Looking back on the assignment 1 brief, I felt that I needed to think about my concept and think about how it relates to the assignment brief. Throughout this project I have changed my ideas alot, this was mostly influence by research and discussions with other students. Earlier this week we had a group discussion about our projects and I felt that the other people in my group had a much clearer concept than my own and they were able to discuss their ideas and concepts well, something that I had struggled with during this discussion.
The discussion made me feel as if my concept and ideas were a little obvious, however youth culture is something that interests me and views on youth culture are always changing. When reading over the brief I noticed this question: “ Are you in harmony or in conﬂict within the social structure that you are a part of?” Which really made me think – throughout this projects I have discussed other peoples views on youth culture but not my own. My project focuses on people who I know very well, people who have changed my views on image, work and life. I think that I am someone who is influenced by others quite easily and the people that I have met have changed the way I think and feel. I think that if I had not met the people that I have photographed in my project I would be a very different person, which makes the idea of social acceptance seem extremely important.
In relation to the question “ Are you in harmony or in conﬂict within the social structure that you are a part of?” I would say that my social structure intimidates and intrigues me. I think that my own social group do not really fit in with the stereotype of youth. But I know alot of people around me that do – now its more common to see people taking ‘selfies’ anywhere and I have began to notice more how people – particularly those aged 13-17 dressing the same as the people they are friends with, or having their make up or hair styled in the same way. I feel that there is a huge pressure to conform to how our friends look, dress and act – young people are easily influenced by those around them so if a person feels they need to copy their friends in order to be ‘liked’ – they will. I suppose that I personally have never felt that I ‘fit in’ with most people my own age – but that may be because I am quite shy, but also I have a personal hate for ‘selfies’ and I try not to conform to a specific view/way of acting or dressing if I feel that it would make me uncomfortable.
When researching youth culture and pressures the main topics I came across were ‘thigh gaps’ and ‘selfies’ and this disappointed me, but maybe this was because I knew that it was true – many young people are obsessed with being thin and looking attractive to others. I think that young people feel a massive amount of pressure to look good, to the point where they feel that nothing else matters. I don’t think that this is because they a vain, I thinks it’s just because they are insecure. Personally the idea of a ‘selfie’ does not appeal to me and I have never liked the idea of a camera focusing on only my face – but I can see why other people would want to post photos of themselves – people, particularly young people need social acceptance, they want to feel loved and appreciated. I decided to do some research on ‘selfies’ and found that most results for images and articles on selfies were about young people and women. I had came across this tumblr blog – http://selfiesatfunerals.tumblr.com/ – which I found extremely irritating and disrespectful, but I noticed that all of these ‘funeral selfies’ were of young people. It disappoints me that so many people today are judgemental of others and obsessed with they way they look, but I guess it is natural to feel self conscious and to need acceptance from others in order to feel more confident.
When thinking of how I want my final shots to look, in terms of composition – the word ‘selfie’ came to mind, it is something that I feel uncomfortable with but it is something that most young people like and something they use as a form of communication with the rest of the world. I think it would be relevant to present my images in a way that relate to young people. And as I have looked into stereotypes I have found that one of the most common stereotypes of youth is being image obsessed (and ‘selfies are commonly associated with young people’) – so I have decided that five of my final images will be ‘selfies’ – I will get each subject to hold the camera in an angle they prefer and I will capture the image. As the idea is based around ‘selfies’ I will have to take an image of myself also – but I may not use it in the final set of images.
I had noticed that when I started to photograph the images that would look like ‘selfies’ most of my friends that I photographed were not keen on the idea of a selfie either (if it was just of themselves, without another person in the shot). This shows that not all young people are obsessed with taking selfies and again it is just another stereotype associated with youth. My project has shown me that whilst some people do relate to the stereotype of youth, many do not – so it is unfair to judge a whole group of people based on things we are told.
Above is an example of one of the images that I had taken in a ‘selfie’ style – I do like the composition of this image as the close up shot draws us in. Unfortunately this image is very damaged so I cannot use it.
http://skepchick.org/2013/11/selfies/Major Project:Encountering Culture