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Proposal: The Distance Between Us

I choose option one for my photo essay, in recording my own series of photos.  I want to look at the physical distance between people as they communicate, from complete strangers to close friends.  I want to capture the body language that we use every day subconsciously, to show how our feelings change our body language.

To do this, I will attend at least one open, public event, like a comedy show or band event.  The people at this location will not feel an obligation to look in a specific direction, like at a performer, as that will effect the way that they stand with each other.  I will photograph all types of people as they go about their regular social activities (hopefully without looking like a creep).  I only want to attend one event because the people there will have a specific interest, say, as one larger social group, and I will not need to worry about standing distances across cultures.

I want to do this project partly out of curiosity and also because I am interested if I do the same things as everyone else.  Or, if there is a significant pattern in the way that a majority of people with the same types of feelings stand with each other.  In particular, how people in love act around each other and their relationship status.

I will use a regular digital camera so that I do not draw attention to myself, perhaps muddling with the clarity of the photo to emphasize the status of the relationship in the photo.  That is, the people in focus will also be in focus, and the rest of the photo will be slightly blurred. I can also try taking the pictures with a disposable camera, if I want a more personal feel.

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Photo Essay Proposal: Childhood Memories

For the upcoming photo essay assignment, I have decided to choose option #2, the vintage family style photograph of myself. I believe this is the more challenging of the two options and I also believe this assignment will allow me to demonstrate my awareness of semiotics, something that I have been struggling with all semester long.

I felt a deep connection with Annette Kuhn’s 1991 article “Remembrance: The Child I Never Was” as she wrote about how photographs can create conflicting memories. There were many times over the years where I would go through boxes in my household closet or attic and flip through family photo albums that contained pictures of my mother’s and father’s baby photos and pictures of their respective families and then find a slew of my baby and childhood photos, and much like Kuhn’s mother, my own mother would write either a date, a year or a location that was connected to the photo (and sometimes get the date or location mixed up with another photo/memory). There is something to be said about the time away from a photograph and how we place previous memories or expectations on a piece of paper and I would really like to dive into my own history, dig up some young photographs of myself and through my understanding of photographic history and theory, look at these vintage photographs with a critical eye and in-depth understanding.

I believe choosing this option will not only require some self-awareness of my past and honesty about what my childhood represents (today), but what those moments meant to the person taking the picture (the photographer).