Overall I’ve been pleased with the way my project has gone, its enabled me to begin working in a professional manor and start to be able to work to a clients desires and needs. I found getting into the swing of the project was easy as I was basically caring on from com tech but taking it in a new direction. I decided that I needed to have some guts about what I was doing and confidence in my own work and in myself if I was going to be able to approach bands and event organisers to get work. To begin with I took a sort of back seat approach messaging bands on myspace asking if they would like photography done, I got mixed results from this but in one case I landed my first participating band. Jon Jones and the Beatnicks movement were the first band to get back to me, and one of the only bands that I worked with more than once. The first session I did with them was some live shots that we did in Bradford at St.George’s hall. They didn’t really have an idea of what they wanted visually, just that they wanted some new photos for their myspace and website. To begin with I just applied my own style to the photos with lots of heighted colours. They were really happy with the results and asked me back to take some more live shots at their gig at the cockpit in Leeds, which was part of the event live at Leeds. They got me a access all areas pass which allowed me to network with the other bands at the event which led on to me getting more photos of other bands these being, Rent boys and Guilt pursuit. I had initially planned to get Jon Jones into the studio to do some staged photos, we had discussed ideas for the shoot, and had settled on an almost dark/horror theme. These plans unfortunately had to be cancelled as their drummer left, and there was no way they would find a new drummer within the time scale I was working in. I have spoken with them since and we are planning to reschedule the shoot for when a new drummer has been found.
I had some discussions with the Rent boys about doing a location shoot in the basement of my house. As you will have seen within the development work of my project I did a few tester shots with lights that I bought within the basement setting so I knew how I would need to set the room up on their arrival. Unfortunately members within the band had clashing ideas on what the theme should be so it has taken more time than expected to actually get the shoot done. The member of the band that I have had most communication with told me that some members had been wanting to do some sort of weird themed shoot and some hadn’t, but like with Jon Jones the shoot will happen at some point soon, it will just have to wait until they can agree on something. I also arranged another studio shoot through a friend with a band called pulled apart by horses, this shoot was always going to happen after the deadline as they are currently on tour but I included it to show that I am planning on keeping going with this style of photography and hopefully make it into something that can make me some money in the future. I wanted to branch out with this project and get some location work done, and again a close friend point me in the direction of someone that need to shots done for her dance portfolio and website. I thought this was a great opportunity for me to add a different dimension to the work I had already done. She wanted a range of shots of her dancing around Yorkshire Sculpture Park. She asked for some shots in colour some in black and white and then a few with a sort of washed out vintage look. Like with the band work I had already done the feedback I got was all-positive and it has helped me no end with working on location outside. I think the fact that I was working with someone I knew on my first proper location shoot allowed me to relax a little more and not rush things, which in turn gave much better results on the final photos. I haven’t included any of the shots from this shoot in my final portfolio but I am planning on putting them in at a later date, this was mainly due to the difficulty with getting into the digital print room for extended periods of time.
As I was struggling to get many bands ready in time for my deadline I decided to take matters into my own hands and begin just turning up at gigs for bigger bands and taking photos with the hope that I could send them to magazines or websites and maybe the bands at a later date for them to use. From this I have got most of my best work, I took photos at the thrash and burn tour which featured several metal bands. I found unlike with some of the others that it is much easier to capture the energy of a show when you are photographing metal/hardcore bands as there is a lot more movement on and off stage, I got some great shots of band audience interaction which is something I had failed to get at previous gigs, and I feel doing this was a great learning experience for me. The nest gig I tried this at was the Black Lips gig at TJ’s in Woodhouse, again I just turned up with my camera and started shooting. Within an hour of being there I had shown my photos to the man that had organised the night, he allowed me the freedom to get up on stage and get some far better shots of the band which he was planning to use on his website. After the gig he asked me to come and take photos for his new club night called Nation of shopkeepers. The first night went really well all the shots I took are now on his website and on the Nation of Shopkeepers facebook page. He also asked me back to take more photos on the up coming weekend after being really impressed with what the photos I took. I think again like with the dance shots taking pictures at a club night has allowed me to grow again as a photographer and add another branch to my tree. Overall I feel this project has gone really well for me, I don’t think I have done as much back up work as I should have done but the way my briefs panned out it was hard for me to do any research before doing the event. I pleased with how this project has helped me develop my skills and portfolio. Hopefully I’ll be able to get my planned shoots done of the next few weeks to try and bulk out my portfolio some more and I want to work on getting a range of new shots done, but in terms of what I’ve learnt about dealing with people and their needs I don’t think it could have gone much better.