Photographing 'real people' is one of the aspects of photography I enjoy the most.
The term real people itself is odd, and for me, stems from shooting fashion where arguably the models are real, but are often playing a role and telling a story.
It is my aim to tell the visual story of my street, over one week in April for AAH.
THE STREET IN A WEEK
Real people telling their story.
I have been thinking about this idea for ages and thought I would use AAH as a reason to make myself start this project. Starting is difficult!
It's a fascinating, exciting and very personal project. The initial challenge being, to get my neighbours to agree to do it! This is the part I dread the most, as I am nervous about asking people to do things like this.
I actually aim to make it a fun inclusive and communal project, in which people will be glad they took part, so I probably worry too much!! I am comfortable as soon as I have the camera, and usually this rubs off!
Never the less I have committed, so I must continue.
So far, I have six committed neighbours. I am delighted they are behind the idea and am constantly whizzing ideas round in my head as to how they should be lit and composed.
It is my aim to let the images tell the story of our diverse street.
I have chosen the week over the Royal Wedding. I am not sure our street is communal enough ( yet !) to have a street party, but somehow selecting this week gave the project an anchor and feels as if the street may come together in an alternative medium.
As I write this I am thinking I should probably blog developments and the shoot as I go; we'll see, but I will definitely update this site with a few more taster images from the actual project before the exhibition.
The week before the exhibition!
I am pleased to report that with the enthusiastic help of sixteen neighbours who supported this project devised specially for artists at home, I have the images shot to date, framed and hung!
I would like to say a 'Big Thank you' to all who took part in this project and to extend the thanks to the others who decided not to, but took the time to read through the yards of bumf I popped through their letter box, in order to explain my ideas!
Hindsite is a fabulous thing! I now realise it was an ambitious plan, to attempt to shoot the street in one week. In fact it was difficult finding the opportunity to simply discuss the project around peoples busy schedules.
These documentary images aim to offer a facinating, generous and open insight into the diverse lives of people living side by side, on one street, yet often unaware of each other.
I am grateful that people are willing to reveal a little of themselves in a way that I feel can react to, capturing an instinctive snippet of the essence of that person.
I am excited about the interactive part of the project when the participants see their framed portraits and meet each other for the first time. It is not quite the royal wedding street party on which I drew some reflection, but maybe next time....Harry!
Saturday morning AAh weekend.
Last night many of the people who had been photographed came to see their portrait and meet each other.
It was really fascinating to see and listen to people's reactions to their never before seen documentary, portraits. Especially as it was an attempt to produce honest imagery, in a photographic era of enhanced beauty. It was also intriguing to see the way people gravitated to stand near their image, in almost a protective manner.
I think the time they all left , which was much later than 9, suggests that more residents are now communicating with each other than were before !
This if nothing else is a real achievement.
Please do come along - I look forward to seeing you over the weekend.
SANDI FRIEND - PHOTOGRAPHER Biog.
Sandi friend graduated with a BA Hons in photography from Blackpool college - Lancashire University. She has a wealth of experience and expertise in her field of portraits. Having worked with clients including The Independent Review and Men’s Health Magazine, EEDA, Angels and Urchins, Boots, Manchester United, Healthy Planet, The Lake District National Park, Junior Magazine, BBC, and Sprout Pictures.
Her unique vision, strong ideas, energy and project management and natural interest in people ensure the successful delivery of the Art brief or Commissioned project. A member of the Association of Photographers, she has been awarded a merit for her work and is now in demand on the photographic lecture circuit.
For most of her work, the emphasis is on portraits, images of real people. Shooting things like ‘Relative Values’ for the Independent Magazine, behind the scenes portraits at Manchester United, Booker long list writer Sarah Hall, Poet Jacob Polley, Darcey Bussell, actors such as Fay Ripley and Dominic West of ‘The Wire’ fame and most recently David Tennant and Stephen Fry.
Her philosophy, besides all the technicalities, is simple. A portrait in its essence is a collaborative process, so how the sitter responds to the experience and photographer is visible in the final image. If you enjoy it - it shows.
The eclectic mix of images on The website is both personal and commissioned images taken over a period of time and whilst visiting different people and places. Images inspired by travel, and fresh visuals. The photographs are the results of the authors response and visual connections to the people and environment.
A favourite project and consequent exhibition was for The Lake District National Park and it involved a trip back to the original core of her career as a photographer. A portrait-led shoot photographing aspirational people in an inspirational landscape. Six of the images have been lent to the exhibition by the L.D.N.P
Sandi has a highly regarded reputation as a children’s editorial, fashion photographer and for private children’s portrait commissions. “I love photographing children, the images are so important, honest and of ‘the’ moment. By their very nature children highlight that you can never go back. You often find that parent’s don’t realise just how important the pictures will become.”
Her work is in demand and is reflected by an impressive range of clients: Huggies, Practical Parenting, Covers and Editorial for Angels and Urchins Magazine alongside Advertising for Bunny London, Young England and Junior Magazine.