For our last assignment we could choose our own subject, the only proviso was that it had to be about people and/or the places they inhabit.
We had to choose a client, the purpose of the assignment and how the images were to be used. This assignment required us to think about the end result from the perspective of a client.
Once we had done this, we had to produce 8-12 final images and write a short evaluation that included
- The client brief
- Statement about how I planned to take the photographs
- How well I feel I succeeded, noting any problems or difficulties that arose while taking the photos.
I chose to use my husband’s business, Cloudbase Images, as my client; my husband has recently asked me to take some photos for the website.
Cloudbase Images have contacted me and asked me to take some images of them for use on their website and on social media. Cloudbase Images is a local business which has recently been set up. They specialise in aerial photography using remote controlled unmanned aircraft.
The images they required included
- Portraits of each member of staff
- An image of both crew members together
- The equipment
- The team working on location while flying the aircraft, behind the scenes style photos
Before taking the images, I decided to research similar businesses and see what sort of images they used on their websites. Many I found only showed images of aerial photography that the company had taken and therefore did not show the aircraft, which I felt was an important and interesting subject in itself. However I did find a few on http://www.roguestatemedia.co.uk/ which showed the staff taking photos that they then used for their blog and I found several on the internet. I thought the images might be good to try and emulate because they are quite fun and different as they play around with angles and it is an interesting way to have everything in the same photo. I would also like to experiment with having the aircraft and people all in focus and just the aircraft in focus and the people defocused.
From this, I went on to think about how I would go about taking the images. As the company deal only with outdoor photography, I felt that it would be best to use somewhere outdoors to take the images. Also in order to fly the unmanned aircraft safely, they require a large amount of space, I felt that I needed to reflect this in the images i.e. the images would mainly be taken on location as opposed to an enclosed space like a back garden. The company complete regular test flights so I went along to one of these to begin taking the “behind the scenes” images. With these images I was able to have free rein over them as the brief was just to take images of the crew working, whereas the later shots of the crew and the portraits would be a lot more managed and I would have to communicate with the company to make sure I took the images exactly as they wanted them. Other considerations I had to make were
- Lighting- during the first shoot, it was very bright which worked well for the images of the crew working however wouldn’t have worked for the portraits and crew as the light would have been too harsh.
- When working in bright daylight, I also had to think about my position and focal length as I found that I was casting a shadow that was appearing on the images.
- Time restrictions- The crew were only able to fly the aircraft for certain periods of time due to battery power
- Safety- Due to the nature of the subject, I had to be aware of where I was standing as the crew advised me that I couldn’t stand too close to where they were flying the aircraft for health and safety reasons
Once I had taken all the images, I printed a contact sheet of my favourite 32 so I could decide which ones I wanted for my final 8-12 images.
My Final Images
The first 6 images were taken around 9am one morning. The light was quite bright; however my aim for this shoot was to just take images of the crew working. I wanted to do a mixture of close up shots and some taken further away. As I wanted the images to show the crew behaving normally. For the majority of the shoot, I kept my distance from the crew and varied my focal length to take the images. During this session, I took around 130 images as I wanted to make sure that I captured particular moments such as the crew flying the aircraft. When the aircraft wasn’t flying, I was able to take more close and involved images such as the crew preparing the aircraft and viewing the footage they had taken. I think that by combining close ups and wider shots, it helped to build a better picture of exactly what the crew do day to day.
For the last 3 images, the set up was a little different. With these images I had to work to a stricter criteria as the client was specific about what it was that they wanted. Even though these images weren’t about the crew members using the equipment, I still felt it was best to take the images outdoors to follow on the theme of them being an outdoor company. Also by taking the images outside, it allowed for a more interesting background for the photos. I took these images on a different day from the other images as I wanted to do them on a day where there was some changing light as it would give me the chance to experiment with the lightingto get the best shot. I asked the subjects to look directly at the camera and positioned them so I would be including their torsos in the image. I felt by positioning them like this would make the images look a little less like “mug shots” which can often look quite constricting and give amore personal and open feel to the images which would then relay to their potential customers when they look at the company.
When I first looked at this assignment, I was initially very nervous about it as I had no idea where to start but once I began to think about the brief, I was really looking forward to starting.
I feel that this assignment has really helped to consolidate what I have learnt and given me the chance to organise my work myself i.e creating my own brief. There have been some parts of this module that I have found quite difficult due to lack of confidence but this assignment allowed me to work on, what I felt, were my stronger points thoughout the module.
The only difficulties I incurred was having to reshoot one of the portraits as the original didn’t come out very well due to the lighting being to bright and over-exposuring the face. I fixed this by taking the image later in the day when the sun was lower. I found working with the lighting tricky as I rely a lot on natural light which can change so quickly, however I enjoyed the challenge and it helped me to consider the lighting conditions and the positions of my subjects. I also tried to take a photo similar to the images I included at the beginning of my write up, of the aircraft hovering in front of the crew. I was unable to effectively communicate to the crew what I wanted and this lead to me being unable to capture the shot I wanted. This experience proves the need to carefully plan more difficult shots and thoroughly brief the subjects on my requirements.