Last semester was the first half of my Art Capstone course, where we were tasked with assembling a final art project of our choosing. Over the years, photography has been my passion and my media of choice, so I worked hard photographing and editing hundreds of photos to create my final project of ten images. The course required a thesis that would be the inspiration point and driving force of our work. Generalized media and the fashion industry are male-dominated fields that often exploit and objectify women, because those photos are primarily taken by men for men. Photos I take reclaim ownership of the female body, return power to the female gaze and provide women with a safe place where they feel heard, seen, powerful, and beautiful just the way they are. By not being predatory or objectifying, my photos change the narrative of women in the media and in fashion photography, because they represent a freedom of expression, of body, and of self for women. By returning control and voice to all women, I deconstruct vintage beliefs still at play today, both inspiring and informing viewers of the women that they may be themselves or may know in their lives.
The lighting, posing, accessories, and fashion shown in my photos reference a time where women were taken advantage of and sexualized even more than they are in the 21st-century. Even though the photos reference the past, there are contemporary techniques, clothing, and accessories also represented within my images, showing how many women are still wrongfully seen as inferior and weak, and are also objectified for their bodies and for merely existing as they choose, especially within media and fashion. Femininity can come in various forms, my photos attempt to highlight various kinds of beauty and power that women can hold, and remind the viewer that women have a freedom of expression, of body, and of self for women.
I will further this project by capturing more photos of women for women, as well as arranging them into a magazine editorial layout with words and phrases that represent and highlight thoughts from my thesis ideas. I hope to showcase my photography along with my graphic design skills. I hope to be a graphic designer in the future, so creating a magazine editorial that highlights important modern, feminine views while also showcasing my design work in photography, texts and graphics, will be a wonderful addition to my portfolio. An example of the type of internal layout of photo and text I am going for, but in a different medium, is the book Girl on Girl by Charolette Jansen. Even though I want to print as a magazine instead of as book, Girl on Girl showcases women photographing women in the way I will, with many images organized on pages with limited but informative and inspiring text.
Because my photos are taken by a woman, in collaboration with women, for other women, I believe this project is an important place of inspiration and connection for all women. No one should feel alone and everyone deserves to feel seen and heard. Media, the fashion industry, and fashion photography often do not allow women to control how they are represented. My project will return power to women, allowing them to feel as though they have control in growing technology and photography. Women deserve to feel connected to other women. Highlighting powerful femininity as it exists in all women, though is not always perceived by others, is important to the identities of all identifying-women.
This project does not need a lot of research, but I will conduct a few off-camera interviews, as well as some online research. I will interview various different women I know of many ages and backgrounds, and ask them questions about their feelings on what it means to be a woman and how being a woman changes various aspects of their lives. I want to highlight different women in my magazine and use direct quotes from people I interview as well as celebrities how have spoken on the topic. I will also research online for those related quotes and information to highlight within my magazine; however, I want it to be mainly personal stories and quotations.
I will continue to use my EOS Canon Rebel T6 DSLR camera, as well as Adobe Lightroom Classic for photo organization and editing. I will use Adobe InDesign for the layout and Adobe Illustrator for any graphics or designs I make for the editorial. I will also be experimenting with a film camera, to further capture vintage photos and emotions. working with a film camera might be a little challenging at first, as I have not used one since high school, but I know I remember how, but it might take a second to get used to the differences associated with film cameras, such as not being able to see your pictures as you take them, and having to send them in to be developed. The final deliverable will be a printed version of my magazine editorial layout, though I will have a virtual version as well. The printing will cost money; however, until I know the best way to print this project, recommended to me by professors, I am unable to completely estimate the cost but it will be within our allocated budget. I plan to have around 32 pages, but that is a very rough number, solely based on the average number of pages magazines typically have. It will definitely be a challenge to work on this project, as I have never designed a layou this big, but I am confident in my abilities and excited to create this idea that I have had for awhile. I am particularly inspired by Vogue Magazine’s editorial layouts within their fashion magazines. Within their archive, you can also view “Vintage Vogue” magazines, which I am especially inspired by for my vintage inspired images. They have also inspired the name of my magazine: Envie, which is french for desire, representing the jealousy that many women experience, and the lust that women often have to endure from men merely from existing. The name represents an envy that women can turn into a good thing, instilling a confidence and a fearlessness in women that might not have been there before, allowing them to feel their inner and outer beauty, regardless of what the beholder sees, thinks, and says.
I have experience with all the listed hardware and software, as I have used and been taught it before in courses throughout my education. In my various photography courses, I have learned how to capture and edit photos, organize and use catalogs, and use studio lighting and backdrop equipment. In my numerous communications courses, I have learned how to use many more Adobe applications to create my own designs and layouts. None of this will be new to me, and it will allow me to showcase everything I have learned throughout my education. This includes media ideals and commentary, as in communications courses I have also looked at how to design for specific audiences in mind, as well as how to be inclusive and accessible for all.
Week 4: Work on obtaining film camera. Shop for fashion accessories, other props, and clothing.
Week 5: Academic research on the history of feminism.
Week 6: Begin shooting still lifes.
Week 7: Secure models and interviewees. Possibly schedule future shoots.
Week 8: Conduct interviews.
Week 9: Begin shooting with models.
Week 10: Begin layout and design for magazine editorial. Begin placing and designing what I have so far.
Week 11: Continue photographing and designing layout.
Week 12: Conduct more interviews and research as needed.
Week 13: Continue photographing, designing layout, and conducting interviews. Should have a solid draft of magazine.
Week 14: Meet with peers and professors to gain feedback on what I have so far. Enact changes and edits. Possibly reshoot or edit stories within the magazine as needed.
Week 15: Finishing touches and feedback.