Anima Animus: The Genesis (or how I shot a lot just to find out what I was meant to do)

Rory02

It’s been almost a year since I last wrote on this blog, I’m clearly not getting any better at keeping it updated.

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Updates on a new long term project about gender and the research that went into it

I can’t believe how rubbish I’ve been at keeping this blog updated. Since my last post in June 2012 (!!!) so many things have happened that I’m struggling to know where to start….I feel like I’ve been talking way too much already about what I’m just about to say, but here you go:

I was extremely lucky to have my work online noticed by an Italian curator working in France who commissioned me a new series of photographs for my first solo exhibition.

FRANKIE

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Testing in the studio with Lewis

no idea where the blue came from, but I love it…just a film happy accident

When you work as a studio assistant, one of the perks of the job is that you get to use the studios to test.

The assistant’s privileges on the matter varies from studios to studios, each one has a different policy: same charge very little, just to cover expenses, or, even better, they don’t charge at all, others charge a reduced rate for assistants, while the right to use the space is granted depending if the assistant works full time or freelance, if he/she has worked at the studio for a long period and/or if he/she is a key holder.

I feel incredibly privileged to be able to use the amazing studios and equipment that we have at Sunbeam and I really should make the most of it while I can, so I decided to get over my preference for locations and daylight and try to test a bit more with the studios space and artificial lighting (both flash and continous).

I have already written about a rather successful (at least for my standards) test that I did with a couple of twins in studio 1, our biggest space, here and this time I want to write about a semi disastrous test that I did in studio 3.

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Assistants Project – Updates

One year has passed since I first wrote about my then new project about studio assistants and I feel is time to give some updates on it.

Lots of things have happened: old assistants have left and new ones have arrived… personally I don’t work at Big Sky studios anymore, but I’ve become a key holder at Sunbeam Studios, so I get much more regular work there.

I also work in another little studio/location, but I’m the only assistant there, so it’s irrelevant for this project.
I still have all of my Big Sky uniform stuff and I’m considering going back in the future to see how it has changed and which assistants are working there at the moment, but right now I’m focusing on Sunbeam and I really feel at home there.

I thought that it’d be nice to do little interviews with all the people who I photographed so far, I shall see if they’re willing to do it, but in the mean time, you can see the new pictures after the cut.

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100 Strangers Project

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m rather curious about people and I like the idea of photographing strangers, so I’ve decided to start the 100 strangers project on flickr.

One of the aims of the project is pretty straight forward, taking pictures of 100 strangers, but it’s not limited to that and what better way to explain it than copying the manifesto from the 100 strangers flickr group? You can find it below.

The idea: The 100 Strangers project is a learning group intended for those wishing to improve both their social and technical skills needed for taking portraits of strangers and telling their stories. The method is to learn by doing. Your participation will require you to share your experiences with the other members of the group. By providing this invaluable knowledge, everyone, beginners and experienced alike will benefit.

The challenge: Take at least 100 photographs of 100 people you don’t know. Approach anyone or a group of people, ask for permission to both take a photo of them and to post it to this group. Get to know your stranger/s. Who are they? What is their life like?

Step out of your comfort zone and into a new level of portrait photography. Start by taking 100 portraits of people you don’t know, total strangers. We welcome both beginner and advanced photographers. You may be new to photographing strangers or already have experience with this type of photography. Regardless, everyone is encouraged to take up the challenge.

The project is quite enjoyable and will definitely improve your photojournalistic skills. During the process you might just gain a new appreciation for those around you and enrich your everyday experience . You may even gain a few new friends along the way.

As you progress with the project it will be critical to share your experiences with the other members. This may be a story about the stranger you just met or how you felt making the approach. You may have, for example, tried a new approach, used a new photographic technique or equipment. You are learning by doing, so share with us what you’ve learned while taking on the 100 Stranger project.

I think that’s a pretty sweet initiative and it’s worth supporting, plus it’s a brilliant “excuse” to approach and photograph strangers without feeling too awkard.

So far, I’ve photographed 13 strangers for this project. You can see the first three of them in my previous post about photographing strangers and, if you wish, you can keep up to date with the latest additions in the 100 strangers set on my flickr account.

Stranger’s stories and pictures after the cut

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Testing with two twins

Recently I had the opportunity to fulfill a little photographic dream of mine: taking pictures of identical twins.

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Sebastian, my muse

According to the dictionary, the word muse has many different meanings, but it originally signified any of the nine daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus, each of who presided over a different art or science. From this meaning derived the modern connotation of guiding spirit and source of inspiration, normally embodied in a woman who inspires an artist/poet.

I can rightfully say that I’ve found a muse in my dear friend Sebastian, whose role doesn’t limit to simply submitting himself to my weirdest photography experiments without batting an eyelid, as he also inspires and guides me in creating different work with his insightful observations and ideas.

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