Photography Evaluation

For my photography project I focused on the theme of emotion. My original idea was to combine colour and emotion. I wanted to show different emotions and for the photograph to pro dominantly feature the desired colour, so for example anger would have been reflected through red and happiness through yellow. My idea changed completely over the course of producing due to time schedules and photography failures, but I personally feel that my end result idea was a lot stronger because the intentions were clearer and so was the theme. My end theme was sadness and the different elements of sadness, conducted through the colour of blue.

The target audience for my photography is young people, of all genders and social classifications. The reason my project is targeted at young people is because a lot of younger people suffer from mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, so my photography represents this and shows the different elements of sadness which comforts these people to know that they are understood.

In terms of time management, my project could have been conducted better. Some of my original concept photos turned out well such as for jealousy and happiness, but the rest weren’t so good and the project felt rushed so I resorted to using my sadness photography instead which fortunately turned out much more smoothly. On the positive side, if I ever did this project again I would know to make sure I was properly organised time wise so that my project would run smoother.

For visual language, the composition of my photographs is that the main feature of the photograph (model) is very central and focused on. I wanted to focus on the emotion on the face of the model more than the surroundings so I arranged the camera so that the model was the main focus and there was no distraction. In my photography, the symbolism is the bath and the slow shutter speed. The bath represents the feeling of drowning in sadness, as drowning occurs in water and also the bath is a conventional area for sadness and isolation to occur. The slow shutter speed symbolises the chaotic element of sadness and disturbed thinking – not knowing exactly what is happening or what should happen. The meaning of my photography is to convey the different elements of sadness – the photos with her hands over her face represent the shame of sadness, and the photo with her hand in her mouth strongly conveys the element of fear. There is a consistent pattern and shape within my photography which is reservation and a secluded feel which is shown through the poses of the model. In terms of visual language the representation in my photography represents the feeling of sadness and how it is portrayed and expressed in modern society, and the taboo element of mental health.

To produce my photographs, I directed the model to the places she needed to be and the poses that I would like and positioned the camera in the most visually representative angle. Once I’d chosen the best photos I took them to Photoshop and added a blue temperature filter on to emphasise the blueness which is the conventional colour of sadness.

Overall I’d say that my images are successful. Each photo conveys a different element of sadness and is clearly represented. The image of the model looking over the side of the bath tub conveys and represents the element of tiredness and a lack of energy and motivation. If I were to retake the photo and improve it I would add more light onto the side of the model’s face. The photo with a close up of the model looking down represents and shows the feeling of negative thoughts and perception, and the shots of the model curled up in the bath with her hands in her face, arms around her legs, and close up of hands in her face convey the emotion of feeling small. All four of these images could be improved by taking a steadier and less shaky photo so to improve it I would use a tripod for stability. The photo of the model with her hands behind her head represents the feeling of not knowing what the best thing to do is, and a feeling of confusion. To improve this image I’d take a wider shot and angle the model to face the bath wall so the shower wouldn’t be in shot, to add focus to the model better. For the slow shutter speed photo, I’d use a slower shutter speed so that the model would be more prominent, but it does also look effective the way it is because the unrecognisable element shows a blurred identity. The last photo to analyse is the image with her hand in her mouth, which shows the strong element of fear, which can be paired with feeling sad. The lighting also portrays a slight horror vibe emphasising the theme of fear, which is evident in the expression of the model’s face. To improve it I would take a side by side extreme close up to highlight the fear.

The feedback I got for my photography was very insightful. One piece of feedback I received linked to historical and cultural context, which was that my work was similar to the work of Duane Michals. In this context the comparison linked the similar vibe of clear emotion and creepy vibes. Feedback also was that the photography had a clear narrative and representation, meaning the intention was consistent and clear. It was also said that the water, lighting, and cold saturation gave a prominent feeling of drowning and strong mood and setting. Some said that it was melancholy and it conveys the different elements of sadness through poses, and the poses were conventional highlighting the theme. Overall, I’d say my photography was successful and the new idea I had was stronger than the previous which resulted in an improved result.

Questionnaire Analysis

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(Some sides were not scanned, and one questionnaire not included.)

In our questionnaire, we asked our participants a selection of questions to help us understand what adverts and advert conventions appeal to a variety of audiences.

We asked people in our class who were our age, and older people. The advantage of asking different people of different age groups were that it helped to see if what conventions were appealing changed with age.

We also asked whether they were male or female, which affected our results because it altered what adverts men and women found appealing, for example the males found adverts such as Titanfall 2 appealing because of the live action but not perfume adverts because of the lack of engagement. However the females found adverts such as the Doritos advert appealing because they found it cute, but not adverts such as Wateraid and Unicef because it made them sad. From this we can see that men and women find different factors primarily appealing or unappealing.

The first question we asked our participants was:

‘What type of adverts appeal to you most?’

The answers available were:

  • Humour
  •  Fantasy
  • Adverts with a strong story line,
  • Realistic (relatable scenarios)
  • Strong visuals (special effects)
  • Other (participant could suggest own individual answer)

8/10 people who filled in our questionnaires selected humour as one of their choices for what they find appealing. The age group that selected this ranged from 16 -57, which tells us that humour is appealing to a wide age demographic and not just younger people. This result also tells us that if you were to create an advert it would be favourable to include humour.

5/10 people who took our questionnaire selected fantasy as an option for what they find appealing in an advert, which suggests that it is favourable but not as much as humour. The age group that selected this range was 16-33, which shows that fantasy in an advert appeals to a younger audience. This result tells us that if your product is aimed at a younger demographic it is favourable to include fantasy.

5/10 people chose adverts with a strong story line as an option for what they find appealing in advertisement. This suggests that making an advert with this aspect is a favourable choice if you are a large brand with expendable money and a wide audience. The age range for who this kind of ad appeals to is 16-57 which suggests that story line based adverts does not apply to a certain age so much as what individuals find appealing.

2/10 people selected realistic (relatable scenarios) as an option for what they find appealing in an advert. The age group for these people are 33-57, which shows that adverts which are relatable are more appealing to an older demographic than a younger one, so if your product or brand is aimed at an older demographic it would work better than if your product was aimed at a younger audience.

3/10 people selected strong visuals (special effects) as an option for what they find appealing in an advert. The age group for this is 16-57, which tells us that having strong visuals in an advert can appeal to a wide age range so has no niche age group target. Both of these factors combined tells us that strong visuals are favourable, but not essential in order to sell a product or brand.

For our second and third question, we asked:

  • Whats your favourite advert and why?
  • Whats your least favourite advert and why?

The answers to these questions often fell in line with what each participant found appealing in an advert.

The people who chose humour as a factor for what they found appealing chose brands/adverts as their favourite such as:

  • Baked bean ad
  • Money Super Market
  • Doritos (the one with the dogs, and the one with the mermaid)

They found these adverts appealing because they had a ‘clever plot’, were ‘funny’ and ‘catches my attention’.

However their least favourite adverts contrasted this, such as:

  • Head and Shoulders – ‘boring, no spark, no fun’
  • Always Discreet – ‘cringe worthy’
  • Unicef and Wateraid- ‘sad, make you feel guilty’
  • Go Compare – ‘annoying, loud’
  • Long story line adverts – ‘boring, sad, doesn’t intrigue me’
  • Perfume ads – ‘not engaging, promotes double standards’

People who chose fantasy for what they find appealing in an advert chose brands/adverts such as:

  • Doritos (the advert with the mermaids – this applies as it uses fantasy to sell the product)
  • Baked bean ad
  • Titanfall 2

They chose these adverts because they had a ‘clever plot’, ‘use of fantasy’, ‘live action’, and special effects such as slow mo.

However the people who chose this had least favourite adverts that contrasted this such as:

  • Perfume ads – ‘not engaging, promotes double standards’
  • Long story line based ads – ‘boring, sad, doesn’t intrigue me’
  • Wateraid – ‘sad, make you feel guilty’
  • Always Discreet – ‘cringe worthy’
  • Flash adverts – ‘annoying’

People who chose adverts with a strong story line chose adverts such as:

  • John Lewis
  • Doritos (with the dogs)
  • Titanfall 2

They chose these adverts because they were ‘cute’, ‘grabs your attention’, ‘has dogs in’, and because they were ‘action based’.

In addition to this their least favourite adverts were the opposite of this:

  • Loan adverts – ‘looks silly, unprofessional’
  • Go compare – ‘annoying, loud’
  • Perfume ads – ‘not engaging, promotes double standards’
  • Unicef – ‘sad, make you feel guilty’
  • Head and shoulders – ‘boring, no spark, no fun’

People who chose adverts that were realistic as favourable did not provide an example as they favoured humorous adverts over realistic ones, even though they did still approve of realism in an advert.

Despite this, they did provide an answer for what adverts were their least favourite, which were:

  • Head and Shoulders – ‘boring, no spark, no fun’
  • Always Discreet – ‘advert isn’t discreet’ ‘a little cringe worthy’

People who chose strong visuals and special effects as a favourable feature of adverts chose adverts as their favourite such as:

  • Baked beans ad
  • Titanfall 2

They chose these adverts because of ‘humour’, ‘use of fantasy’, ‘live action’, ‘action based’, and ‘slow mo’.

People who chose this option chose least favourite adverts such as:

  • Head and Shoulders – ‘boring, no spark, no fun’
  • Perfume ads – ‘non engaging, promotes double standards’
  • Wateraid – ‘sad, makes you feel guilty’

Our fourth question of our questionnaire was ‘What three words do you associate with Christmas adverts?’  For this question, the answers were consistent. The majority were positive answers. These positive answers were:

  • Cheerful (twice)
  • Fantasy (twice)
  • Family (twice)
  • Fun
  • Colourful
  • Christmas movie
  • Happiness (three times
  • Food
  • Santa
  • Trees (twice)
  • John Lewis
  • Joyful
  • Celebratory
  • Funny (some are)
  • Festive (twice)
  • Snow
  • Exciting
  • Cute

The negative answers were:

  • Spend
  • Debt
  • Money
  • Bad music

From this question we can see that most people view Christmas adverts positively rather than negatively, however some still do. This tells us that a Christmas themed advert would be productive rather than counter productive and will sell the product more than make it look cheesy and unappealing. It also tells us that people associate Christmas with positive feelings and vibes as well as materialistic things, so basing an advert around a mood works as well as an advert based around the materialistic elements of Christmas.

Our fifth question we asked on our questionnaire was, ‘Which words do you associate with a perfume advert?’

The options given were:

  • Elegant
  • French
  • Funny
  • Lust
  • Love
  • Adventure
  • Dance
  • Fashion

10/10 people selected elegant which suggests that elegance is a highly associated trait with perfume advertisement. From this we can gather that if we were to create a conventional perfume advert it would be favourable to include elegance, however if we were to make an unconventional advert it would be a wise idea to make it so it was non elegant.

4/10 people selected French, which suggests that a smaller portion of people would associate perfume commercials with another country. This could be because Paris is the Capital of France, which is the city associated with romance. From this we can gather that creating an advert that is multi-cultural is favourable and would gain more customers globally.

0/10 selected funny, which suggests that humour in a perfume advert is rare/never happens. From this data we can see that if we were to create a conventional perfume advert it would be conventional to not include humour. However, if we wanted our perfume advert to stand out against the rest, adding humour would make it a memorable advert.

7/10 selected lust, which suggests to us that adverts are often associated with intimacy and enticement. Our target audience is young women which means that if we were to create an advert lust might not be an appropriate factor to include, however including romance through the theme of sending a card to a lover is favourable as it reflects the connection between two people.

7/10 selected love, which tells us that perfume is a product viewed to be romantic that ideally attracts people. This suggests to us that if we wanted to create a conventional perfume advert, that the idea of focusing on the romance of two people in the advert would be a good way of reflecting this.

0/10 adventure which suggests to us that people do not associate perfume adverts with having a strong plot. It suggests that perfume adverts are more simple than adventurous, so therefore deciding to pick perfume as a product for our advert was a better idea than picking a product which would require more plot to advertise. It is better that we picked a simpler product to advertise as it means we can focus on getting our advert to a better standard, rather than picking one which would mean more difficult production and a less satisfactory result.

0/10 people selected dance, which suggests that perfume adverts are more associated with the vibes and emotions they portray rather than what visually happens in the advert. This tells us that focusing on the emotion in our advert is important and would be a likely factor that would gain the attention of our target audience.

1/10 people selected fashion as a trait they associate with perfume adverts. This tells us that a small portion of our audience would pay attention to the costume of the actor/actress, so to target and include this niche audience it would be a good idea to make sure the actor/actress involved wore suitable fashion.

 

Meeting Minutes

First Meeting: 27/09/16 

Members present: Carmen Earnshaw, Tarrin Vane, Chloe Woollacott, Emily Gagen

For the first meeting I was not part of the group, but Carmen’s advert proposal was chosen out of the group. It was chosen because it was the most achievable and involved the most realistic amount of work load without being too much and being overbearing. Each member of the group had a different idea of what product to advertise – Emily’s advert was a Dove advert, Chloe’s was a chocolate bar and Tarrin’s idea was a Lynx spray. In addition to this during this meeting our group discussed ways of communication such as Facebook and Skype, ideas of location for the advert, costume, and an actress who could be involved in our advert which was to be arranged by Tarrin.

Second Meeting: 4/10/16

Members present: Carmen Earnsaw, Tarrin Vane, Chloe Woollacott, Emily Gagen, Anne-Marie Weiss

At this point I was part of the group and joined this meeting. In this meeting we talked about what potential challenges we could face throughout production. For example, ideas for this we came up with are time management and weather. Time management could be a problem if our work schedules and out of college ideas clash, or if an actress is unavailable on the day of filming. However this problem could be solved or avoided if there was enough communication and everyone in the group was up to date. In addition to this weather problems could be solved or avoided if we planned which day to film and where, and keep up with the weather news to make sure production would not be problematic because of the weather. In addition to this we discussed that it would be appropriate to have back up plans in case any part our production failed.

Third Meeting: 18/10/16

Members present: Carmen Earnshaw, Tarrin Vane, Chloe Woollacott

Unfortunately I was absent for this meeting and Emily joined a different group. In this meeting interpretations of the original idea were proposed. In Chloe’s and Carmen’s advert ideas there was no narrative and focused on visual aesthetic. Tarrin’s idea was voted forward because it had narrative and it was based on the Christmas season which was favourable given the time of year and it fitted the Nina Ricci theme (winter wonderland) who’s adverts inspired Tarrin’s idea.

Tarrin’s idea was very visual and focused on the festive theme. In her advert there would be a woman writing a Christmas card to her boyfriend, who then posts it in a red pillar box but before she does she sprays it with the perfume to add the ‘magic touch’. The advert focuses on romance and a fairy tale, festive aesthetic.

Fourth Meeting: 11/11/16

Members present: Carmen Earnshaw, Tarrin Vane, Chloe Woollacott, Anne-Marie Weiss

In this meeting we altered our original group idea. We decided to film at the college woods instead of St. Marychurch precinct as it was less busy and suited our idea better. We also organised what shots we needed and who would film each one, and discussed the issues with our prop cape which was that it was smaller than we thought it would be, so this was an issue. The original actor for our advert was unavailable so I agreed to take her place in our advert.