Thursday, 12 January 2012

The Body - Obsession & Vanity

For the body I initially wanted to carry on the same idea from my object project which was looking at body image, but considering we had find a model which we didn’t know I found it hard to approach someone in a way which wouldn’t offend someone who had problems with their body image as it’s quite a deep and personal thing. I still wanted to look into body image, but decided that my initial idea was too personal so I decided to look at vanity and obsession as a concept. I was interested in how a person can become so obsessed with their personal appearance and wanted to try and capture this with a camera.

Whilst developing my idea I had to think about what type of lighting I would use to create the right mood and set for my idea. I decided Bright lighting as if they were the centre of attention, making them the focal point in the photo; I didn’t think it was appropriate to use many props or have anything in the background as I wanted to the model to be the main focus, showing her vanity and obsession with herself. Shooting in black was hard, it made me think about the picture more, and how the outcome would affect my overall idea. I didn’t want my image to have the wrong feel, so taking this into account I decided certain poses and bright lighting were best to represent the idea of vanity and obsession.
I started off my research with simply looking for photographers that had done any work related to vanity and obsession. I came across a fashion photographer Gavin Bond who took the fashion industry’s obsession with being skinny and size zero in this playful yet eye-opening photography set. Gavin put together a couple, a hunky male model with a female skeleton. The couple act out typical fashion editorial and ad campaign scenes, which includes beach and swimming pool lounging and dining. His approach to this concept is definitely eye opening and makes you aware of the absurdness of this skinny fascination that leaves female models as living skeletons.

Body Image Photography 3

Body Image Photography 6

Body Image Photography 2

Other images i found on the internet relating to vanity and obsession...

I like this image because it almost looks surreal and terrifying. I also like the way they have used a mirror in this image, really highlights the vain side of the person being photographed. After looking at this picture I decided I want to experiment with mirrors in my final shoot, which got me thinking about other ideas.

These are a few pictures i took on a digital camera which I though linked to the idea of obsession and vanity with ones appearance. They are images of close ups of a persons' lips, they were for another project realting to vanity and I they helped me with insperation as in my final shoot the model woar red lipstick. There a stereotype that when people wear vast amounts of make-up and take pictures upon pictures of themselves it means they vain, I wanted my project to proove this statement but not just become a typical stereotype photograph . It's also been said that boredom can lead to vanity and then vanity becomes obsession.

Final Shoot
I really enjoyed shooting this project, at first I wasnt sure if it was going to turn out right, but as soon as the shoot got going everything seemed to work its self out. I shot two roles of film, medium format black and white, as I wanted to have a wide variety of photos to work from. After developing my film it took me a while to decide which photos were best, as we were allowed only one image for this project I wanted it to be a strong image. In the end I narrowed it down to four images and from them I chose my final image.

Contact Sheet 1

Contact Sheet 2

My Final two imges, which i then picked a final one.

This was my original final image, but when I was printing this, I discovered that the lights in the background are so bright that there is no background line, so the image looks like its fake or computerised. Which fits with my idea of vanity and obsession, but I decided I wanted to have an image with more detail.

I finally decided on this image as my final print as there is more detail and more of an alternative meaning behind the image, it makes you really think what is this picture about. Having a mirror in this image, allows the viewer to  create a perspective when they look at the photograph they start to think that maybe when a person looks in a mirror they dont only see themsleves they see an ulternate world, which revolves all around them.

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