reflection on photography works.

Before heading onto my last semester of photography, I’ve finally assembled a curated online portfolio of all my beloved photography works. (Thank you MEDA for giving me this opportunity!) I’ve dated them all to when they were created and presented, but I’ve yet to reflect on them.

Photography has been a long time passion of mine and I’ve matured through many different phases of creativity to have produced all of the works that I proudly call my own. The late nights of researching, long trips to print the photo-quality paper, exhaustion from organising subjects and booking rooms for shoots; all of this on top of the photographing itself, have paved way to my successful growth as an aspiring photographer.

I’m honestly terrified of my last semester as it will start to become hard to actually find any more ‘new’ in the creative space in my head that I may have already exhausted out. Even more than that, I’m not sure I have much more to offer after all of the efforts I have put into photography since year 10; I’ve had straight HDs since, but how can I maintain them when I have no idea what project to do next?

I think reflecting on my projects will be the best way to start.

sweet words | pretty things was one of my first projects, and perhaps the most surreal. I was very proud of myself for coming up with sustainable ideas: I brought in the knitting skills I had learnt from my mother, re-used a lighter after my candles burnt out and made use of a lipstick colour I hated. I also used photos from adventuring with my friends, toned them black and white and let the physical elements bring the colour in to the photographs. Additionally, I rejoiced in being able to add my poetic side into my photography. I was able to bring my two passions (photography and poetry) together in this series. The use of flowers and knives as a combination, was also my placing a huge part of my crazy identity into my photographs. I was immensely satisfied with sweet words | pretty things, however, perhaps the smaller photographs with the actual physical elements were far more special than the bigger prints of the final scannings.

disassociated was a very finicky project that requited a lot of dedication. the idea of messing around with multiple personalities stemmed from the bipolar side of my personality, and I experimented this with my ex-partner at the time, which allowed me to play different roles with him. It gave me a closeted pleasure. The editing process of this was difficult as all the vibes meant that the colour tones were distinct and it did not help that my camera broke down half-way; I had trouble adjusting a rental camera to be fitting to my usual style. If I could do this project differently, I would make the photographs clearer and attempt a bigger spectrum of personalities.

in[DUST] was far out of my comfort zone, as I do not associate myself within any category of landscape photographer. I’ve always believed that nature’s beauty is just impossible to capture, and felt that my landscape photographs never did the real world any justice. So with this project, I was determined to find something hideous and turn it beautiful; subtract something hidden and forgotten, and let people see it. I drove along the coast of Port Kembla, attempting to photograph beaches when I fortunately came across the abandoned building. Unlike the ‘sweet words | pretty things’ series, where the photographs were created into surrealism, in[DUST] was tried to be kept as raw as possible as it was already naturally surreal. The biggest problems included the difficulty of maintaining a stable white balance, and if I could continue the project, I would expand to photograph more than one abandoned building.

Finally, phonoi, was a photography series I created when I reached a time in my life where I was undecided about whether I wanted to pursue photography or policing. I had a career dilemma as I got a mentorship with the Australian Federal Police. I vented out my frustrations into this project where I turned criminality into an art form. It allowed me to research crime and photography at the same time, and after becoming obsessed with learning more about crime (hence the visit to the Sydney’s Crime Museum and research into Arthur Felig), I found that this project was suitable. However, the crime photography I was researching was ancient and so I had to take on a sepia tone in order to rewind the clock on the photographs. phonoi allowed me to experiment with composition and master my skills in photoshop. My regrets for the project includes the fact that two subjects appear twice on some photos and their face could be more gruesome and less alive.

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