Team Work –
Through out my 20 days professional experience I faced many challenges in order to adapt to the different team working styles that my different partnering photographers employed. I found that my main role across all projects was as an instigator, with respect to ensuring that the work was completed and designing a vague plan of what needed to be completed when. With this done the team was able to see a physical time line for the project and bring any issues to light surrounding tight schedules and unlikely objectives. I found that whilst working in the team for the Costcutter Christmas project I was the lead in all aspects. The Costcutter Directors and management gave me clear outlines of what they wanted doing, and then left me to complete it in the manners that I thought best to fit their needs. In one instance this lead to me taking a photograph from a window overlooking the Christmas scene as the Directors wished for some images to clearly show the high level of turn out that the event experienced.
With specific reference to my exhibition carried out in partnership with Hereward College I was part of a two-person photography team in the first instance. However, it is important to consider that 10 students were added to the mix and made up part of the working project team as it was them and their feelings towards their disabilities that myself and my fellow photographer were trying to represent by images. In the initial meetings with my fellow photographer we both agreed that we need to play Devils Advocaat with the students in order to throw ideas around and put thoughts into their heads about what they want to produce and how they want to portray their feelings through the medium of photography. When it came to these meetings with the students I found myself playing a big role in the team in that I ensured that not only were ideas being bounced off of each others, but they were also being recorded to ensure that productivity was at a maximum.
Further to this, I feel that I held a very diplomatic and management type role between all members of the team, including teachers and students. I was able to step back from what I wanted to capture as a photographer and listen to what the students wanted to show as subjects. I was able to force the boundaries of my photography skills and open my mind up to some very literal ways of interpreting old adages and then implementing them and capturing them on film.
Personally I feel that I do not stand my ground as well as I could do within the team. For example, if I proposed one idea and a member of the team proposed an equally good idea then I would frequently back down to them and use their idea. Upon reflection I think, or rather I know that next time I will be more confident that my ideas are in fact strong and have the potential to produce as good an outcome as any other from members of the team. I feel that this confidence has arisen from the praise and feedback that I have personally received from both Hereward College and Herbert Art Gallery about my ideas and the way in which I implement my ideas to generate an outcome.
In future, in all aspects of team work in photography I think that I will improve my ability to get what I want out of a shoot rather than compromise. I think that thus far I have avoided compromise due to sheer determination, motivation and a slight element of stubbornness; however, I want to avoid compromise by the desire and need to strive for perfection in my photographs. Perfection in what I want to capture as a photographer, perfection in what the subject wants to display in respect to emotions and feelings; and finaly, perfection in the audience seeing the final piece, and receiving the communication of feelings, power and emotions that a strong and thought provoking image will conjure in an audience.
Throughout this module I have greatly progressed my ability to think out side of the box in a creative manner in order to create good, strong, thought provoking images. This was especially the case whilst carrying out work with Hereward College, as I was able to use the students’ very literal way of thinking to create images that showed their thoughts and feelings. One particular progression of my creative skills was through the use of PhotoShop whereby I was able to add images of pins and needles to Scott’s arm, to show the very literal and linear way that his mind works with what he hears and what he reads. This is with reference to the well-coined colloquialism “Ive got pins and needles”
Teaching: Through working with the Hereward Collage students, I have gained my first true experience of teaching. I have picked up skills from the teachers who I was working with on the project, skills that enabled me to know how to be assertive and inspirational, whilst still maintaining a creative flair, In my decisions and tones with the students. I found myself naturally being able to stay calm and yet still passionate about the work that I am enthusiastic about.
Commercial Photography: I feel that as a direct result of being hired to carry out photography at Costcutter’s Christmas event that I have gained a great insight and some valuable knowledge into commercial and corporate photography. This knowledge is with regard to how different members of a company can perceive different ways to capture an event, and to show the feelings that the attendees were having.
Organisation: Through out all of my professional experiences I have been organised with managing the different projects that I had been working on all at the same time. I utilised my time by having set days where I would work on the different projects. I found the use of the Gant Chart that I wrote up for my Hereward Collage project very useful and It helped to keep me on track with the work load, and the date by which I needed to have It completed.
Communication: Communication was a key part through out my professional experience, as all of my projects required good communication skills in – order for the collaboration to work effectively and for everyone to understand what their roles within the team were. Interestingly we all communicated through various different types of media, such as online social networking websites, for the Picbod exhibition. Via email, phone calls and text messages for the Hereward Project, ‘ Our autism in pictures’. Lastly by post through the mail, for the Dalmatian project.