Posted in Professional Practice Year 3

Presence Online

My online presence is an ongoing thing that I try to stay engaged with on a regular basis to maintain a strong connection with my audience. Having more than one profile on various platforms can often be quite difficult to keep updated but I feel this is one of the most important ways to advertise and promote one’s photography in the modern world.

All my accounts are simply named Dannielle Hand Photography. I have had feedback saying this name is too long and could work better as DH Photography. Although I have taken that criticism on board, I have consciously decided to keep my original name. Although the length could be somewhat intimidating, I feel that it is important to brand yourself and use something that clearly defines who you are.

I chose to use my logo as the profile picture on all of my accounts to stay consistent within each platform, creating a strong sense of professionalism, and maintaining a separate relationship between my profession and my personal life.

Facebook

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Facebook is so vastly populated with people from all over the world, it would be questionable not to make a profile on this platform. I regularly update my ‘cover photo’ with some of my favourite recent imagery in order to keep the profile fresh and visual.

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Facebook allows others to ‘share’ my page and content to reach further afield, which enables me to connect with a larger group of individuals than I could without this function. This is proven in my page statistics – of the 383 likes, only 239 of those are friends of mine of Facebook, showing that my name is beginning to be known within groups of people unknown to me. I will continue to engage with this profile in order to increase this number.

Instagram

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I created a separate Instagram account from my personal one to make a more professional area for my images to be displayed. I use Instagram to promote my images in a simplistic way, using minimal text and maximum visuals – something I feel is important when trying to promote photography which is heavily based on visuals.

I have a short description on my account, with links to my Facebook page and my website in order to keep a relationship between the accounts and allow my audience easy access to each one.

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I use as much ‘hashtagging’ as possible within my posts to reach out to a larger scale of audiences within Instagram. This has begun to catch me more followers, so I will continue to do this.

Website

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I feel the most important way of promoting is with a website. Without a website people could underestimate my professional abilities.

After creating my website last year, I have gradually begun to understand the dynamics of using a website provider when designing and updating the website. I have kept the simplistic and easy to navigate design to keep the easy accessibility of my website.

I have kept writing to a minimum throughout the website to keep this a visual area. After finding my learning style to be a visual learner, I felt it was best to keep myself in areas of visual language to keep myself inspired and maintain a website which would engage others like myself.

I have tried to keep my website consistent through design. The white background remains to enhance my imagery to the eye. In the top corner of every page it has my logo. At the end of my menu I have included some hyperlinks to my existing online presences to show my existence in other areas and try to gain more following. My main point throughout my profiles is consistency to project myself as a professional.

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In my about me section I tried to keep the artist statement short but informative to make the website less word dominating when the website is for photography which is visual. I used part of my more detailed artist statement to do this, pulling out the most key aspects to keep the dialogue concise. I included a photo of myself to create a personal relationship with the audience, exposing myself and becoming known.

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Posted in Professional Practice Year 3

Artist Statement

As a photographer, I enjoy capturing realities that surround us, with the intention to educate others and myself about the world. I approach this with a documentary style, inspired by memory, emotion and identities within society. I aim to follow the idea of never directing an image, but just letting it happen to allow my images to speak volumes of truth to my audience.

The work I create is intended to educate others about injustices within society in a hope to give them a voice. As Tom Hunter once said, ‘art can change the world’, and if I can change the view point of the audience to a more empathetic and understanding one, I will feel a very strong sense of accomplishment.

One of my strongest influences has always been Nan Goldin and her ability to shine light on areas of society that are often shunned. I strive to do the same, projecting a voice for them through visual language in search for justice and dignity. Some of my most successful projects have explored the LGBT community and mental health disorders to deepen the understanding of these subjects within the ever-growing world.

Posted in Professional Practice Year 3

Event Development

Week One – 19.10.17

For our first meeting we decided to lay down the foundations of the print auction by choosing the roles in which we would take during the run up to the event, creating google drive folders for said groups to enable us to keep continuously updated with each other outside of the set lectures.

We decided collectively to pay £100 before the 7th of December 2017 to raise quick funds to help towards potential costs for the print auction and free range.

To collect work for the print auction, we decided to contact professionals asking for donations for the event. We considered a sellable price, for example £70-£200, to keep people interested. We agreed to keep all of the donated work photographical in order to keep a theme.

We collectively decided on a date for the print auction being the 7th December 2017, with a venue currently being discussed and to be confirmed next week.

Week Two 

This week the location was confirmed – Boringdon Park Golf Club, 55 Plymbridge Road, Plympton, Plymouth, PL7 4QG. We discussed potential transport to the event as it is quite a way out from the center of Plymouth – potentially borrowing a mini bus was mentioned and is in the process of being contacted.

We also decided on deadlines to be sure of exactly what’s going on – for example when the work is going to be delivered to uni, when social media needs to be uploaded and so forth. This was uploaded to the google drive to enable everyone the chance to access and update the file.

As part of the writing group we were asked to create a template email to send to practitioners to help individuals email to ask for donated work.

Week Three – Paris

Week Four 

After the break in paris we came back and split into the groups of roles to discuss changes, plans etc.

As the writing group we decided on dates to enable the creation of the catalogue for the print auction –

  • Photographs of the delivered work to be sent – 1st December
  • Catalogue printed on the 4th
  • Distributed on the 5th
  • Information about the work to be written in the catalogue – 30th November

We also decided to contact people in order to help us

  • Josh Huxham – ask about catalogue design, advice on design etc
  • Neil Jones – how to use indesign, best way to print, costs etc

Tiah offered to write a press release which she wanted us to edit and proof read by the 4th December.

As the photography group we decided on dates and things needed to be done consistently –

  • Photographing the work delivered – 1st December
  • Maintain photographing the meetings ongoing
  • Decide on an event photographer for the print auction
  • Maybe a moving image of the progress of all events to be shown at free range

 

Posted in The Conclusion

Evaluation

I feel this project has been a successful kick start project to elevate my third year, pushing me to meet deadlines quickly and efficiently, helping me to realise sometimes quality is better than quantity. I hope to carry this attitude through the rest of the year.

I found it quite difficult trying to source my own theme and idea so at times felt like the link between my idea and my chosen call out was slightly tenuous, although I feel this actually worked out well in the end as it made me think more about the concept of my work and how I could make them tie together.

For my research I felt it would be better for me to look at the factual information about cerebal palsy to give myself some perspective of the disability. It also helped me when making imagery to notice the symptoms and actions of my model that were due to her condition which I could make evident in my images. I feel it may have been useful to have researched some visual inspiration had I been given longer to complete the task to improve my aesthetic.

It was interesting to study using light in a way that would change the atmosphere of an image which is something I hope to build on and develop more professionally before the end of the year to give my imagery not only a more creative aesthetic but a more contextualised meaning also.

I would like to think that I have achieved what I wanted to do – combine my documentary style approach with the idea of identity, giving my model a voice to stand out and to display her in a positive way that shows her transition into a courageous young woman, who is determined to be like “normal” people despite her disability.

Had I had more time, I would definitely have spent more imagery time with my model, developing my visual output and representing the model’s story more effectively. I would also use primary research to inject into my project for a more honest and personal representation.

This has definitely opened my eyes to more specific areas of investigation such as disabilities which was never something I had thought to do before. I still need to grow in confidence but feel this is a step in the right direction to do so. It has made me realise areas for improvement which will be key goals for me during my final year, such as more focused research. I feel it has also strengthened my motivation towards photography which will make me more willing to participate in working and improving my time management.

Posted in The Conclusion

Final Image

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I chose this image as I felt it displayed the idea I was intending most successfully. Each part of the image plays part in telling the story of my character without portraying the character herself.

The “transition” in the image is the change from stability to disability – the use of my model’s legs have progressively deteriorated to the point where support is necessary for her, demonstrated by the main subject in the image – the leg braces.

I wanted these to be the main focus of the image to show their independence, similar to the independence that my model has gained by transitioning from child to adult, but also the dependence that the disability has forced her to need.

I made a conscious decision to leave the laces untied to signify the idea of being unstable. One would assume that not tying your shoe laces would lead to falling over, something that my model does often due to her disability.

I chose to photograph the shoes on my models bed to show where her comforts are and where she feels most safe. The bed covers have a delicate design which I felt suited the idea of my model being a delicate individual due to cerable palsy.

I tried to keep the colours bright to give the image hope and signify something that never stops someone from achieving things – there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

Posted in The Conclusion

Contact Sheets and Idea

ContactSheet-001ContactSheet-002My idea was to capture my models movements during the day to show the difficulty it is for her to get around. I wanted to take photos of her but also of objects to try and create more metaphorical imagery.

My main intention was to try and capture how the model has become more dependent on the support of her stick and leg braces through the transition of age, but never lets this over take her life and embraces it as a part of her.

I wanted the audience to view my model as a human being and not just as someone with a disability. My intention was to present the model just like any other person to prove that her disability does not define her.

The images of the model by the water are to represent her strength and bravery, even when battling such an aggressive condition. The images display how she interacts with environments around her. I chose water as this is one of the riskier ones due to limitations of steady movement on wet surfaces, showing her determination to fight her condition.

Imagery containing the leg braces and walking stick were not intended to objectify the condition or the model, but to signify the dependence that the model now has on these objects due to her condition deteriorating with age.

I tried a new technique using light and shadow to represent the hope within the imagery even through the good and bad days.

Posted in Uncategorized

Research

Cerebral palsy is the name for a group of lifelong conditions that affect movement and co-ordination, caused by a problem with the brain that occurs before, during or soon after birth.

Symptoms of cerebral palsy

The symptoms of cerebral palsy aren’t usually obvious just after a baby is born. They normally become noticeable during the first two or three years of a child’s life.

Symptoms can include:

  • delays in reaching development milestones – for example, not sitting by eight months or not walking by 18 months
  • seeming too stiff or too floppy
  • weak arms or legs
  • fidgety, jerky or clumsy movements
  • random, uncontrolled movements
  • walking on tip-toes
  • a range of other problems – such as swallowing difficulties, speaking problems, vision problems and learning disabilities

The severity of symptoms can vary significantly. Some people only have minor problems, while others may be severely disabled.

Causes of cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy can occur if a baby’s brain doesn’t develop normally while in the womb, or is damaged during or soon after birth.

Causes of cerebral palsy include:

  • bleeding in the baby’s brain or reduced blood and oxygen supply to their brain
  • an infection caught by the mother during pregnancy
  • the brain temporarily not getting enough oxygen (asphyxiation) during a difficult birth
  • meningitis
  • a serious head injury

But in many cases, the exact cause isn’t clear.

Treatments for cerebral palsy

There’s currently no cure for cerebral palsy, but treatments are available to help people with the condition have a normal and independent a life as possible.

Treatments include:

  • physiotherapy – techniques such as exercise and stretching to help maintain physical ability and hopefully improve movement problems
  • speech therapy to help with speech and communication, and swallowing difficulties
  • occupational therapy – where a therapist identifies problems that you or your child have carrying out everyday tasks, and suggests ways to make these easier
  • medication for muscle stiffness and other difficulties
  • in some cases, surgery to treat movement or growth problems

Outlook for cerebral palsy

  • life expectancy is usually unaffected, but can be reduced in severe cases
  • the condition may limit your child’s activities and independence, although many people go on to have full, independent lives
  • many children go to a mainstream school, but some may have special educational needs and benefit from attending a special school
  • the original problem with the brain doesn’t get worse over time, but the condition can put a lot of strain on the body and cause problems such as painful joints in later life
  • the daily challenges of living with cerebral palsy can be difficult to cope with, which can lead to problems such as depression in some people

There are four main types of cerebral palsy:

  • spastic cerebral palsy – the muscles are stiff and tight (especially when trying to move them quickly), making it difficult to move and reducing the range of movement that’s possible
  • dyskinetic cerebral palsy – the muscles switch between stiffness and floppiness, causing random, uncontrolled body movements or spasms
  • ataxic cerebral palsy – when a person has balance and co-ordination problems, resulting in shaky or clumsy movements and sometimes tremors
  • mixed cerebral palsy – when a person has symptoms of more than one of the types mentioned above