Final Major Project Evaluation - 8th May '09

For me to evaluate this project successfully I am going to quote my learning agreement so I can offer a comparative.

“My proposal for the professional project will hopefully test my skills and time management to the limit. For the project proposal the medium I am going to use is Photography, Photography for me has been a growing passion all my life.”

This project for me has been extremely time consuming, I’ve seemed to of deviated from my original time plan, this is due to several reasons, the main reason being a large live brief, which involved a lot of input from my partners and myself. Fortunately I have been able to put this on hold until after the hand in.

Due to the live brief, I’ve had to work slightly harder towards the deadline to better compensate lost time earlier in the project.
The project has really quenched my thirst for a photography based brief, by being able to self direct the project I have been able to take complete control and decide the larger details right down to the minuet.

“I am going to collate a series of photographs based on the current economic situation often referred to as ‘The Recession’ here in the United Kingdom.”

I am delighted to say I have been able to do what I originally intended to do, the general outline has been kept. At the time of writing the brief many things were undecided, clarification has caused things to naturally change giving me a clear defined outcome. I have kept working sketchbooks through out the project to better describe any changes I have made.
The actual sub-topic that evolved from the original idea was linked to the recession and turned out to be the holiday industry. I focused specifically on the local area (Bournemouth/Poole).
Throughout the project I have liaised with both my peers and tutors. I have taken on all feedback offered which was a collation of both positive and negative comments.

“For me to be able to identify the beneficiaries of the current climate I will research consumerism and current social trends. Consumerism is the equation of person happiness with consumption and purchase of material possessions.”

Due to the way my project has gone, the need for researching consumerism has become less important due to sales not being a predominant subject with in the hotel industry. Obviously it’s tied in as people visiting places can lead to sales opportunities.
Speaking to one of the hoteliers we were discussing the current demand for accommodation, she brought up the conversation of guest’s reasons to stay at their residence, and told me several stories of people from cities wanting to escape the doom and gloom of the recession by escaping to the coast. This does link in with equation of a person’s happiness with consumption and purchase of material possessions.

“There has to be a shift in consumerism due to lack of employment and weak currency exchange rates.”

The shift in consumerism has meant people have had to reconsider their financial outgoings, people who were border on the line as to going abroad, have had to reconsider more viable options.

All hoteliers I have approached suggested a positive influx of business, obviously I have to take their word for it, but their body language and tone of voice suggested a relaxed attitude.
I recall one hotel was undergoing some building work, unless it’s out of pure desperation this could suggest extra cash available to better improve an already thriving business.

“For me to acquire the photos I wish for the project I will need to implement Ethnography to a certain extent.”

I was partially able to implement such an approach but due to their business and time tied up elsewhere it wasn’t entirely possible. The time I did spend with each hotelier and their families was extremely interesting. I was able to see how the family worked as a unit. The only hotel I wasn’t able to gain a feel for was the Pinedale hotel. But I did meet a gentleman who I can only assume was related.

Having got to know the families I then returned to photograph the owners in front of the hotels. Due to breaking the ice on a previous visit it was a lot easier to request certain poses, generate a little banter etc. Thus making both my subjects and myself a lot more comfortable and relaxed, creating a more natural photo.
I feel this easily fulfils this part of my learning outcome,

“To take my photos to another level I will strive in cultivating a closer relationship with “informants” who can provide specific information as regards to the effects of the recession, rather than me purely drawing assumptions. Such said informants could also be incorporated into the project to attain a more personal take on the subject medium.”


A1 To consolidate my creativity and practical skills in response to a ‘live’ or simulated professional brief.

I feel I have met this aim. I have applied not only photography skills to this project, but also time management, illustrator software knowledge, indesign software knowledge, Photoshop software knowledge and I’ve even dabbled in some book binding and pagination.

A2 To develop my creativity, knowledge and understanding of professional practice.

This project has forced me to take my head out of the sand, coupling the project with the essay I decided to tie them together to help boost my research, It’s always easy to go with your first idea, but the chance of it already being implemented is quite high. As regards to understanding professional practice, I suppose the live brief I did during the timetabled sessions for the FMP has definitely changed my attitude, Its helped me understand how to address the people you’re working with in a more professional manner.
This experience enabled me to talk to the hoteliers in a more confident way; I had pre-planned what I needed to say, and already established a rough Idea of what I needed over the phone. Talking to people over the phone is commonplace within industry, so it was a great experience to compose myself in a way as to sound professional.

A3 To develop and produce a professional standard of creative work in response to a ‘live’ or simulated brief.

This for me has been the most exciting part of the project. Digital photography always falls target to being stored away in the dark depths of endless megabytes, gigabytes, terabytes and more. After establishing what I wanted to create for my final outcome I was eager to start creating the layout for the chosen format, a book. Having looked a book binding in the first year, I was delighted to be finally putting the skills I had learned into a professional context. I initially considered a saddle stitch for the final piece but, having looked at Martin Parr’s photo books, I decided to opt for a perfect bind. Perfect bind is meant to be less hard wearing than a saddle stitch but I like how the layout looks with it. Due to the nature of a perfect bind I contacted a printer to compile the final book, I did attempt to do the pagination, but he insisted it was given to him as a single page pdf.

A peer of mine informed me that in most cases, printers arrange the pagination themselves. It wasn’t all bad news, as the paginated pdf I created didn’t go to waste. I decided that due to how close the deadline was I would make a maquet to show how I wanted the final book to look, just incase the said printers finds the deadline too tight.

A4 To prepare myself for employment, freelance work or further study.

This aim is a culmination of the above aims; everything I’ve done in this project has been a positive set of experiences. The final outcome will be a great addition to my professional portfolio. My photography skills have been commented on a great deal during feedback from both tutors and peers, which in a sense has given me a confidence. Having already completed a selection of freelance jobs relating to photography it can only be a positive thing to complete a self directed project


This project has proved invaluable for my development as a professional practitioner. I have had to apply a multi-role position through out the project. I’ve played the role of the Creative Director, photographer, editor amongst various other sub roles. The world-renowned photographer Martin Parr has inspired my work, offering inspiration and motivation through out the project.
In a strange stroke of fate, I stumbled across a competition that Google are running, they’re requesting student photographers to submit photo’s that fit in the dimensions 1200 x 175 pixels to fit a banner on the igoogle page. Each submission needs to have six images that tie in with each other.
6 students work will be short listed and displayed at the Saatchi gallery in London as well as going onto the website to be used as banner.
All work will be judged by the following: Martin Parr, Idris Khan, Tim Marlow, Michael Hoppen and Susanna Brown. A prize of £5000 is also up for grabs.
The actual page featuring the competition had a direct link to Martin Parr’s website, which I haven’t ever seen, needless to say, the style of the website resembles my final book, with its kitsch choice of wallpaper, doilies, lamps and various other piece of furniture. I’m really glad I found this after completing the project else this could of completely changed the visual aspect of my project.

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