#Picbod Week 2 Task – The Tribe

  • These images should reveal an intimacy
  • This should be a collaboration between two people
  • Try this task with more than one member or your tribe – try photographing different relationships
  • The View From The Inside
    • To photography from the inside. Photograph as Nan Goldin says, “Your Tribe”. Study someone you are close to and make images with them of an intimate nature.
    • Bear in mind your own vulnerabilities from the first task when you begin this new photographic relationship and ensure you are completely competent technically so you can focus on the making of the images without being distracted by other details
  • Alternative/additional task: The Communal Space
    • Identify and photograph a space that your ‘tribe’ interact or live within. In treating the space as a body and considering our image making, can we communicate the interactions and events that happen within the space? Can we infer a sense of the communal space?


Original Idea:

The first idea that came into my head when given this week’s task was to photograph my group of friends whilst having a celebratory meal at Wetherspoon’s. I thought that this would not only show the true friendly relationship I share with this group of people, but that it would also show the reader an intimate moment shared between the people within the group.

From previous experiences, I know that our local Wetherspoon’s is quite a dark restaurant with minimal lighting. I therefore think that the lighting will be similar to that found within Nan Goldin’s photographs: vibrant in some aspects, yet very dark.

I have also actually planned a couple of images I wish to take. Although these images will be staged, I also plan on taking more decisive moments images throughout the night.

Photo 1: I will take the image from the head of the table (very much like a snapshot image that is usually taken on similar nights out to this), but have all of the members within the group looking at the camera, in a naturalistic position, but not smiling. This would perhaps enhance the fact that the image is staged, but highlight the intimate moment by the expressions on the faces eliciting an unwelcome vibe, almost as if the photographer/reader is not welcome into this moment.

Photo 2: I will take another image from the head of the table (very much like a snapshot image that is usually taken on similar nights out to this), but this time, have the subjects ignoring the camera and going about a nonchalant conversation as if I, the photographer, wasn’t there. This would perhaps elicit a more comfortable reading allowing the reader to feel that they are witnessing a common conversation found within this particular environment.

Photo 3: My last planned photo will be where I place the camera on the table looking up at the subjects. This will probably give the reader a strong sense of voyeurism because, with the positioning of the camera and the indirect mode of address from the subjects, the viewer will likely feel that they have sneaked into an intimate moment without consent.  They may also feel a sense of unease, as, due to the perspective, the subject will appear dominant and relatively threatening.

As I previously stated, although I want to create these three images, I am also planning on capturing some decisive moments. This is because all of the previous techniques seemed to show me distancing myself from the group and becoming only the photographer rather than the friend.

Unfortunately, though, I couldn’t do the first idea due to a change in personal circumstances to one of my “tribe” members. This therefore meant that I focused solely on my second idea. 

Other Idea:

My second idea that I wish to undertake is to photograph my boyfriend Oliver Dowling. I would like this photo to be a very intimate image and plan on collaborating with him so that he also receives a portrait that he is happy with. However, I do plan on showing inspiration from the work of both Elinor Carucci and Jenniffer Pattison (excluding the nudity) by making the images using available, soft light mainly from a window. I also plan on photographing him in the room where we spend most of our time together: his bedroom. This will hopefully add to the intimate feel of the image, as a bedroom is a very secretive and personal space. I’ve also thought about how to have him pose, and have considered both a naturalistic sitting and laying position. However, as I am still unsure as to this aspect, I will spend time on this shoot experimenting with different bodily positions.

During this photo shoot, however, I quickly found out that I didn’t particularly enjoy shooting my intimate subject from further away. This is purely because I felt like I was distancing myself from the intimate moment which was only created through my relationship with the subject. I therefore felt that I was simply the observer in this situation, which is not a trait that I think should be included when taking such intimate portraits.

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I also wanted to experiment with including myself within the image to enhance the intimacy portrayed. However, I soon found that I agreed with Elinor Carucci in the sense that you could quickly tell which images were reenacting a moment, as they just didn’t work.



Additional Task – Links in with second idea:

For the additional task this week, I have decided that it will link it to my second portrait of my boyfriend. As stated before, a bedroom is a very intimate and personal area and so I plan on photographing his bedroom and possibly displaying it as a diptych to his portrait. I have decided that I am going to create this image as if it is a commercial interior photograph, but keep everything in a natural position, including the messy bed and different objects. I also plan on using the same soft light that I used within his portrait in order to create an intimate and loving, collaborative piece.


Similarly to my second idea, I also didn’t particularly like the interior shot where I included Oli’s entire bedroom and so, as I preferred the closer images in previous photo shoot, I thought I would mimic this in the space image. I therefore focused on one particular area within the bedroom that hopefully allowed the viewer to receive a greater understanding as to his character.

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After taking and editing these photographs, I then experimented with pairing them up with some of the portraits that I had taken previously. You can find these below:

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Below you can find the image(s) that I will present as my final piece:

Experiment 2