artist talk, Bella West, documentary photography, final year, major project, photography, portfolio review, portraiture, university

Bella West’s talk, workshop and portfolio review

Last week I’ve had a pleasure to attend Bella West’s talk, to have workshop with the artist and to watch her working in the location.

The artist talked about her work, how mostly she uses natural light or adding reflector if needed and how she uses the space and simplicity in her photographs. She advised us (students) that to be a good photographer we need to be more than just to catch a moment; that we need to create colour harmony in our images. That we need to consider the light, time of the day, place where we photograph, how much shape and space do we use. That the composition is very important to create cohesion between the location and the subject. To not be afraid of playing with dept of field, movement and being creative. Additionally, artist explained that as portrait photographer is very important to make a connection with the subject. To let them be themselves and to bring their own personality into our work. She also told us to get away from our comfort zone and to try to photograph other stuff, different subject, styles, events etc. As each time we gain new skills, experiences and build our confidence within something new to us what makes us stronger as a photographer. Furthermore, West told us that is important to show our work and to enter photography competitions, as it’s always good to be seen and we may land ourselves an award or an exhibition etc.

Portfolio review:

I presented my Bloody Foreigners? work and I received a very good feedback. Bella West said that I am photographing very interesting subject, that the design of my photobook is very good and some of my portraits are strong. She recommended that I should go wider and use more space in my photographs. Also, that I shouldn’t concentrate on the subject directly looking at the camera but could be more playful and portray the subjects while they do their jobs, and through location I could tell more of their story. Additionally, I’ve been told to use colour passport or grey card when I photograph inside. I’ve been also advised that I look at the work of Anastasia Taylor Lind and Gales Duley. Both artists are a real story teller, but I am going to try my best to add this useful advice in my new photographs. I have some new ideas.

 

 

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