My idea aims to explore the darker side of fairytales, and also how fairytales have been subject to consumerism and fiction cover-ups. I plan to explore two concepts in my experimentation; consumerism within children and how fairytales make money from children’s want and apparent need for objects, as well as alternative self-portraits looking at the real meaning of fairytales, which has been mainly inspired by the work of Kyle Thompson. I aim to explore this topic using self-portraiture, product photography and advertisement style editing using my developing camera skills as well as developing Photoshop skills that have been tested and trained over the last few modules.
My area of enquiry is that of consumerism in people and how it is enlarged by fairytales and the “Disney culture”. As well as this, I plan to also explore and experiment with alternative portraits, which is my passion and future career choice after teaching, to look into the darker side of fairytales, especially those produced by the Grimm brothers. Exploring into food photography and the advertisements culture is going to be something completely different for me, as I usually incorporate portraits one way or another into my work and submit them for assessment. My original experimentation looked into fashion photography and how it can be represented by the theme of fairytales, but I want to produce something to remember for my final major project, not something that echoes my current work. I want to push myself further than I ever have before whilst expanding my knowledge of practising photographers to benefit my knowledge when I begin my teaching placement in September. I have been inspired by the work of Ernie Button for my food photography, as well as the likes of Carl Warner and Stephanie Salo. All these three photographers incorporate food into their work But my module will not feel complete without the experimentation into portraiture and self-portraiture that will be underpinned by fairytales and ideas within them, which have been mostly inspired by the work of Kyle Thompson. My portraiture work will be best presented in a magazine format, a magazine that explores into alternative portraiture, and my food photography image will be best viewed as advertisements in magazines or on billboards. I plan to take some photographs of food that are included in fairytales and pair them with shop branding and quotes from fairytales to sell the food, and show consumerism within people when it comes to the Disney culture that surrounds us. For my project, I need to develop my current knowledge of food photography and how to photograph it under the hot lights. I plan to undertake training with an established food photographer to see how I can develop my current skills for this module, as well as read books and articles to educate myself. The equipment that will be required will be a studio lighting set up including snoots, soft boxes and honeycomb grids, as well as a professional product table and my DSLR camera with macro lens. I have already arranged to borrow and set of lights and attachments, as well as rent a studio product table off another fellow photographer. I plan to set a budget of £100 to spend on food and accessories to make my final experimentation images look professional and worthy of being made into advertisements. I may need to buy many of the same items to give me the opportunity to re photograph my food in different locations, as well as buying ingredients to bake products myself. This will give me so much more control over how my product looks and are seen in the advertisements.
For my final piece, I plan to bring together everything that I have explored in my experimentation in a collection of carefully planned images representing the themes and food that are included within them, but creating a cinematic feel in all. The fairytales used will be Snow White, Alice in Wonderland, Goldilocks, Hansel and Gretel and Cinderella. I aim to explore this using inspiration from Gregory Crewdson and Margarita Kareva, as well as paying attention to outfits, props and location. Here, I plan to develop my ideas into editorial styled images, selling the food but paying homage to fairytales and the darker side of them.
For my final piece, I plan to bring together everything I have done for this module in the form of a staged piece, advertising the food but using models and elaborate set ups to recreate the fairytales. The five fairytales and children’s stories that I plan to represent are Snow White, Alice in Wonderland, Goldilocks, Hansel and Gretel and Cinderella. All of these fairytales have food that represent them, and are part of the storyline. For example, the red apple will represent Snow White, as I have already experimented with. A gingerbread house will represent Hansel and Gretel, a bowl of porridge will represent Goldilocks, a pumpkin will represent Cinderella, and finally the tea party hosted by the Mad Hatter will represent Alice in Wonderland. My main inspiration for this work is Ernie Button, Kyle Thompson and Margarita Kareva. All these photographers work have inspired me for a number of reasons, all relating to their ability and creative drive to capture beauty within people, nature, animals and food. I have also been inspired by the work of Gregory Crewdson for his technique and lighting. My work will be presented in a gallery format, printed on large glossy paper in a white or gold gilt frame. I will also plan to submit my work to magazines such as Dark Beauty magazine and other independent photography magazines that would showcase my work. This will be my last chance for a year to produce photographic work before I go and study a PGCE in Further Education, so would love to build my published portfolio before this. I will have to pay special attention to lighting, location and the models pose and clothing, to create the best possible image and meaning. The equipment I will have to use is my DSLR camera, alongside lighting equipment with a generator so I can use the equipment on location, as well as speed lights to create depth and atmosphere to my images. For travel and transport consideration, I have access to a car, as well as a few friends and family members who own vans for transportation of bigger props, the only problem being I will have to work around their times. I plan to set a budget of £350 for this project, which should cover the props and outfits I will need for my project, as well as location hire, prints, frames and props needed for the layout of my final exhibition. I plan to rent outfits from high street stores and local designers, with the fee being my services to save money to make sure my budget is focused upon the printing and framing of my images. I will have an extra £150 on the side incase I need to buy more expensive prints or props to make my shoot and final images the best quality possible.