My working Progress Portfolio assignment for my MA Photography course is almost complete. For this particular module and my project themes, barber events, female barbers and Tattoo artists, which form part of my redefining the Art of Barbering project, have all been photographed and edited and are ready to put into an InDesign software prepared for converting to PDF.

The reason I have chosen an InDesign format as I feel the online websites present too many issues concerning copyright and also cost and also the ability to custom design my template. My many years working in the IT and multimedia industry I have learned that websites that offer something for free, such as a web space for your images usually (not always) comes at a price in either costs, standards, time or the ownership of our work. I’m happy to invest in some practical tools to help produce my work to a better standard or even at some point promote a particular business idea, but not spend time and money into something that in practical terms cannot be sustained.

In the lead up to designing my work in progress portfolio assignment, I was presenting my essential draft portfolio of images to one of my teachers.

I was procrastinating over quite a while over the sequence of the theme (barber event), my Tutor advised me to look at the work of photographer Susan Meiselas (Meiselas, 2017) to perhaps help me to form some assembly of my sequencing and selection.

Meiselas work is quite similar to some of my black and white work, so I think it did help me to realise that the narrative of a sequencing of images does not always have to have a logical start and finish.

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Susan Meiselas picture, from Carnival Strippers book, 1976 (Meiselas, 2017)

Although I had my sequence and photographs selected from my work in progress assignment portfolio I still needed to work on the ideas with the layout and backdrop of colours and framing if any.

Well, the ideal thing would be to print out my images and lay them out on a table and move them around. There is nothing better than to actually have something in your hand to arrange my pictures as opposed to a digital screen, so I decided to have a little fun with my photography by using some innovative tools to help me have a reference and arrange my sequence and themes.

So I decided to get hold of some Polaroid instant cameras and also a portable instant film printer to print out some small prints from my camera or mobile phone. And as part of my Hasselblad film camera setup, I also got hold of a Polaroid film back and some Fuji 100c colour instant film. The idea is that when I take film or digital photos of barber shops and the like, I can give them an instant picture of themselves as a memory of the day both digitally and direct from the film camera and can also be used as a reference and label to my work. In the case of my portfolio, I printed out my chosen 18 images for this module and laid them out to arrange.

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From left to right, FUJI SHARE SP3 Instax SQ printer, Instax 90 mini, Hasselblad Polaroid film back and example prints from the FUJI SP3 – Paul Peach 2017
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Using my instant pictures I arranged many different portfolio sequences and order of viewing to get the right balance when viewing. This particular sequence is not my final sequence.

So one last thing to do before I run these through an Indesign software is to decide on the colour of the backdrop and framing each picture. Taking some influences from the colour palette of the book I purchased at the F11 Foto Museum of the Alexander Rodchenko exhibition.(F11 Foto Museum, 2017)

This pale matt red backdrop and picture spacing for each theme I  believe make the work more inviting and interesting. It gives the viewer a sense of looking at something new and provides an endpoint with each theme. So this is what I hope to achieve with my portfolio and also my book at a later date. This design concept will help with my printed and electronic collection of images.

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F11 Foto Museum, F. (2017) Alexander Rodchenko page in book purple backdrop
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F11 Foto Museum, F. (2017) Alexander Rodchenko page in book – Graphics and fonts
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F11 Foto Museum, F. (2017 Alexander Rodchenko) Book cover and text
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F11 Foto Museum, F. (2017) Alexander Rodchenko – page in book Pale red matt backdrop

So one last step before I produce my portfolio assignment in Indesign is to quickly create some example backdrops for my work in progress images, I used a simple mobile app which came with my Fuji SP3 Instax square printer. Instax share (FUJIFILM, 2017) then saved each picture and put it into a simple Powerpoint page to view.

The whole point of this is to allow me to play with some backdrops and also frames to give some indication of where I wanted my portfolio to be regarding design.

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Saved Instax app images into PowerPoint page – Paul Peach 2017

 

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Sketching some of my portfolio example layouts – Paul Peach 2017

 

Having looked at my images in various sequences and many different colour backdrops and spacing in Indesign, I have decided to do 2 versions of my WIP portfolio. One with more full bleed and another with some white frames within a darker backdrop.

At the moment I will probably go for the full bleed version with some vintage colour palette and a Calibiri and Aldrich font Combination.

I think after this process, I am getting better at selecting images, but this is someone who used to look after a picture database for 2 newspapers, so I should have had a lot of exposure to photograph before

References

FUJIFILM, F. (2017). instax SHARE SP-3 | Fujifilm Global. [online] Fujifilm.com. Available at: http://www.fujifilm.com/products/instant_photo/printers/instax_share_sp_3/ [Accessed 13 Nov. 2017].

F11 Foto Museum, F. (2017). Current | F11 Foto Museum. [online] F11.com. Available at: http://f11.com/exhibitions [Accessed 30 Oct. 2017].

Meiselas, S. (2017). Carnival Strippers | Early Years (1971-1978) | Susan Meiselas. [online] Susanmeiselas.com. Available at: http://www.susanmeiselas.com/early-years/carnival-strippers/#id=intro [Accessed 5 Dec. 2017].

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