Last year, as part of one of our modules, we got to carry out a commissioned photography project for our university.
Working on a commissioned project means a company or brand pay you to take photographs for them. It is very much a collaboration of ideas with the company instructing you with what they vision but with you as a photographer inputting your own creative ideas and style.
The London South Bank University is made up of seven schools and as a class we were split into seven groups to each represent one of the schools. Our job was to get to know students from each school and produce some photography work that could be displayed around the university to showcase what they do.
We were not paid for the project but we were given a budget to produce the work which meant we could be a bit more creative with the amount of photos and the way they were to be displayed. I worked with the school of Arts and Creative Industries and we specifically focused on drama and performance.
The drama students we worked with were creating their own version of Matilda and throughout the semester we sat in on their classes to get to know them and the characters they would be playing. Our idea was to create some documentary images of them during rehearsals, some portrait photos and a panorama of the final performance.
The final outcomes were not far off our original idea. I really liked the portraits as they were taken in character and we decided that the backdrop would be somewhere outside the drama studio because they don’t spend all of their time in there. During the dress rehearsal we got some really colourful shots of them in the act and thought these worked better than the documentary images. We did create a panorama but this had to be done with a different set of students and although it was last minute it came out looking great. Unfortunately it wasn’t up in our exhibition as it was printed on vinyl to be stuck to a curved wall and once it is up it cannot be removed so we are waiting for it to be installed in its place outside the drama studios.
The whole project took a few months to produce and was pretty stressful, there were times when we thought we wouldn’t have any images as so many technical problems and time management issues came up but we were really pleased with the final outcome and cant wait to see all the pictures displayed around the university.
Some of the other projects included work with the schools of
- Applied sciences
- Health and Social care
- Built environment and Architecture
- Law and Social Science
This is just a few of the pieces that were made and I am so impressed that we managed such high standards of work as first year students! (that last image is of a dummy that is used in the health and social care department, not a real baby)
We are putting on another exhibition of our work as individuals from this semester that will take place from 14th – 17th December at the Cob Gallery in Camden so if you’re in the area then be sure to pop in and see what we have been working on!