A1: The Non-familiar – assessment submission


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Prints  are included in the assessment submission pack.

Artist’s statement

The brief was to make ‘five portraits of five different people from your local area who were previously unknown to you’. My day-job means that I spend up to 50% of my time travelling overseas, so I have a broad view of what constitutes my local area. I chose to take photos of strangers on the street in Patpong Night Market, Bangkok, after asking their permission and finding out a little about them. I was interested in discovering the different ‘types’ I might find in this area given its reputation as a market for locals and tourists and its infamous Go-Go Bars. The final selects show the different ‘types’ I came across.

While the work of August Sander has influenced me (see post here), Emil Hoppé’s photographic style and his interest in the psychology of interactions with subjects as well as types is a greater influence (see post here). Hoppé’s work stems from an interest in individuals and showing something of their character and then what that might say about the type of person they are and what general type they belong to. I admire his flexible approach to composing portraits – as if he is surveying a landscape for the best point of view to express his idea of the subject. I’d also done some research on street photographers working with street portraits, but only came up with suggestions as to why they might not do this (see post here).

My approach to the subjects was a discussion with a camera; some rapport building, expressing a genuine interest in something about the individual, finding out a little about them (language permitting), and then asking for the photograph. I had only one near rejection from the street seller with the tattooed arm; this was over-come by asking to photograph his tattoo, rather than him. I showed the photos on the camera screen afterwards; the French traveller (not in final selects) requested a copy, which I emailed the next day.

Submission to tutor and report

The original submission to my tutor along with introductory, process and concluding text is here.

My tutor’s report and my response is here. The feedback was positive and no rework was performed.