Last Friday I had a pleasure to attend Lewis Chaplin’s talk.
Chaplin talked about his adventure with photography, as well as publications, book making and designing process. He made his first book when he was a teenager, printed in numerous examples and sent it to many publishing companies. Someone got back to him and this was his first step towards his carrier. He then introduced us to his publishing company Loose Joints he created together with his partner. As well as speaking about the books he published, he brought many physical examples of them, so we could have a chance to look through. One which catches my eyes was about fetish and called 2041. Book isn’t as interesting, but the way Chaplin talked about his relationship with the photographer and how they become friend and shared their interest in dressing up, was very interesting and really funny. The book contains self-portraiture, where the artist performs in his own house, but as he covers his own body in a various textiles, he always remains anonymous.
The most interesting for me was a book called Homes by Harley Weir. Weir created his body of work in refugees camp in Calais in 2016. I love the context of the book and the way she photographed the camp, which shows migrants’ struggle and the conditions they get to live in. She doesn’t’ just raised the awareness of the migrants situation in the camp, but also raised the money for human rights charities in the area.
After the guest speaker, we went to our base room and was able to show our work to Lewis Chaplin. He was very useful and gave me some good ideas. He said that I have a lot of strong portraits, but as a viewer he can not get the message I am trying to say to the viewers. Therefore, he advised me to add a lot of text, like essay, subject’s stories, facts, statistics etc. He suggested to talk to each photographed people and ask about their feelings, if they feel frustrated, or as they are working too hard, or are they under valued?… I told him that I am planning to mix the subjects with their belongings, so as their stories and he said that this is a good idea, as I shouldn’t give the viewers every answer, as it may changes their perception.
If you would like to see some more Loose Joins publications, check their website