Oral Presentation

SUSTAINABLE PROSPECTS – MODULE ASSIGNMENT

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Here below my Oral Presentation related to Sustainable Prospects Module.

Please, use the following password to watch it: DayanaPPT4

Dayana Marconi, “I can hear you now, Oral Presentation of my current practice”. Assignment created for Module 4 of the MA Photography at Falmouth University ©Dayana Marconi 2017. Copyright for this video belongs solely to Dayana Marconi.

Direct link to watch the video on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/246949823

The use of texts to support images

SUSTAINABLE PROSPECTS – CREATIVE SOLUTIONS

Interested in the work done by Ed Templeton in his 2008 book “Deformer”, I started evaluating the use of texts to support my images and I opted for an handwritten font in order to provide a more personal and intimate touch. Being born in the ‘80s, I am still attached to the habit of handwriting notes and thoughts as I used to do in my diaries when I was young. This is why I started browsing them and observing those small images and objects I used to collect on their pages, all accompanied by words. Those journals were about memories and emotions, my project is, somehow, related to the same topics: the connection was already there.

I used this technique for the first time when I started creating my Confrontation Sheets alongside those Sequences created in contact sheets’ form: I felt the urge to deeper involve viewers into the discussion: if I had to generate empathy it was simply necessary. Depicting two different types of scream, side by side, generated by different feelings or situations, I started asking my audience “Can you detect an emotion?”. The aim, here, was educational: I wasn’t only forcing the observers to face my sitters’ negativity released, but I was directly asking them to make an effort to understand the represented subject matter. But I needed to support them in the process and this is when words joined my project.

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“I can hear you now – Long-exposure scream, Confrontation sheet no.3” ©Dayana Marconi 2017. Copyright for this photo belongs solely to Dayana Marconi. Images may not be downloaded without her permission.

Having written indications about the feelings to compare, viewers are facilitated in their mission: they have to combine a word with a facial expression (and body language). There are not right of wrong answers, because the important factor is to try to interpret “the other”.

During last Module, then, I decided to start creating photographic images narrating those stories behind those screams.

 

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“I can hear you now – Behind a scream #1 & #2”, slideshow. ©Dayana Marconi 2017. Copyright for this gallery photo belongs solely to Dayana Marconi. Images may not be downloaded without her permission.

In that case, I opted to use written information to provide them with a context and to start narrating those stories, mentioned several times, that start but do not end, because my intention is to create a series of small books that readers can write by themselves having an incipit and a visual reference. I used the same font, as for all my still images containing texts, to provide a sense of continuity among different sections of my project. Here, again, we find details that support the audience in playing an active role. My “Behind a Scream” images evolved in time, their titles became more descriptive and I started using colours and lights in a different way, but their texts’ style remained the same to connect them, again, with the work previously done.

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“I can hear you now – Small Stories, Your Poems” and “I can hear you now – Small Stories, Lost”, slideshow. ©Dayana Marconi 2017. Copyright for this gallery photo belongs solely to Dayana Marconi. Images may not be downloaded without her permission.

Even if with a different font (this one would not be readable enough if available for a brief portion of time), I used it also for those videos created with the same purpose.

The last use of written information has been done into the “Details” series for the same reason. In this case, anyway, my aim was not to start one of those “emotional tales”, as I previously defined them, but to create texts that could stimulate viewers’ imagination and make them want to understand more about the project itself. These images would be included into those books, containing those words my sitters usually tell me to describe their emotions before, during and after the scream (to recall the idea of diaries I was discussing above).

I am evaluating the idea of using a more readable font, or actual handwritten texts, into the final version of my work, but so far the selected one has been ideal for its purposes: creating something “personal” and conceptually link all sections of the project at the same time.

As stated into different posts of this CRJ, they would also improve the sustainability of “I can hear you now”: not only thanks to the role they have in a potential creation of a series of publications, but also for educational and research-related purposes (Confrontation Sheets) since, discussing with some Psychologists and Neuropsychiatrists I am in touch with, they could be used to measure the level of empathy and facial-expression recognition abilities in their patients. Words are powerful: they can generate that discomfort and those problems I often photograph, but they can also become part of the solution.

 

References:

Templeton Ed, Deformer, 2008, Alleged Press and Damiani Editore, Bologna, Italy.

WIP: notes of a journey

SUSTAINABLE PROSPECTS – CREATIVE NOTES

After discussing my Work in Progress Portfolio with my Professor Anna-Maria Pfab and my Tutors Krishna Sheth and Paul Clements, I am pondering how to create a consistent and coherent path for this document. I have to admit I am currently very concerned since this Assignment counts for a 60% of the final mark: the itinerary it represents must be clear using images only, avoiding written explanations apart from images’ titles, “Chapters” titles and those written texts which are integral parts of the photographs and videos themselves.

The fact is that “I can hear you now” is not about a “static” topic: its subject matter is constantly evolving and it is represented from different angles, making past and present collide. As the title of this post declares, my project wants to be a journey into the psychological world of my sitters, and mine, through emotions. The act of screaming itself, representative of my current practice, is simply “an instrument” to release those emotions, not the whole project. Personally speaking, in this moment I would like to scream myself. I would like to scream because I am afraid the work done so far might be not enough to pass this Module, I would like to scream because this project is so personal and important to me and I am not sure I am actually able to represent its relevance, I would like to scream because I am constantly having panic attacks, the very same panic attacks that, alongside my Anxiety Disorder, are the starting point of this project, the emotional and psychological status I am trying to exorcise using Photography. “I can hear you now” is born because I realised that I am not the only individual facing this condition, nowadays: many people have to constantly deal with it, in different ways and for different reasons, but I think it is important to make my audience understand this point. We are not alone. We can support each other even simply with an act of empathy, trying to actually see, and HEAR, who is in front of us.

But there is another point to consider: even if the screaming-related images are so fundamental for all those mentioned reasons, I felt the urge to represent the stories behind that action, because we are our past, not only our acts. Our personal experience, our memories have a dramatic impact on the individuals we are today. There is a whole “inner world” to investigate and visit. A world made of stories that deserve to be narrated, analysed and understood. Most of still and in-motion images I have recently created focus on this point.

At this stage, I decided to deeper observe and represent that world from different perspectives that, colliding and reinforcing each other’s impact on viewers, could enhance that sense of empathy that, as stated, is the main aim of my work. But how to effectively link all those viewpoints? How to recreate a logical path to follow since into my WIP I am allowed to publish images only? How make those photographs and videos speak by themselves, as said? The problem here is to avoid the confusion that too many different directions might generate, as the received feedbacks pointed out but, at the same time, to represent those multiple realities working together.

I previously mentioned, discussing my intentions related to the creation of a project’s website, “The Canary and the Hammer”, created by the artist Lisa Barnard. To re-quote the British photographer, “This depository strives to make connections between these very different stories. It represents a personal journey through the world of gold and the structure of the story mirrors the complexity of the task of representing the world in these fragmented and troubling times” (Barnard, 2017). The same could be said discussing my project: it connects different stories, different points of view, different interpretations of the delicate subject matter it is representing. Moreover, since I cannot sell those photographs depicting my sitters screaming, if not in relation to a specific context like a campaign for a Charity, because I would not feel comfortable taking that decision, those “Behind a scream” stories might create a true economic sustainability for my project, since my intention is to collect them in photographic books that can be sold. They can be put into the Market because they would allow readers to narrate those stories by themselves and this would serve the scope of the project: reading the incipit and observing the related image, they can recreate that world in their minds, using their personal experiences. We all observe things in accordance with who we are, our opinions, our memories. We appreciate the images we can understand or that we can relate with, and so, assuming that every individual that will browse my book  has experienced at least once in his/her life a negative moment, they will surely have the ability to continue writing those “tales” into the blank pages that will follow each photograph. For this purpose, I am considering self-publishing as a suitable solution, even if I have not decide yet what path to follow in this case: it could be the “Self-publish, Be happy” approach or I could consider an online solution, like Amazon Kidle direct Publishing.

But going back now to the Work in Progress Portfolio: I can’t insert photographs created during previous Modules to provide a visual background and since during this one I followed also different directions, how to link what I have created to all those concepts avoiding confusion?

The only way, in my opinion, is to follow the following path:

  1. Starting with “I can hear you now – the emotional response” video, that shows the reaction of the audience observing my work. The subject is covered in all those screams previously photographed and she is forced to stand still watching my “Video self-portrait” that represents a moment in my life in which I was still suffering mostly for the loss of my beloved grandmother. The video she is watching and the photographs projected on her body serve as a link to the previous phases of my project.
  2. Since those photographs filmed into this video are selected from those long-exposure “Sequences” (previously named “Contact-sheets” in accordance with the technique used, but now re-named “Sequences” to avoid confusion during the evaluation phase and to provide a clearer sense of what I am depicting) and “Confrontation sheets” I often mentioned in this CRJ, I decided to include two photographs each, alternating them but divided by sitter, for a total of four images, naming this section “Can you detect an emotion? Follow the trail, go closer” because, in the end, with these photographs I am asking what the woman into the previous video is doing: understanding, empathising. They are alternated because we don’t feel a single emotion a time, often we have to face many of them at once: this is what Confrontation Sheets explain to observers. At the same time, giving them the chance to observe the whole emotional trail my sitters follow while releasing their discomfort with a scream is important: they can observe different reactions, a different way to charge and discharge those feelings, they can relate with them.
  3. Then I will include two further hyperlinks taking to the related two “Emotional Score Experiments” The first one is narrating the story of one of my sitters, while the second one is depicting a portion of my past. They are the best connection possible, in my opinion, between the video and the photographic sections and they are correlated to the “Emotional Scream Experiment #1” video I have created with the same film composer during “Informing Context” Module. As into my Sequences there is a trail to follow, here we face the same situation, even if the images are different since they start showing those stories behind the screams. I am not going to insert images related to these videos on my Portfolio, in accordance with the indications received by Professors during previous Modules. Feedbacks are important and must be taken in account.
  4. To conclude, I decided to insert “Behind a Scream” photographic images that portray the same model, often portrayed with a second one, into different areas of the same location of the previous two videos. They tell those “emotional tales” with the use of text insert with the same handwritten font I used for my Confrontation sheets.

This progression makes sense to me and it means providing at least 12 out of a maximum of 18 pieces of my work. But I sense that something is missing here. This portfolio starts with a woman observing me screaming, so can I include a section that explains what is “Behind my scream”?

As mentioned, my scream into that video was generated by grief and a sense of loss and isolation and it was strictly connected with my grandma and that mutual “womanhood” relationship is gone lost into my family once she died. She was our glue, without her my mother, my aunt and me became individuals and not parts of that tight group anymore. I am the genetic result of those women forming that community: in my personality, my face, my hands, my hair, my soul I see “pieces of them” and now one of those pieces is lost. It exists in my memories only.

I started representing that sense of loss in one of those “Details” I have photographically created and I truly believe that the suggestion of my Tutor Krishna makes sense: to further investigate this direction using the same tones, colours and lights I have used for that image. Creating a story made of memories and objects recalling my grandmother and my relationship with her”.

But does it make sense doing it right now? Is it the right way? Should I wait and create those images for next WIP? Would they result coherent with other images?

Lights and colours, even if more delicate and less “dark”, are connected to other photographs and I feel it is right concluding by portraying what is behind that sound we can hear into the first video included into the portfolio, but would this article, alongside some others I could write to explain this specific concept, be enough to justify the presence of those images at this stage? Would it be enough including these details into my Oral Presentation since I will also have to focus on the sustainability of my project in ten minutes? Would including this section mean excluding important information that need to be shared in that context?

These are doubts that still generate a lot of anxiety in me since I am also running out of time. I hope that this last webinar with my Tutor and involving also my other Tutor Paul Clements into the discussion would help me in understand how to proceed since my Professor did not exclude this section a priori, but she is also right when she says that not supported by texts it might weaken the cohesive approach I am desperately trying to pursue: this is why I am currently considering to focus my attention on this section only after this Assignments’ period. It requires my whole attention and must be created with care and even if it is important to me creating thise series, it does not mean I necessarily have to do it right now.

POST-SUBMISSION UPDATES

After careful considerations, I decided to follow my instinct and to strictly adhere to the list of contents I previously mentioned for the creation my WIP.

I had to face, then, another challenge: how to order my “Behind a Scream” stills?

Following images’ succession and reading the related texts, becomes visible the meta-textual content I recreated, generated by the narration of a story made of different small stories. They work as single images and as a whole body of work at the same time. They depict a tale told by two different perspectives that collide when the big story ends. There are two women: in the first images one is the narrator, while in the last ones the second subject continues the “tale”. This change is also marked by the changes in colours, tones and lights of my images. What creates that collision between the two different narrative voices is the last photograph, explaining that, in reality, there is only a single person depicted into that sequence. After traumatic events, often people describe their mental reaction to them as sort of out-of-body experience. Since my work is focused on negative emotions generated by events or memories to reach a new positivity, I believe this was a good way to represent that concept: ending that story made of stories with a promise, by portraying the subject predicting that everything will be just fine somehow, but, at the same time, discovering that she is making this promise to herself, that she is holding her own hands.

After completing the submission of my WIP, alongside another work created in Los Angeles, I used some of the images of my project “I can hear you now” (and from my current WIP as well, of course) to submit an entry for the International Photography Award (IPA) 2018 lead by the British Journal of Photography: https://enter.bjpipa.com/share/ddbf40bb07ff915a59d69e80a1632aac/.

I think it was important to start following the priceless advice my Tutor Krishna gave me: “Trust yourself” (and my work, of course). Moreover, having even external feedbacks might help me in understanding what kind of impact my work has on an “Professional” audience who look at it for the first time not having previous information: something important also to create my final portfolio for this MA.

 

References:

Amazon Kindle direct publishing, online service https://kdp.amazon.com/it_IT?ref_=kdpgp_p_it_psg_pt_ad2

Barnard Lisa, official website http://lisabarnard.co.uk/

Barnard Lisa, The Canary and the Hammer, project’s website http://www.thegolddepository.com/ (quote into the “About” section)

British Journal of Photography, International Photography Award 2018, official website https://www.bjpipa.com/

Marconi Dayana, official Vimeo page https://vimeo.com/dayanamarconi

Ceschel Bruno, Self-Publish, Be happy, a DIY Photobook Manual and Manifesto, 2015, Aperture Foundation, NY, USA.

I can hear you online

SUSTAINABLE PROSPECTS – PROJECT WEBSITE

Considering March 2018 as deadline, my intention is to create an official website for my project “I can hear you now” alongside my personal one. The website containing the more specific body of work should be considered as “derivative” but, presuming to bypass here the creation of the more generalist one, I have pretty clear in my mind how its structure should be. Apart from each page-contents, the static elements (header and footer) would be the same for each page, not considering the Blog section.

Introductive page/Home: it would have a very clear design and it would simply contain a header with the Menu, the “Introductive video” I have created for the project and a footer containing my contacts and the links to the related Social Media profiles.

Images:  I am interested in obtaining a visual final result similar to the Felicity McCabe’s official website I had the chance to visit today: http://www.felicitymccabe.com/. Contents are clearly divided and displayed and the style is simple, exalting images. Each section of the project could be clearly depicted by a representative image and a brief title: moreover, this would provide that sense of path I am trying to create for my body of work. The concept of “Itinerary” (another word I might use to define this area) is very important to connect all the sections of my project: they all work together for a specific aim and they all are necessary to provide different perspectives on the subject matter. This area should recall the concept created for Lisa Barnard’s “The Canary and the Hammer”, that the artist defined in the following way: “This depository strives to make connections between these very different stories. It represents a personal journey through the world of gold and the structure of the story mirrors the complexity of the task of representing the world in these fragmented and troubling times” (Barnard, 2017). Even if the topic is different, the concept is similar. Analysing this and all previous points, I opted not to call this area “Photography” since my project is developed using both still and moving images and I would not use the word “Portfolio” since this area will be more an exhibition of my work related to a specific subject matter only, a path to follow.

Info: I would be brief in sharing a biography, in this area I would like to focus more on explaining what is “I can hear you now”, its aims and scopes. It should be more a Project-Bio rather than a personal one.

Collaborators: In this page I would like to include a full list, in alphabetical order, of all those artists, professionals, Associations or Groups who work with me, sharing a couple of lines about them and their contacts.

Blog&News: in this page I would collect the most representative articles written for my CRJ during this MA Photography at Falmouth, all those articles written by those professionals and artists I will collaborate with and I will share all future potential news related to the project.

Contacts: as the last page of the website. Here I will collect the information and details I will insert in those Business cards dedicated to this work. I am considering this page even if all infos are available in each page’s footer, because users often do not pay attention to those details and require a simple navigation mode, with all contents clearly provided.

Focusing, then, a bit more on the style its pages should have, I would like a white background and a minimal design, possibly recreating a sort of contact sheet’s layout in the way the different sections of my project will be displayed on the page, something similar to the one I used for my Portfolio on CargoCollective http://cargocollective.com/dayanamarconi/. Even the font I will use should have a “minimal style” and all details related to it visual concept should mirror the generalist website to improve their conceptual connection.

My intention is to ask a friend, who is a web designer and programmer, to create them both using the same layout but a different structure, of course. I will face the insertion of all contents in first person: in this way I will reduce costs and I will have the chance to have both of them for about 600/700€. Involving a professional in the creation of my web pages, I will improve the quality of the way it will be graphically presented and I will enhance its functionality: something very important since not only the subject matter counts but also the way in which it is presented to the audience. A higher quality means more credibility, especially in the world of Photography: this is the main reason why it worths the expense.

At this stage of the project cost-saving is vital since I am not earning enough to immediately repay all outflows, this is why I will sponsor this website on all its related Social Media by evaluating when to pay for an advert and when to simply share the page as much as I can, possibly considering the use of different Languages to depose all contingent barriers. I have been working as translator for several years, so I could cover some of those foreign Languages I might use to write some presentation-posts, the others could be covered by some friends living abroad, like what has been done for “Surface and Strategies” exhibition during Module 3. In this specific case, even if the standard Language of “I can hear you now” will be English, I could create “readable” contexts and contents to all those not-English-speakers since, in the end, when they will face the imagery collected into my website they should, then, speak by themselves.

My target audience is related to different environments and they will “consume” my work in different ways and from different perspectives:

  • Art Galleries & Magazine – I will use this website to support the images contained by the Portfolios I will send them to have the chance to exhibit my work;
  • Professors and Associations for a potential PhD – since my intention is to understand if I can expand my project during a PhD, using it as a starting point and taking a different future direction. I might use this website to share the work and the research done so far so that my interlocutors can have a better idea of what has been done and what paths could be, subsequently, undertaken.
  • Customers and Collaborators – that will have the chance to observe how I develop a long-term project and how I proactively collaborate with other Artists and Professionals.
  • General audience – people who might be interested in becoming customers (in relation to those images I might consider to sell or because they might simply like my photographic style) or future sitters.
  • Charities – that might be interested in sponsor my project in the or to use its parts to communicate their messages.

At this stage, I did not publish anything outside my Social Media profiles since I am evaluating viewers’ feedbacks in order to understand what sections to maintain and which ones to exclude from the final version of “I can hear you now”: I am still exploring new paths, this is why I am now focusing my attention to audience’s reactions.

 

References:

Barnard Lisa, official website http://lisabarnard.co.uk/

Barnard Lisa, The Canary and the Hammer, project’s website http://www.thegolddepository.com/ (quote into the “About” section)

Marconi Dayana, online Portfolio on CargoCollective http://cargocollective.com/dayanamarconi/

McCabe Felicity, official website http://www.felicitymccabe.com/

Emotional Score Experiment #2

SUSTAINABLE PROSPECTS – CREATIVE EXPERIMENTS

“I can hear you now – Emotional score Experiment #2”. ©Dayana Marconi 2017, Asti/Rome/Los Angeles. Copyright for this video and photo gallery belongs solely to Dayana Marconi. Images may not be downloaded without her permission.

Direct link to watch the video on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/245894272

“I can hear you now – Emotional score experiment #2” is the second video of that series born with the aim of creating a link between the moving and still images’ sections of the project while, at the same time, representing the stories behind those screams that became the distinctive trait of my work.

Strictly connected to the videos “Scream Score Experiment #1” and “Emotional Score Experiment #1”, it provides a cross section of that reality behind that act: as a matter of fact, all these videos are part of a series of moving and still images named “Behind a Scream” with the aim of depicting those stories behind the action that represent the main body of work created for this project so far.

As written in relation with previous experiments, I asked Elena Maro, the Italian music composer based in Los Angeles I collaborated with for both mentioned videos, to re-create in music the photographed emotional path, in this case mine, that I wanted to portray with that sequence of still images in order to demonstrate that feelings can become audible using film score technique, if used to underline and reproduce them.

Those images represent part of my personal history, moments frozen in time that became a story again thanks to the video montage and the music that perfectly represented my emotional status.

The sequence of photographs provide my personal perspective. “Your head was full of ghosts. It was simply too heavy… And I watched you cutting… And cutting… And cutting…” it is not only about the portrayed woman, but about her relationship with the impotent person who is observing the scene (me) perfectly understanding what will happen next, but still unable to take action. It is something that already happened, symbolically recreated in a constant present time: the hair that need to be cut like, by falling on the ground, they could lighten the head from its “heavy thoughts”; the sound of the scissors, recreated by double basses played “col legno”, each one representing a step forward of the depicted woman to an inevitable conclusion; the scissors themselves, with the function of performing the ultimate decision, especially while abandoned on the ground among all those cut hair.

Many other concepts and perspectives are depicted in a symbolic way. The observer and the photographer coincide in real life as into the video: I am represented by the movements of the camera, that goes closer but that is also “pushed away” by the pain and the sense of loss pervading the scene.

At the end of the video the two main “characters” are face to face; the woman in the sequence, the friend I have lost in real life, obliged me to look directly into her eyes, challenging my soul to deal with what was going on, what happened in that portion of my existence that she is representing. The score portrays that mutual relationship: some sounds correspond to the sitter, the others to the viewer. Combined, they depict that connection and its consequences.

The final heavy breath, swallowed up by a ruble culminating into the complete dark, is the highest depiction of that connection: the roar is the final goodbye of the protagonist as I perceived it, the panicking and gasping breath is my reaction. The score, the photographs themselves, the subject and the hesitating observer are all perfectly combined to recreate that sense of anguish and loss.

This video was my ultimate homage “To Elisa. Gone to soon, but never forgotten” and I did it with all my heart.

Alongside “Emotional Score Experiment #1”, this in-motion sequence is very important to connect all different parts of my project:

  1. The sequence itself perfectly represents the sense of an action taking place, this is something already seen into my triptychs and, more extensively, into those long-exposure “Sequences” created with the contact sheet’s technique. Moreover, it works as a perfect connection between my video-representations and my still images;
  2. It is connected, thanks to the combination of techniques used, to the “Scream Score Experiment #1” video, which can be easily reconnected to the main body of work created for “I can hear you now”;
  3. It is a confrontation between two different colliding realities and the same thing could be said talking about my Confrontation sheets;
  4. It is, of course, related to those “Behind a scream” short stories, which are simply its “still-version”: a story partially revealed that must be continued in viewers’ minds.

As written while discussing the first video of this series, collaborating with another artist, especially if geographically placed in another Continent and operating in another field, does not only mean to expand the artistic and human perspective that two different sensitivities working together could provide, but it also means a wider distribution of my work and potential new collaborations and customers for both of us. While her followers and collaborators are appreciating her score, they have the chance to observe my photographic work at the same time and, being Photography for Cinema something I am definitely interested in, Los Angeles is an intriguing potential market for a future career. Moreover, currently having Rome as a starting point to approach the same Industry, I am not only creating materials that I could present to potentially show a Director of Photography how I portray an action in still images using different lighting systems and locations, but I am also generating evidences of my ability to actively and productively collaborate with other professionals, which is vital in this environment. At the same time, word of mouth and a good use of Social Media is crucial to find new customers or “partners” and disseminating these videos online in two, with the aim of publicizing both our roles in the creative process, might attract a wider audience and more visualizations, meaning to engage a stronger interest in the project for a prospective exhibition or sponsorship.

The costs of realization were more than reasonable:

  • 17€ for the wig the model is wearing;
  • 15€ for travelling costs of the model;
  • 20€ for participants’ lunch;
  • 0€ for the location;
  • 0€ for MUA and Hairstyle;
  • 0€ for styling;
  • 0€ for model’s fees;
  • 100€ travel costs from Rome-Asti-Rome (to be split for three videos and a photo-shooting), meaning 25€ for this video;
  • 0€ Photographer’s Assistant fees;
  • 0€ film score fees (paid in free collaboration to the Film Composer’s projects since we are often interested in each other’s work);
  • 0€ lighting system rental.

TOTAL COSTS FOR THIS VIDEO: 77€.

Since, in this case, the costs to cover have been very low, this video can be considered as easily sustainable as long as it will generate a modest number of viewers online in the future months: considering that to join a maximum of 1200 users with a one-week-duration advert Facebook asks almost the same price and that those visualizations, especially if the insertion is not correctly addressed, usually generate no more than 50/80 likes, by uploading it on Vimeo and subsequently sharing it on Social Media (again, in two) for free we might reach the same result in a few weeks.

Anyway, these are argumentations more related to the subject matter of this Module rather than the one strictly connected with the contents of my video: what represented was not only a homage to a friend who passed away, but it counts also as a session of Phototherapy for me. Maybe I will never overcome the sense of loss generated by the death of my grandma and of all those friends I have lost in these last two years, but giving it a physical dimension and freezing that pain thanks to the photographic images was like to face that sensation of guilt that irrationally constantly chases me. That was priceless.

 

References:

Marconi Dayana, Vimeo official profile page https://vimeo.com/dayanamarconi

Marconi Dayana, I can hear you now – Scream Score Experiment #1, video released on Dayana Marconi Vimeo channel in July 2017 https://vimeo.com/225274701

Marconi Dayana, I can hear you now – Emotional Score Experiment #1, video released on Dayana Marconi Vimeo channel in November 2017 https://vimeo.com/244544041

Maro Elena, official website https://www.elenamaro.com/

Estimate

SUSTAINABLE PROSPECTS – BUSINESS CHALLENGE

For week-8 Challenge we have been asked to create an estimate for the following client’s requests:

A small communications agency contacts you and would like you to give them an estimate. They are re-branding Broadgate, an area in London, and need 25 images to use for printed materials, social media, web, tube ads and potentially billboards. The license term is five years. They think you can do the shoot in two days”.

It took me a while to understand the best way to create a coherent and consistent documentation since I have never worked for a Communication Agency as a freelance (but as an employee, only). I opted to observe the work done by those peers with more experience in this field and the related Tutors’ feedbacks. Moreover, I checked online, on websites like Skyscanner and Booking.com, to provide credible costs and different pricing guides for the UK Market, trying to maintain a competitive profile while covering all costs and preserve a certain level of profit.

Hereafter,  my estimate for this Commission:

Pre-shooting fees:

  • Location Scouting (2 days) – 250£ per day: total 500£;
  • Related travels-costs (from/to Rome) – (price valid if the offer will be accepted during the next 7 days) total: 200£;
  • One-night accommodation during scouting period – (price valid if the offer will be accepted during the next 7 days) total 180£;
  • Project planning and pre-shooting meeting – total: 150£;

Creative fees:

  • 2 days shooting (Photographer fees) – 500£per day: total 1000£;
  • 2 days shooting (Photographer’s Assistant fees) – 150£ per day: total 300£;
  • 1-day post-production for 25 images/covering the creation of files for print and web including metadata and keywords (Post-production’s Assistant fees) – total 150£;

Costs coverage and permits:

  • 2-people travels-costs (from/to Rome) – (price valid if the offer will be accepted during the next 7 days) 200£ per person: total 400£;
  • 3-night accommodation (price calculated for two rooms/three nights, January 12th – 15th 2018 and valid if the offer will be accepted during the next 7 days) – 400£ per room: total 800£;
  • 2-day meals (for 2 people) – 30£ each person per day: total 120£;
  • Permits – Expenses not included, to be covered by the Communication Agency: total TBD;
  • Lighting equipment rental – 250£ per day: total 500£;
  • Instruments/Photographer/Assistant Insurance costs – total 430£;
  • High-Vis Jackets (2 units) – 20£ per person: total 40£;

 

COSTS AND FEES (VAT NOT INCLUDED): 4770£.

VAT (Calculated in accordance with Italian Legislation) 22% 1049£.

COSTS/FEES VAT INCLUDED: 5819£.

ADDITIONAL FIVE-YEAR LICENSE COSTS – 10%: 581,90£.

TOTAL: 6400,90£.

 

References:

Booking.com, official website https://www.booking.com

House Peter, The Guide To Pricing Commercial Photography Part 4: License Fees, on Fstoppers, September 2013 issue https://fstoppers.com/business/guide-pricing-commercial-photography-part-4-license-fees-8713

London Freelance Fees’ Guide, official website http://www.londonfreelance.org/feesguide/index.php?&section=Photography

Skyscanner, official website, Italian version https://www.skyscanner.it/

I can hear you now – Assignment Photography and Fine Art

SUSTAINABLE PROSPECTS – INDIPENDENT REFLECTION

Susan Carr, in her “The Assignment Photographer: understanding the value you provide”, defined Assignment Photography as “the visual representation of the concept” (Carr, 2008) that communicates the client’s message. Unfortunately, we live in the era of Stock Photography and this is why, as the author herself stated “sustaining an assignment business becomes very difficult” (Carr, 2008). This is why Assignments photographer must represent an added value for their customers, starting by having those necessary qualities to face this profession, such as: a unique and distinctive vision, the ability to interpret clients’ needs and to protect them and their products, the capability to tailor licensing, customer service’s abilities and digital expertise. Personally, I feel the urge to improve those skills related to the creation of a proper and correctly compiled documentation; this alongside those necessary business strategy and marketing-related abilities necessary to be a consistent professional.

My current project could be related to Assignment Photography, but with a slighty different meaning compared to the more general one because, even if I am the creator of the concept, my images must respect those standards and rules defined by my Professors and Tutors at Falmouth University. My images must have a defined quality and my work must be cohesive, coherent and its images must have a certain quality to pass each Module: my project must be sustained by clear argumentations and submitted following precise rules.

For sure, it would not fit into the category of Stock Photography because of its delicate subject matter: my photographs and videos do not follow commercial standards and are not created to be sold. For instance, even if my attention if often focused on facial expressions and body language, I always try to avoid any cliché in the creation of my imagery (often typical of Stock Photography) because they want to represent the inner world of those individuals I portray and not to create any form of generalization in what I represent.

I presume that I could identify potential customers for my work, but they would be realities like Fine Art Galleries, Charities working to sustain people with Mental Health-related and Social problems or, as previously stated, a potential sponsor for a future PhD: all realities very distant from the Commercial environment. My work could be considered as easily sustainable because it is not strictly connected to a “local Market”: thanks to its subject matter that represent the vast majority of individuals and Communities out there it can cross cultural and geographic boundaries, especially thanks to those Social Media that make Photography distribution easier, nowadays.

Even if in my current practice I am more a Generalist since I have also created Fashion and Documentary Photography projects, “I can hear you now” is more related to the world of Fine Art and Portraiture. Due to the artistic environment they are related to, during this module I realised that there are some challenges I will have to face to distribute my work: I must be careful in the way I share my images online in order to respect a higher standard that these fields require and the same thing is valid concerning printed materials. To be considered for a potential publication on Fine Art Magazines or to be exhibited in a Gallery, the quality of my printed images, as well as their digital equivalents, must be properly processed: to respect collectors and curators’ standards it is essential to face some “technical challenges which most Commercial photographers do not have to consider” (Kauffman, 2008), to use Kim Kauffman’s words. The American Photographer also emphasized those differences in pricing Fine Art works and in the creation of the related contracts. Suggesting, of course,  always to create written documents to protect our work, he pointed out interesting facts I will have to consider when I will decide to distribute my photographs or videos. While if I will involve Charities into my project I will have to consider usage as one of the terms to establish a price, if my printed photographs will be sold for display only (galleries or private collectors), this should not be considered, but to raise the value of my imagery I will have to keep an eye on the costs of realization (considering those mentioned high-quality standards) and I will have to consider the creation of a limited edition only, since it is commonly considered as an added value. Of course, not all the images I am currently creating can be sold since, as said, the subject matter of my project is quite delicate; but in those “protected environment” I mentioned above I might consider it: in that case my sitters would be fully respected and my work would become more sustainable at the same time. Its sustainability is very important since I am working to support my sitters using Photography as a tool and to enhance empathy among people: a financially sustainable project would mean the possibility to photograph more and more, expanding it in the future and potentially helping more individuals.

In my specific case Networking and Reviews could be crucial for a future potential distribution of my work, this is why I am currently examining all available possibilities for Portfolio reviews, also outside Falmouth like the ones periodically organized and managed by LensCulture, and to join Specialty Groups and Specialized Listervs at the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP). These last two networking-related “platforms” do not only provide discussions’ opportunities, but also the chance to exhibit, obtain resources  also for students and emerging photographers: definitely something to carefully consider at this stage of my project. Applying for Photographic Contests is also essential to generate interest in our work because, as Francesca Genovese, the Director of Francesca Maffeo Gallery, pointed out while discussing the Gallerist’s perspective in her interview managed by our Professor Anna-Maria Pfab “As an established space, you have very different rules and you have much more fluid relationships with other photographers and other contacts and recommendations. In the beginning, it’s very much about looking, researching, seeing what is going on. Social media as well as print. Going into lots of exhibitions, graduate shows everything. You need to look at who is winning awards, who is getting a lot of press and air time” (Genovese, 2017).

 

References:

American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), Specialty Groups www.asmp.org/community/specialty.php

American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), Specialized Listervs www.asmp.org/community/online_comm.php

Carr Susan, The Assignment Photographer: understanding the value you provide, in Professional Business Practice in Photography, Chapter 12, ASMP, 7th edition, 2008, USA. pp. 97-98.

Genovese Francesca, in Anna-Maria Pfab’s PHO704: Week 10 Photography and its Fine Art Markets, Francesca Genovese Interview, released by Professor Anna-Maria Pfab on Canvas online Platform, “Sustainable Prospects” Module, Week 10, MA Photography, Falmouth Flexible, Falmouth University, Cornwall, UK. PDF transcription, pp.1.

Kauffman Kim, Fine Art in Susan Carr’s The Assignment Photographer: understanding the value you provide, in Professional Business Practice in Photography, Chapter 12, ASMP, 7th edition, 2008, USA. pp. 107-108.