My project was to create a memory scrapbook using photographs from an individuals point of view, with his eyes being the camera, documenting the moments throughout his life from birth to the point of independence. It was planned to be an online scrapbook/memory journal, reminiscing on those moments as if the individual was reliving those moments as well as some insight to how those moments made that individual feel and what it meant to him.
Some of the strengths of this project was that it allowed me to get some unique photos as well as try out some new angles and styles that would usually be frowned upon in a usual photograph aspect. But due to this project’s gimmick is that the individuals eyes was the camera, it allowed for some flexibility and rule breaking when it comes to photography. Another strength was that the images really told a story better than if the project was just words. You can almost envision yourself seeing the things this individual is seeing or having yourself reflect on similar memories that you may of experienced yourself which was the goal for this project. Other strengths include being able to travel to take unique photographs so most of the images are taken in different locations or environments, plus this project allowed me to be creative not only in the photo taking aspect, but to also show my creative side in telling a fictional story. The individual I created in the project has some memories that I took from myself and other people who answered my survey during pre-production, which created a big memory bank of different peoples experiences throughout life.
Some weaknesses of the project first of all was the time management. It took a lot of time to plan then obtain the photographs. The planning alone took over a week longer than expected due to the amount of research that went into it, as well as the style I wanted to take the photos to show my own style. When it came to take the photos, that also took a lot of time due to travelling, needing certain props or other individuals acting (such as the relationship and detention photos) and weather conditions. However, even though it took longer than expected to complete all this, it was still all completed within the time limit and handed in before the deadline. One other weakness this project seemed to have was the design of the online book. I was originally meant to design each page of this book on Adobe InDesign, which would have taken a lot of time, however during some research of the book styles, I stumbled across a website program which allowed for an easier and more comfortable way to design it called “Cliptomize.” This helped me out greatly as my time management improved and allowed me to design the project the way I envisioned it.
When it came to taking the photos, I tried different styles and techniques to try and make it believable that an individual of a certain age would be living that moment. This would go from lower angles for the younger ages due to the individual being small or the eyes being more focused on closer objects at a younger age due to the eyes not being fully developed/growing. I also experimented with different surroundings and settings. I planned a lot of images that could be taken in multiple places, so I tried to show something different on each page so they didn’t clash with previous or future images in the book. Overall it worked very well and there is a constant change of scenery and style on each page so you don’t see the same thing twice.
During the development stage of this project, it really started to take shape once the story board was completed. I deliberately made the story board have lots of options to pick from so I had a selection of images to use when taking the photos myself which allowed for more flexibility and creativity over the design of the project. An example of this was I was planning for this individual to get into a relationship at age 16 which I went along with, but also to break up from that relationship at age 18 through an image that would of been a break up via text message. Even though I took this photo, I never incorporated it into the project as I wanted to have the main focus on the moving to university part, which was the “ending” of the book image wise. I also planned on that being the last thing you would see before it being finished, however once I did this, it felt like it was a bit blunt and sudden and unsatisfying. I decided to add a final page to keep the book open in almost a cliffhanger sort of way which I think looks and feels a lot better of an ending.
In my proposal, I stated I wanted to create a memory scrapbook that would be a timeline throughout life from birth to the age where the individual can “leave the nest” and leave to start his new journey of an independent person. I believe I set out and completed what I proposed, however I will admit I didn’t plan it to be totally like the final project. When I added the images to the start of the book, it felt like it needed more body than I originally planned, so I added a bit of text next to the photos to give them more of a body. This lead onto each page having a story behind each memory, causing the originally image only scrapbook to become more of a diary or journal which I am honestly a lot happier with. I believe that if I stuck to my original plan of just having images, it would not be as clear or good as it is now with the stories. It also helped to show more of my creativity when it comes to storytelling instead of just photography. The feedback I heard from peers and tutors was pretty much all positive. My tutor stated how much she was enjoying the whole project idea and loved the unique images while my peers also stated how they liked the design of the whole project. Something I did also realise when I was having people look and read my project was how many smiles or reactions it got from thus person which was the goal I was aiming for from the start. To have people react, remember and reflect on similar memories they may of had in the past, whether happy or sad. The one thing I would like to improve on in the future is time management. I underestimated the amount of planning and research that would go into this project. I never thought it would be simple, however I also didn’t think it would be as time consuming as it was. One other thing I would improve on in the future is the size of the images. Due to the program I was using and adding the dialog onto each page, the images are set out a bit smaller than I originally planned, so next time I would like to try and make the images bigger to show off more of my skills in the photographs.
If I was to carry on this project, I would continue the timeline a lot further, maybe even to the point of starting from birth to the point of death. An idea I had about that was for the final image to be the individual at an older age looking upon his grandchild’s newborn, then the newborn’s point of view looking at the individual we have been following all this time, to show the story continues, however through someone else’s eyes.
I believe that my final major project has completed all the tasks it set out to do. Not only did it achieve the goal I wanted it too, to make people feel something when reading it, but also for it to be appropriate and open to every demographic audience. There is nothing in it that is not appropriate for a certain age, race, religion or gender which makes it acceptable and readable for any person. As stated before, I believe that the vast targeted audience would enjoy my project due to the point it can be reflected upon with any person. There is at least one memory in this book that someone reading can reflect upon and bring back some memories.
During the project, I learnt how important time management can be. If it wasn’t for that program I found when researching scrapbook designs I would have been too close for comfort when it comes to the deadline. I also know the importance of contingency plans to assist for better time management. I think it is better to use your plan B instead of focusing on your plan A that could cause more problems then solutions. I do believe though that throughout this project I have gained some new skills and understandings when it comes to photography. I really enjoyed being able to have the freedom to try out new techniques and see if certain things work or not. I also think I expanded on my creativity when it comes to storytelling. The most important thing to me though at the end of this project and looking back is how proud of it I am. I accomplished my goal of not only telling a good story and importing photography into my project, but also to be able to connect with reads and bring out emotion from them which is a tricky thing to do.