos of the homeless in a professional manner.
I had an idea to make the photos come to life, I’m hoping to use an audio device to record the sounds of the streets to optimize the visual experience for the viewer. I’m thinking that this could be done by using QR Codes somehow and then the viewer can use their smart phone to listen and engage more with my work.
Folio 2 (35%) Assignment Brief: Establishing a Context Through Extended Experiences & Expanded Practices
For the Folio 1 assignment brief we explored the notion of Embodied practice where experience acts as a point of departure for new experiences and practices. If we take this conception further our relationship with how we define and make work from our experience potentially becomes more significant and meaningful.
Throughout his writing Walter Benjamin explores the complexity of experience and how technologies both enhances and deprives our understanding of experience in different contexts. The subtlety of this shifts our understanding of experience with each conception:
Erleben / Erlebt – Experience(s) accumulated over a life time and ‘lived through’ Erlebnis – A specific life event Fahren – To travel or make a journey Erfahrung – An experience from which something is learned where knowledge is gained over a longer period of time
Here each experience involves the following: Body: An awareness of your own presence as a being (photographer) in space Time / space: The production of memory: past, present and future Agency / contingency: to encounter, recognise and act upon something
• You have all identified a specific event, memory or experience relative to your own accumulated experience, which connects with the recent or distant past
• You have each reimagined or reconfigured, and newly understood this experience in the present, as well as how it shapes future practices and experiences
• The Experience of making photographs takes on a new significance as the original experience abd context is translated into new experiences in a meeting of: practice / theory > context / image
• How is experience manifest or revealed in the images you have made so far and how are these approaches now developed and expanded
• This is dependent on the context which you begin to develop and consolidate over the next few weeks as you extend and expand the practices which you have established so far
Having identified your context and genre develop and extend your project as you respond to the following on a week-to-week basis as a series of developmental tasks:
1. the Travelled Photograph and Journey Made
2. Staged, Constructed, Performed
3. Cinematographic – Still & Moving Image