Throughout this unit I have continued to give it my all, expressing clearly within my work about what it is I want to portray. At the beginning I felt I had a lack of knowledge on the subject of mental health, but with thorough investigation and research I have discovered copious amounts about my subject matter, but also about myself. I feel this has enabled me to produce some interesting photos. So when people are viewing my work, I am hoping that they will achieve a similar understanding.
I have continuously worked hard throughout, evidencing this via my final results (my images). I have constantly tested my plans and if I found I came across a path in which I wasn’t too sure, I would strive to research it to the best of my ability but I would always have an alternative route to go down if I was unable to achieve my goal.
When living with someone who suffers from mental health issues, life can become a struggle, so by focusing on this project it has helped me greatly, as I have used my photography as an escapism and as a form of therapy for myself. By expressing numerous types of mental health issues through my work, I am hoping to display how other sufferers feel in a very visual way, as people find it very difficult to understand mental health as they cannot physically see anything wrong with individuals. In particular I wanted to show social anxiety, which I struggle to overcome every day. So depicting it through my eyes as to how I see mental health, has helped tremendously.
I wanted to focus on creating fantasy like images as I thought this was a great way in juxtaposing the scenarios. As the old saying goes “a picture paints a thousand words” and that is exactly what I am hoping to achieve with my photos.
I constantly ensured I worked with a variety of different models as well as in different locations. When choosing my models I specifically looked at the similarities between the models and the characteristics of the characters I was portraying in the photos. Personally I felt I have achieved that in every aspect of my work as they played their role wonderfully, especially as a number of the participants had never modelled before. This was also due to my personality, experience photographing models as well as my friendship with them, and therefore enabling the participants to relax, thus affording me to produce fantastic images.
During this unit I created a video which I found to be very empowering and have personally formed some interesting responses to it. I didn’t just want to research mental health through a 3rd person, be it via library or internet but I wanted to get hands on by actually speaking to people about what they thought or what experience they have had of mental health issues.
In particular, I am hoping to target teenagers and young adults with an understanding that they will be able to connect with my work and to feel that although mental health is a taboo subject, they are not alone. Although I have aimed my images at the younger generation, I am also hopeful that it reaches a far wider audience because mental health can affect anyone of any age or sex.
Overall I’m extremely proud of myself in what I have achieved and would like to continue this project once finishing university. I think it’s a great way of using photography as an awareness for mental health.
With sticking to the fantasy theme, I felt this would help me to build up my portfolio, as I would love to work on film sets. I am continuously shooting in different style, enabling me to have a varied portfolio because as a photographer one has to adapt and create unique and diverse work, which I am hoping will one day catch the eye of someone in the film industry.