TASK 1: What is your context

  • Consider what has brought you to where you are now at the outset of your degree in photography.

I always had an interest in photography, so I decided to study it and making a living career. I started off by doing a BTEC in Media and this pushed me even more to choose a photography course. I decided to go for a 2 years course in BTEC  in photography and after that, I felt like I wanted to learn more and improve my skills on Fashion photography and Advertising so I decided I had to go to university to increase this knowledge. So I started looking for the right university that offered such a specific photography course as I did not want to do any artistic or darkroom photography and after searching so intensively Laura who is now doing the same course at PCA with me suggested I should check the BA commercial photography and by visiting the web page and reading information I thought it was what I was looking for and that’s how I ended up in this photography course.

  • What has made you the person you are today?

My family and the environment I was raised up in and many events and situations I have encountered in my life have made me what I am today.

  • What are the key moments/events/people that have formed you?

Moving from a country to another, different situations, family and friends, hard and good moments.

  • Where did your interest in photography come from?

My dad had three cannon cameras, I can’t remember what types but I remember the Canon EOS 3000 and he used to take pictures of my mum, sister and me all the time, for every single event in our life, even for silly things like when my first tooth came out. So I guess seeing my dad taking pictures and developing them all the time created an interest in me. Around 2008 I went on a trip with the school and that’s when my dad gave me his camera to use and I remember my teachers were surprised of how big the camera looked on me and there’s when one of my teachers started giving me lots of photography magazines to read. I did read them but I only had a basic interest in photography.

  • What do want/expect to gain from studying a degree in photography?

Improve my skills and be very confident. To be able to have opportunities and open new doors by the time I finish.

  • What has influenced you to make this life choice?

I had to motivate myself to finally try to be serious about having a career in photography. Thinking about my future pushed me to make this choice.

  • Do you have a specific interest or outlook on life that stems from your past or yourupbringing?

Something I have learnt with time is that no matter how bad you are doing in something if you focus on yourself and motivate yourself you will be able to achieve a good result.

  • At this point in time, what kind of image-maker do you want to be?

When I first started the course I was not sure whether I wanted to get into advertising or fashion photography but after completing an advertising assignment and working on a fashion one I had to admit that I feel much confident and having fun in doing the fashion


Research and ‘Read’ three photographic images taken by established photographers (historical or contemporary)

  • One image should clearly define it’s intent through the image alone:


This is a photo by Don McCullin, he is a well-known war photographer and through his photographs, he made the rest of the world aware of what it means to be in war. He used to concentrate more on soldiers and other war components in his photographs but when he took this photo was the time when decided to actually show the people who are really affected by the war, the civilians, as he describes them as ‘the people who were picking up the real price of war’ and  ‘always the last people to be told that it was coming to them’. Such an image does not need much explanation, it talks on its own, it is about a woman whose husband has just been killed. The face of the woman, full of pain and agony, the little boy crying, extending his hands toward the woman who is probably the mother, the other woman crying, it is a scene of collective anguish and although they are all in pain it seems they are all trying to comfort the woman as she is the main focus of the photo.

One should need clarification of intent through caption or other signs. (I.e. it may be part of a series and as such fails to convey it’s intent as a single image.


This is another photograph by Don McCullin of a US marine suffering severe shell shock waiting to be evacuated from the battle zone in 1968. In this photo, you clearly understand that it is about war and a soldier who is in a terrifying situation by the look of his face. However, is less straightforward than the previous image as this if you take his soldier clothes off and the weapon he is holding the soldier loses his identity. Also, he could be any soldier, anywhere in whatever situation but with a little bit of research, I was able to know a little bit of his identity, what was going on, where and when.

  • Finally, one image should be one that needs further investigation to clearly understand it’s intent.


Unlike the first two photographs, this one is just the portrait of an elderly man, who could be anyone. A criminal? A soldier? A doctor? Or just an ordinary old man. This photo could tell us nothing but by knowing the reason behind it tells a lot.  This portrait photographed by Maciek Nabrdalik is the portrait of Roman Kent Holocaust survivor. Now knowing who he is, when I look at the picture you have a different feel, I now understand why the black and white, why you can only see his face and it seems like he is surrounded by the dark and there’s only one key light showing not too much of his face  and this could be portrayed his actual state of how he feels now after having such a past. He might still feel surrounded by his past even if he did survive it. I thought it was interesting to share what he said:

“I think you can divide the camp survivors into two categories. One group would say: ‘God wanted me to survive.’ And in this way their faith in God is stronger. On the other hand you have people who would say: ‘If God is what we believed he was, he must have been in Auschwitz. And how could he allow children, little children, to be killed? Where was God then?’

I believe in the goodness of men. I judge people not by their religion, but by who they are and how they act. And if we speak about religions, I would like to add one more to the Ten Commandments. The 11th commandment should be: ‘When you see evil, do something.’ Most evil things happen when people are bystanders, when they do nothing. And then evil can prevail even if it’s done by a small group of people. The Righteous are the moral example of what could have been done, but what the humankind failed to do.”


  • Locate 2 photographic portraits, one historical, one contemporary. Provide a brief analysis of the images:
  • Describe the images
  • Consider the subject, styling, background, composition, lighting
  • Interpret the images: Where might the image have been taken?
    How would you read the image?
    Is there any implied meaning?
    What does the image say/reveal about the sitter?

Image 1


This portrait was taken by Richard Avedon in 1981, California. He was commissioned to take portraits of the people in West America. He focused on everyday working class subjects such as farmers, miners soiled in their work clothes etc.  This project lasted five years. In this image there’s a naked man with bees all over his body, from the image I deduce he has something to do with bees as his facial expression looks very relaxed, not everyone would have such an expression in such a picture. In fact, he is Ronal Fischer a beekeeper. I don’t think there’s any implied meaning in this portrait, here Avedon is just revealing us what this man is into. Avedon used ambient light as all his portraits for American West are done outdoors with a very white and plain background and the subject is looking straight at the camera also he did not take an extreme close up of the subject face but a mid shot to include other features that say something about the subject.

Image 2


This is the Queen’s portrait by Annie Leibovitz at Buckingham Palace in 2007. Here we can see the Queen in the White Drawing Room, in her long rope and wear her crown in such a royal place. Seems like Annie L. did not want to make use of lots of lights as it looks like there’s only one key light which is daylight coming out from the window and the rest of the room is quite dark. She is very composed and not smiling. Analysing all these factors makes me think that she wanted to portray the seriousness, luxury and royalty of the Queen. I do not think she wanted to portray her as a simple funny lady. In fact, when Annie asked her if she could remove her crown for a “less dressy” pose, the Queen answered “Less dressy? What do you think this is?” and Annie giggles described her as being feisty and also states “She is a woman with a great sense of duty”.


  • Locate one environmental/editorial portrait that you are particularly drawn to.
  • Describe the image in terms of it’s formal characteristics (e.g. lighting, use of colour, composition)
  • Consider the narrative of the image. What does the compositional content and the formal treatment that you have described, say about the person and the narrative?


This is an environmental portrait of a man sitting comfortably in his barber shop. Looking at this image I would say he used a very shallow depth of field as the guy is really in focus but the rest of the shop and the other two men at the back are blurred. I think the photographer used ambient light, but there’s a little highlight on his hair which shows that maybe the photographer has used flashlight. As I stated at the beginning because he is the main character of the image, his hairstyle, clothes and the way he is sitting comfortably would make me think he works there and this is his shop. However, at the same time I think it would have been more effective if the photographer had the man actually working and wearing the gown as the man in the back that would have said much more in a more direct way, whereas here he could be the owner but he could also be a client who just had his hair done and the newspaper he is holding makes him look like a client even more.

I would say this person is a carpenter or something to do with working with wood. Looking at the pose of the subject it’s quite a relaxed pose and I feel like he is happy to be showing his work and what he does for a living. Yet his face does show some seriousness to it, maybe he is serious about what he does or maybe that is just his natural face. Overall I think this is a good setup image and brings across and suggests what he does for a living.


  • Locate 1 ‘Off the Page’, print advertisement
  • Describe the imagery
  • Consider the content, styling, background, composition, lighting, use of colours
  • Interpret the Language
  • Who is the Advertisement aimed at?
    What is the ad saying, what is the proposition?
    What is the key communication technique being used? Is there any symbolic language being used?
    Is the ad directed at any of the levels within the hierarchy of needs?


This image is advertising the New Gucci Guilty fragrance for women. For this image, they used a very warm bright and shiny gold colour on it, which is representing the perfumes container. I’m guessing the photographer only used a beauty dish without any snoot or anything else at the back of the hair of the guy and the background are really dark. The styling and the composition of this photos make me deduce that there is an implied message that the photographer wants to get across because it looks like the main focus of the picture is the woman. The woman looks very dominant, could be because she has been placed slightly higher than the guy, she is looking straight into the camera whereas the guy is fully lost into her and also the fact that she is grabbing the guys head. This advertisement is aimed at women and from what I interpret it’s encouraging them to get this perfume as it will make their men feel more attracted to them and they’ll have power over their men. As I stated previously I think the composition and styling of this image are the key communications technique that has been used. As for symbolic language, I could say the red lipstick is being used because it has always been seen as a stamp of morality. And morality is related to temptation and sex, which are surely two evident elements in this image. This advertisement definitely has a place within the hierarchy of needs. It would be in the group of Biological and physiological needs (Basic Life Needs).


It’s interesting how in the advertisement of the same fragrance but for men, the man is now the main focus and he is dominant and they used the same communications techniques as they used in the other one, composition and styling but unlike the other one in this one the man is dominating, he is gazing right at the camera he is on top holding the woman.



Read a chapter of academic text relating to either the Language of Advertising or Representation in Advertising and the Media.


Sturken, M., (2009) Practices of looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture OUP, USA Wells, L., (2015) Photography: A Critical Introduction (5th edition) Routledge, London

Write a short summary demonstrating your understanding of what you have read





Research the Advertising Standards Authority and the specifics of the ASA’s code.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is the UK’s independent regulator of advertising across all media. We apply the Advertising Codes, which are written by Committee of Advertising Practise (CAP)

  • What are the guidelines that govern whether or not an advertisement is likely to be banned?
  1. Compliance: These are rules which relate to social responsibility and legality.
  2. Recognition of Advertising: Separation rules and content rules to make sure that ads are not mistaken for editorial.
  3. Misleading Advertising: It contains rules about evidence to prove claims; pricing; availability of products, comparisons, testimonials and more.
  4. Harm and offence  Rules to make sure that ads do not cause any harm or serious offence.
  5. Children Rules for ads for children or featuring them. Includes rules about unsafe practices and sales promotions for children.
  6. Privacy Permissions for depicting or referring to someone in ads, including members of the public and those with a public profile.
  7. Political and controversial matters Clarification of when the Code applies to the political advertisement.
  8. Distance selling allows readers to buy without face-to-face contact with the seller.
  9. Environmental Claims Rules about making ‘green’ claims for products or services. Rules cover evidence, the clarity of claims and ‘life cycle’ of products.
  10. Prohibited categories products and services that are not permitted to be advertised on TV or radio at all.
  11. Medicines, medical devices, treatments and health  Use of health professionals; they need to have evidence and has to be a very high level needed for medicinal claims; and a valid qualifications for those claiming to treat or offer advice;
  12. Weight control and slimming Rules for ads for weight control, slimming foodstuffs and aids, including exercise; diets, clinics and medicines.
  13. Food, food supplements and associated health or nutrition claims Rules relating to health and nutrition claims in foodstuffs; claims for vitamins and minerals; infant and follow on formula and food and soft drink advertising to children.
  14. Financial Products, services and investments Rules for financial marketing communications that are not regulated by the FCA or Trading Standards.
  15. Faith, religion and equivalent system of beliefs Rules for advertising by, or on behalf of bodies that are wholly or mainly concerned with religion, faith and other belief systems. The rules also apply to ads by anybody for related products and services.
  16. Charities Includes rules around donation, including refunds.
  17. Gambling Social responsibility rules for gambling and spread betting. The rules cover content and targeting and are designed to protect under 18s and the vulnerable.
  18. Lotteries Social responsibility rules that apply to lotteries (including The National Lottery; Gambling Commission licensed lotteries and locally registered lotteries)
  19. Alcohol Social responsibility rules for alcoholic drinks. The rules cover content and targeting are designed to protect under 18s and the wider population.
  20. Motoring Social responsibility rules for motor vehicles, covering safety, speed and irresponsible or anti-social driving behaviours.
  21. Betting tipsters Social responsibility rules for gambling and spread betting. The rules cover content and targeting and are designed to protect under 18s and the vulnerable.
  22. Premium-rate telephone services Rules covering pricing and content of ads that promote premium-rate telephone services.
  23. Telecommunications-based sexual entertainment services Rules restricting where and when such advertisements can appear.
  24. Homeworking schemes Rules restricting the nature of advertisements for homeworking schemes and to ensure they do not mislead.
  25. Instructional courses Rules restricting those who can advertise such courses and ensure they don’t mislead.
  26. Services offering individual advice on consumer or personal problems Requirements for suitable credentials for advertising.
  27. Introduction and dating services Rules to prevent advertisements from causing harm, including to under 18s.
  28. Competitions rule about the fair and clear administration of competitions.
  29. Private investigation agencies Requirements for suitable credentials for advertising.
  30. Pornography Rules restricting the advertisement of R18-rated material.
  31. Other categories of radio advertisements which require central copy clearance Ads for adult products and services that require central copy clearance, including adult shops, stripograms 18+ media.
  32. Scheduling rules including those related to children; age-restricted products. Separation / placement rules in. political and those related to text and interactive advertisements
  33. Electronic cigarettes Rules around electronic cigarettes.
  • How do you feel about the issue of censorship in Advertising? Is it still necessary in the Information Age?

I think censorship in advertising is a very important factor in this industry because media and advertising itself are a very powerful tool to change humans way of living, thinking and any other things especially young one’s behaviours and other characteristics are mostly influenced by advertising so is really important to know what is being advertised. Censorship is a way to protect everyone from crazy ideas someone could have and avoid the fact that many people could start imitating these ideas as crazy at it may look, so I really think it is still very necessary to put a limitation to this ads. We’ve seen how in the years advertising has had a very powerful influence on everyone. for example how it has killed many women self-esteem, depicting them as just being inferior and as sex objects.




  • •  Locate and reflect on the work of a chosen photographer – historical or contemporary – who has explored subcultures in their work
  • •  Is the term Subculture appropriate in today’s society, or has the concept exhausted its usefulness?

What is subculture & Style?

a cultural group within a larger culture, often having beliefs or interests at variance with those of the larger culture.

Different subcultures.



Jamie Hawkesworth started documenting the local teenagers for Preston is My Paris. He then moved down to Whitby to document a large goth festival. He found them by the church Dracula, which is the church in Bram Stoker’s that made them famous and he was surprised to see that they were not as people portray them. So he started documenting the Goths. His work is based on the undocumented, new things and the reality of people, like the Goths reputation.

Since then he has shot for the magazine The Block and many other photos related to the Goths.

Subcultures then and now.

e.g if you are dressed like a skater does not mean you are a skater, whereas back in the 80s if you were dressed like a skater it meant you were one of them. Skaters now listen to any music they don’t have a specific genre of music.

I also read a very interesting article about photographer AboveGround who’s been working in the heart of New York and London. The photographer states: “I see underground culture as an iceberg. The top is seen by everyone but to understand the size of the iceberg you have to go underwater.” From this statement, I understand that Just like the other photographer he too explored this subculture in deep as he thinks what has been portrayed about it might not be the same when you are actually in it.




Research a minimum of two renowned fashion photographers. (One historical, and one contemporary)

For each photographer, you should find out some of their history, who they have been influenced by, and how they have influenced the genre of fashion photography. Why has their work been seen as significant?

Horst P Horst


Horst Paul Albert Bohrmann is one of the most artistically and technically artist between the 1930’s and 1990’s. He became really famous for his photos which were defined as elegant, with style, glamour, the beautiful lighting and composition of his photographs. His fashion portraits were mainly black and white but he photographed a series of fashion interiors. He is best known for his work with Vogue.larger.jpg

Horst was born on 14 August 1906, in Germany and he was the second son of a successful shop owner.  In his teens, he developed an interest in avant-grande art and in the late 1920’s he moved to Hamburg to study and after 10 years he moved again to Paris. Here, he attended many galleries and was around a lot of people in the art community. In fact, after not too long he met the Vogue photographer Baron George Hoyningen-Huene and became his assistant. They travelled to England and while there, they visited photographer Cecil Beaton who was working for the British Edition of Vogue. Just a year after Horst published his first photograph in the French edition of Vogue and he had his first exhibition in 1932. This exhibition got Horst famous as Janet Flanner in The New Yorker reviewed this exhibition. In fact, in the same years he took a portrait of Bette Davis and after that, he had a list of celebrities he photographed, for example, Yvonne Printemps, the French singer and actress and Luchino Visconti di Madrone, the Italian screenwriter. image.jpg

In 1937 he rented an apartment in New York and there he met Coco Chanel there is where he started photographing her fashions and he did for three decades.  He met Valentine Lawford in 1938, and they lived together and adopted their son Richard J. Horst.

In 1943, he joined the Army, after receiving his United States citizenship he became an Army photographer, photographing for the magazine Belvoir Castle. In 1945 he photographed United States President and he also photographed every First Lady in the post-war period at the invitation of theWhite House.

In 1960 began a series of photos illustrating the lifestyle of international high society which included people like Emilio Pucci, Paloma Picasso and many many other. These photographs were taken by his longtime companion, Valentine L. who then died in 1991. In the mid-1970s he was working for Vogue and also for House&Garden magazine. After a long and successful life and career, he died at 93 in Florida.


George Hoyningen-Huene was definitely a big inspiration for Horst and also thought him a lot but the avant-grande movement and the environment he moved into has been a real influence in his work.

His work is best known for his photographs of women and fashion, especially recognised for the iconic photos of the Twentieth-Century is “The Corset” captured in Vogue’s Paris studio in 1939. Many designers use the beauty of “The Mainbocher Corset” as an inspiration for their outerwear collections today. His work frequently reflects his interest in surrealism and beauty. His photos were technically perfect, he carefully prepared for his shoot and only rarely he used filters, which shows even more how careful he was with his lighting. I remember attending, the Horst P Horst exhibition in London years ago and I noticed that for every shoot he sketched more than 5 pages of ideas and concepts, this shows how much preparation and time he spent for each shoot. The New York Times described stated: “Horst tamed the avant-garde to serve fashion.”

Bruce Weber, who has been hugely influenced bt Horst said in a television documentary: ‘The elegance of his photographs … took you to another place, very beautifully … the untouchable quality of the people is really interesting as it gives you something of a distance … it’s like seeing somebody from another world … and you wonder who that person is and you really want to know that person and really want to fall in love with that person’.

Nigel Baker

nb5.jpgNigel Barker is a well-known English photographer film-maker, TV show personality and also a former model. He was born in London but lived in America by his Sri Lankan mother and Portuguese-English father. His mum who was a professional model and also won Miss Sri Lanka was a real influence in forming his respect for the modelling profession as he grew up.

He attended Bryanston School where he took his A levels in Science. He wanted to continue his science studies and wanted to get into the medicine field but things changed when his mother entered him into a televised modelling contest, he ended up being a finalist and there’s when his modelling career travelling all around the world started and he was into it for 10 years. He noticed the way the models in the fashion industry had started to change so he decided to get into Fashion photography. Firstly, he opened a studio called StudioNB in Manhattan in the Meat Packing District which it is still there today. He was very successful for his photos, he used his contacts in the fashion industry very well and soon enough he was taking pictures for magazines, websites, and catalogues (Ted Baker, Nicole Miller, Sony, Ford, GQ, Seventeen etc).

54f7e_29_notrealpeople_lg.jpg He also took pictures of celebrities that were not yet famous at the time and that got them noticed and made him even more popular. He became so popular for his photography that they called him to be a judge on America’s Next Top Model and not only he also made appearances on Canada’s Next Top Model, New Zealand’s Next Top Model, Mexico’s Next Top Model, and Benelux’s Next Top Model. In 2007, he was invited to be the judge for the Miss America Pageant and In 2012, judge of the Miss Universe pageant.

He is the executive producer of the show The Shot, which features photographers using their skills to win an ultimate grand prize. He also directed and produced A Sealed Fate, Generation Free, and Haiti: Hunger and Hope. Nigel has also shot campaigns for many charities for which he is the celebrity ambassador. (e.g. Fashion Targets Breast Cancer).

He is not only this, he is also the spokesperson for many brands like Microsoft and Sony. In 2016 he became Creative Director of “Prai Beauty” and Artistic Director of a new American brand Flag&Anthem. He has directed and produced films and commercials for Hollywood clients and he has two books.

I can say that Baker has been influenced especially by the environment he was in, the people around him and his strong interest in photography, he says: “I worked for some incredible designers, I travelled the world. I learned a lot about photography; which is my love and what I am doing now.” However, he clarifies that Richard Avedon was a big inspiration:””I’ve always been hugely influenced by Avedon, he dealt with subjects in a simplistic manner. It was all about the subjects, not about the background. (The person) became the landscape … It was them having a thought, and that was the picture.”


I think Nigel has influenced many young photographers like me, with the way he uses his knowledge and other skills he acquired in the past in his photography. That is why he always have new ideas, this is because he thinks outside the box and look for inspiration everywhere and he did not let photography technicalities stop him, even if he never studies photography when he decided to open a studio he used his basic knowledge and contacts he already made at the time. And I like the fact that he isn’t only a great photographer but also many other things.


TASK 10 Part 1

Visit the library.
Look at the latest issues of Vogue, Vanity Fair, A N Other, or

A N Other Man Magazine
Locate and copy 3 notable images that can be critiqued in

terms of: Culture, Class and Communication Critique these images on your blog


I looked at the latest issue of Vogue the British edition and selected 3 images that I could critique.

Image 1


I came across these two images from the British edition of Vogue, Street style. By just looking at the images someone would deduce it is aimed at a lower class audience because of the clothing which looks very casual and the location looks like a normal not too expenses coffee shop. It feels like it is based somewhere in the neighbourhoods of New York, and the two Afro-American models and the Italian coffee shop at the back can highlight the fact that it could be in New York as the city is full of diverse culture, especially with a big Italian and Afro-American community.  This is what this image could communicate but with research you understand a much more.

This image was under the subtitle “Come and hang with New York’s Cool Kids”. The pictures were taken in Greenwich Village which is in New York and an article describes the town to be like Shoreditch for Londoners.

Greenwich has always been a heaven for freethinkers. About  100 years ago, a merry band of bohemians, led by the painter John Sloan and the Surrealist Marcel Duchamp, climbed to the top of the Washington Square Arch, set off balloons and cap guns and declared that from that moment on their hood would be known as the Free and Independent Republic of Greenwich Village. Since that day many famous artists and authors have made those “free and independent” streets their home and for many years many musicians and poets, activists and painters have gone to Greenwich. It was even said that Jackson Pollock used to enjoy a cappuccino at Caffe Reggio, supposedly the first place in America to serve that now-ubiquitous drink and that’s the same bar we see at the back of the girls in the picture. For many years, Village rebels worn biker jackets and ballet flats. In fact fashion companies like Coach still continue to rock this style.

In fact this shoot was inspired by this story and it was for spring/summer 2017 collection.  Knowing that it is a shoot for the brand Coach itself, changes everything, we definitely know that isn’t a low-class brand as it is expensive, in fact, the mixed-print dress itself is £550 and the reversible satin coat is £450! Additionally the two girls in the photo are Gabrielle Richardson the founder of Art Hoe Collective and Selah Marley, daughter of Lauryn Hill and granddaughter of Bob Marley. They combined the style of dressing you’d expect from those who frequent Greenwich Village with their own vintage finds.

Image 2



This is another image from Vogue related to festival dressing for summer 2017. Is probably aimed at teenagers. I think is a very casual style, which everyone can afford. In fact, I see a lot of inspiration from lower class jobs. For example the hat is inspired by fisherman hats by Fila which is a well-known but not expensive brand. The jeans denim shorts and coloured leggings are the fashion between teenagers now. The shirt looks really simple and also the backpack even if we can’t see it can symbolise simplicity and comfortably. The photographer and stylist made their subject look really simple and in comfortable clothes, she has messy hair and the hat on. They also shot this on location, outside in a place really makes you think she is off to a festival.

Image 3


Alexa Chung is known for her trademark cool-girl aesthetic. She creates styles which are for high-class women but street style. The clothes have the perfect balance between high-end and high street. You can tell it has been influenced a lot by menswear.




This module has really helped me to analyse in-depth photos and have a deep understanding of Fashion photography, advertising in general, portraiture, reading images and cultures. All the individual tasks we have been given have helped me to know new things and improve my researching skills. The group tasks we’ve been given have also improved my team working skills, communication and organization because during these tasks I had to work with my classmates, organise ourselves well and also meet in times we did not have lessons to achieve a good results. For example for the subculture assignment my group and I worked well, we decided assigned roles and organised everything as soon as we were given the assignment. In fact, we were able to finish everything on time, without any rush. We all helped each other and assigned roles that everyone wanted to be in. This task also helped me with InDesign as I used it years ago, it was a good way to remember how to use it.  The second group task we had been a debate on whether Fashion photography is art or not. My group and I were standing for fashion not being art, but just sophisticated eye candy designed simply to seduce. I think for this, task we did not plan things well, in fact we got to the debate day not really sure about what to present. This showed me how even a debate where you have a free will of speaking needs to be organised and prepare too and how the attendance of every individual in the group is important.

I really enjoyed working on the ‘Shock and Subculture Style’ as it did not only improved my knowledge but also helped me gain more inspiration which I could use in my own work.

Overall this assignment has helped me study in deep the context of images, clarify statements and ideas

Notes from lessons

Reading images

In today’s lesson, we looked at how we are surrounded by visual culture and how to analyse an image in detail

Image analysis allows us to understand how we perceive the world around us. The object of image analysis is to understand the meaning of a work of art/design.

Questions to answer when analysing an image:

  • Who or what do you see?
  •  When was this photograph taken?
  •  What is happening in the photograph?
  •  Where was this photograph taken?
  • Why did the photographer select these particular elements to include in the photograph?
  • What don’t you see?
  • Why did the photographer emphasise certain elements and not others?
  • What’s in focus? Is only one person or element in focus, or are many elements in focus?
  • Why did the photographer take the picture at this moment?
  • What happened before or after this picture was taken?
  • Why did the photographer take the picture from this angle?We also looked at the photographers William Eggleston, Larry Clark, Tom Hunter, Martin Parr, Nan Goldin, Annie Leibovitz, Kevin Carter, Steven Meisel.

Introduction to Portraiture

In today’s lesson, we looked at portraiture. How important the portrait was in the 19th Century was and it was a reflection of economic growth driven by the Industrial revolution. We looked at the renowned portrait photographer Felix Nadar. To have your portrait taken at the time meant you were in a high social class. The more affordable form of portrait photography was the Carte de Visite, a small photograph mounted on card 2.5 x 4 inches in size which was distributed among family members and were also used as business cards. In the same century, the practice of photographing a deceased loved one started evolving. This was a way of remembering them.

We looked at the work of Julia Margeret Cameron, Man Ray, Edward Steichen who stated: “A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.”

I also loved the quote by Yousurf Karsh: “Within every man and woman a secret is hidden, and as a photographer, it is my task to reveal it if I can. The revelation, if it comes at all, will come in a small fraction of a second with an unconscious gesture, a gleam of the eye, a brief lifting of the mask that all humans wear to conceal their innermost selves from the world”. Which says how can a portrait reveal something about a person. We looked at many other portrait photographers but the last two that stand out to me were Richard Avedon who states: “My photographs don’t go below the surface. I have great faith in surfaces. A good one is full of clues” and Rankin who photographed the queen in a very simple way, different from how photographers shot her in the past years.

Annie Leibovitz also photographed her but in a very different way, showing more her royalty and environment where she is, whereas Rankin just placed the flag at the back which just represents what the queen is standing.

Environment portraiture

An environmental portrait is a portrait, which does not only focus on the subject but the environment also has to say something about the subject so the picture could be taken at the person’s home or workplace. It has to show subject’s life and surroundings.

Photographers we looked at Yousuf Karsh, Georgia O’keaffe, Dennis Stock.

“The act of portraying, depicting, symbolising or presenting the likeness of something. Language, the visual arts… and media such as photography, television and film, are systems of representation that function to depict and symbolise aspects of the real world.

Representation is distinct from simulation, in that a representation declares itself to be representing some aspect of the real, whereas a simulation has no referent in the real”

Sturken & Cartwright, 2001

We also looked at Robert Frank, Diane Arbus’ work and Mary Ellen-Mark. These photographers took many environmental portraits between the years 1950’s and 70’s documenting different personalities in America. editorial-street documentary shows the pro and cons of Vietnam war.

We also looked at the environmental portrait in: – music photography Anton Corbijn. -Fashion editorials Anthony Kurtz.

(Photo stories: Charlie Clift, Seamus Ryan, Jon Enoch etc)


The language of advertising

In this lesson we looked at

  • Capitalism: which is based on an ideology of free trade, open markets and individuality.
  • Commodity culture: which are goods marketed to consumers in a commodity culture
  • Consumer society: which emergerd in the late 19th century
  • Advertising:  One of the primary ways in which the exchange of goods is promoted in commodity culture/consumer society

“The essence of advertising photography is to turn something mundane into an exciting and arresting image. The advertising photographer is selling dreams and aspirations. Commercial photography of this nature means painstakingly creating an elaborate yet intimate image that invites the viewer to almost imagine a story rather than just see the objects in the shot”

This quote talks about how advertising photography takes pictures of products in a way which would attract the audience to buy this products, they elaborate images to make them look perfect.

Adverstising has a very big influence on how we see the world today and everything made in this field has to look perfectly good for a reason and the reason is to sell and make money.

We also examinded The hierarchy of needs- basic needs, safety needs, belongingness, love needs, esteem needs, self actualisation


Image result for The hierarchy of needs-

Advertising uses a lot of ways to attract viewrs attantion. These are many of themes they use: They catch the audience attention by visually staging products to appeal, Brand familiarity/ loyalty, Positive association/ connotation, The use of shared culture values, Humour, Shock Tactics, Visual references to art/history, Metaphor, Metonym, Stereotypes, Celebrity endorsement, Romance, Sex, they address the consumer, they use difference and individuality, which are unique but also seen a lot of times. They want the audience to envy and desire a certain product. They used interesting and emotional narrative.

You will noticed that all these characteristics I’ve mention come to six important aims:

  • To attract attention
  • To spark intrest
  • To explain ideas
  • To trigger Emotion
  • To create desire
  • To initiate action

Semiotics: A sign must have both a signifier and a signified. A sign is a recognizable combination of a signifier with a particular signified.

Representation in advertising + the media

In this lesson we discussed about

  • how people are represented in the media,
  • how it rappresents gender
  • it portrays  women and men in different ways, it makes women inferior to men.
  • The extreme use of photoshop on women, to slim them down way too much.
  • Women’s bodies are represented in fe*shized body parts
  • Glamour is always central theme
  • a woman interprets these advertising photos in a different way from how a man would interpret it.

The evolution of fashion photography

In this lesson we considered how fashion has changed, initially and mostly now fashion is about the clothing and selling it. We looked at 6 key areas in the fashion industry which are:

  • Culture
  • Class
  • Communication
  • The body+ identity
  • Sex
  • Aesthetics+ art

Photographers : Irving Penn, Helmut Newton, David Bailey, Edward Steinchen, Horst P Horst, Richard Avedon, Guy Bourdi, Terry Richards etc.

Fashion photography started in France, influenced came from royalty and aristocracy and moved to the States during war time and moved back to London in the 60’s. Swinging london of the 60’s, the Trio photographers: David Bailey, Duffy and Donovan (fashion, twiggy, mini skirts}. Now the fashion capitals are Paris, Milan, New York and London. Coco Chanel 1883-1971 one of the most influential fashion designers of the 20th century. This industry isn’t diverse as it has a majority of european roots many models are white and there’s a minority of models of color and other backgrounds like Asians.

Theorising fashion photography (Part 2)

In this lesson we talked about Body and identity, sex aesthetics and art.

Holly McGlyn’s work.

  • Body techniques: they are the product of specific discourses interacting on different levels of power and knowledge and in different realms, such as social, political, aesthetic and psychological forms of knowledge
  • Body language.


We looked at how do you pose your model, fashion gender, women models are the majority. Femininity and masculinity, for women create certain looks with their bodies and it authomatially becaomes an object for a male gaze whereas man body communicate power and authority

Photographers: Helman Newton and Guy bordin portrayed women as objects and that’s from a male point of view on the other side Emma Summerton portrayed women in a different way, I think with more respect.




What is subculture & Style?

a cultural group within a larger culture, often having beliefs or interests at variance with those of the larger culture.

Different subcultures.




Teddy Boys:














Hip Hop/Rap/graffiti


Subcultures then and now.

e.g if you are dressed like a skater does not mean you are a skater, whereas back in the 80s if you were dressed like a skater it meant you were one of them. Skaters now listen to any music they don’t have a specific genre of music.

My group and I chose to look more into Skaters

 (Subcultures & Style: To be presented in the style of a feature in a publication such as ID Magazine or Dazed & Confused )



The image of the skateboarder as a rebellious, non-conforming youth has faded in recent years. Certain cities still oppose the building of skateparks in their neighborhoods, for fear of increased crime and drugs in the area. The rift between the old image of skateboarding and a newer one is quite visible: magazines such as Thrasher portray skateboarding as dirty, rebellious, and still firmly tied to punk, while other publications, Transworld Skateboarding as an example, paint a more diverse and controlled picture of skateboarding. Furthermore, as more professional skaters use hip hop, reggae, or hard rock music accompaniment in their videos, many urban youths, hip-hop fans, reggae fans, and hard rock fans are also drawn to skateboarding, further diluting the sport’s punk image

Background.. late 40’s California , surf – skate board


Other uses and styles


The use of skateboards solely as a form of transportation is often associated with the longboard. Depending on local laws, using skateboards as a form of transportation outside residential areas may or may not be legal. Backers cite portability, exercise, and environmental friendliness as some of the benefits of skateboarding as an alternative to automobiles.


The United States Marine Corps tested the usefulness of commercial off-the-shelf skateboards during urban combat military exercises in the late 1990s in a program called Urban Warrior ’99. Their special purpose was “for manoeuvring inside buildings in order to detect tripwires and sniper fire”.r

Tram boarding

Tram boarding is a variant of skateboarding that uses a board without the trucks and the wheels on a trampoline. Using the bounce of the trampoline gives height to perform tricks, whereas in skateboarding you need to make the height by performing an ollie.

Swing boarding is the activity where a skateboard deck is suspended from a pivot point above the rider which allows the rider to swing about that pivot point. The board swings in an arc which are a similar movement to riding a half pipe. The incorporation of a harness and frame allows the rider to perform turns spins all while flying trhough the air.


One of the early leading trends associated with the sub-culture,  of skateboarding itself, was the sticky sole “Slip-On” Skate shoe, most popularised by Sean Penn’s skateboarding character from the film Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Because early skateboarders were actually surfers trying to emulate the sport of surfing, at the time when skateboards first came out on the market, many skateboarded barefoot. But skaters often lacked traction, which led to foot injuries. This necessitated the need for a shoe that was specifically designed and marketed for skateboarding, such as the Randy “720”, manufactured by the Randolph Rubber Company, and Vans sneakers, which eventually became cultural iconic signifiers for skateboarders during the 70s & 80’s as skateboarding became more widespread.

While the skate shoe design afforded better connection & traction with the deck, skateboarders themselves could often be identified when wearing the shoes, with Tony Hawk once saying, “If you were wearing Vans shoes in 86, you were a skateboarder.            As it eventually became more apparent that skateboarding had a particular identity with a style of shoe, other brands of shoe companies began to specifically design skate shoes for functionality and style to further enhance the experience and culture of skateboarding including such brands as; Converse, Nike, DC Shoes, Globe, Adidas, Zoo York and World Industries.  Many professional skateboarders are designed a pro-model skate shoe, with their name on it, once they have received a skateboarding sponsorship after becoming notable skateboarders. Some shoe companies involved with skateboarding, like Sole Technology, an American footwear company that makes the Etnies skate shoe brand, further distinguish themselves in the market by collaborating with local cities to open public Skateparks, such as the Etnies skatepark in Lake Forest, California.



Magazines: ID magazines .. dazed and confused magazine

Magazine Layouts


skate sub layout final