Marcus Bleasdale is a photographer, whose previous career was as a banker. He left this career to become a war photographer, however he did believe that because he didn’t understand narrative that his photographs could have been better.
But when I see these, I see narrative and emotion.
So I haven’t been around in a while, but having a chaotic summer I now have more time to devote to my beloved blog.
Just quick update on my life, I am currently working at Coventry University as an Assistant Lecturer of Photography and I absolutely love it. Working with people who were in the same situation as I was only 1 year ago is an amazing feeling. I cannot wait to delve more into work with them and help them on there way to success!
I hope you’re Monday is as good as mine!
Goodbye for now! xx
“Changing Faces” is a professional body of work which explores the stories of two people who have a facial disfigurement. I chose to explore this topic so that I could find out more about other people’s lives and inform others of these stories. This was a challenging project which pushed many of my boundaries through meeting new people and being sensitive to their stories.
During some points of my journey I didn’t think that my project was going ahead through challenges such as getting participants to be part of my project and even meeting them. However, through researching practitioners within this field such as photographer David Jay, he began taking photographs of women and men during the different stages of breast cancer, and this created ‘The Scar Project’. Taking inspiration from this series, it gave me motivation to keep going, as I could see the passion which went into this project through his portraits. Through researching into this practitioner and others, such as Claire Gilliam, who turned the camera onto herself and took self-portraits of her disabled body, this became a way of describing her body and helping her understand her relationship with society’s view of normality. This was a great way of thinking, and made me realise that this is exactly what I wanted to portray onto my audience.
My project was originally going to take the form of a photo film, this helped me gain skills when using Premiere Pro, however what I was trying to show what not coming across, this is the only major difficulty I came across. I decided to change my work into an eBook, and this is one of the best decisions of my project I could have made. I was able to effectively introduce my participants to my audience and tell their story in a well-informed way which kept the audience interested through the range of mediums within my eBook, text, still images and video. I wish that I had time managed better so that I had realised this earlier and could have made my eBook even better than I already think it is.
I feel that I have built up a strong independence through this project, through traveling to different parts off the UK and meeting new people who I have only ever emailed. This has given me a lot more confidence with my project, as I know that I have grown as a person, through building my project, and even helping the people I met through giving them a new vision through photography.
Through this research it has helped me build a strong professional piece of work, which I feel has been successful, especially from the feedback which I have received. This has encouraged me to continue my project, and work with more people who have a facial disfigurement. I intend to apply for funding and create work which I will be able to exhibit and even show to potential employees. This project is far from over, and I will be making changes to it. As I feel that it could be a lot stronger in the future. I am happy with the feedback I received in the gallery, and realised I had a bigger audience than anticipated. My audience go from young adults to older people who can relate to the people in my project.
After a hard week of setting up and adding the final touches to my ebook, the opening night was a huge success. It was better than I expected and I had a great response back from my work, from friends and family and the general public. A lot of people had questions on my experience when meeting Hallie and Theresa, and how I gained contact with them. It was great to be able to share my experiences and see how people reacted to it. Overall it was a great achievement and everyone I spoke to was impressed.
Theresa, one of my particiapnts which stared in the book, came to the opening night too, and that was just perfect. It was great to see her again, and for her to see my work, as it was based on her.
From this experience of displaying my work in an exhibition to the public, it has given me a lot more inspiration for carrying on my project, and how I would possibly like to display it in a gallery in the future.
When it came to thinking of the front cover of my book and the title I had a hard decision with this. Taking inspiration from the charity Changing Faces, I thought I would go ahead and use this name as it fit perfectly.
For the front cover photo I wanted a photograph which didn’t give too much away. This is why I chose to use a photograph which was close up of one of my favourite images which made the cover much more mysterious.
For the content in my eBook, I knew I wanted to have in the videos which I had created, along with the digital images which I had also taken.
I wanted to edit down to create a flow for the narrative when people are reading, and also so it breaks up the book into text, film and photographs.
I already had my favourite images which I was using to promote my work, and so I thought it best that these featured in my book.
These digital photos which I took of Hallie featured in my eBook. I felt these told a lot about her personality and obviously showed her birth mark.
Along with these I also had photographs of Hallie when she was just born, this was to give the reader an insight into her whole story.
The photographs I used of Theresa were mostly from her childhood, which showed the different stages of her nose. This is so people could truely see the full affect which would have happened at the time, and what Theresa saw when looking in the mirror.
When creating my ebook i knew that i still wanted to include the videos which I had created previously. As I wanted to include these within InDesign, I needed to research how to embed a video. Doing this meant that I needed to create an interactive document so that my videos would actually play when exported.
To create these videos I put them into Photoshop and extracted the frames so that I could speed them up. I wanted to include these videos so that it broke up the book, and to make it interactive and give the viewer more control over their viewing experience. It also shows off the personalities of my participants better than a still photograph.