In the last month I have had three photo assignments. Small commissions were paid in two cases, and one was a spontaneous request.
Assignment 1: Stills for the project Dance for Recovery
Photo brief: Capture the Behind the Scenes of Producing dance for recovery performance but without focusing on the face of the participants.
Time Spent: A day for the photographs, and a day for editing, collating and collaging. For the video work including the man, y many hours to edit the footage, and an additional afternoon to interview Danielle and have her view photographs and raw footage.
Outcomes: Used snippets from video captures to create photos without the face but with the shadows. Used many photograps in the video documentary as well to fulfil that brief as well.
Around 80 usable photographs were produced, used slow exposure to blur movement and focus on feet, hands and from waste down, as well as silhouette background. Did some artistic treatment of photographs.
Dance for Recovery was funded by FNQ Volunteers, Queensland and Australian Governments, Isay project, Connecting Community Voices, and involved many volunteers and a small budget for production for contributing Artists.
Assignment 2: Documenting Song Trails for QMF
Photo brief: Capture in around 50 photographs the Spirit of the Song Trails Workshop and Concert for QMF. Also participate in the workshop, so ‘inside the experience’ as well.
Time spent: Three days, also spent evenings photo processing and a couple of hours creating the montages for addition of music created at Song Trails.
Unexpected outcomes: Creation of photo montage projected on the last day then mixed with song by Morganics and also by myself to make a mini music video using photos.
Morganics liked one of his photographs and reposted it.
Took well over 50 photographs, final count about 110. Documented workshop process, people behind scenes, sharing music, lunch breaks, rehearsal, concerts, variety of portraits, close ups, medium shots, etc. Also wrote a number of blogs including a guest blog for ABC Open. QMF very happy with all the work, especially the unexpected extras that just happened.
Song Trails was brought to the Cassowary Coast and sponsored by Queensland Music Festival, Queensland Government, APRA, Cassowary Coast Regional Council and Kareeya Hydro. It was free for all participants.
Assignment 3: Musical Duo photographs to use for posters
Photo Brief: Take portrait of two musicians that they can make use of for posters when giving joint gigs. Very short amount of time during breaks at Song Trails.
Outcomes: Played with the photographs in applications to create poster like feel, and found photographs taken in concert rather than posed ones might be the best ones to use as they had such a nice feel to them. Presented these to the musicians as well.
It would be great to be paid more for photo assignments in the future to cover more of the time and skill spent in taking and editing the photographs and the costs and upkeep of the equipment.
It was brilliant to begin to be commissioned to do work though! And to have such interesting projects to document.
The experience of the work was invaluable to give me learning, ideas, connections, confidence and opportunity.
I found what my strengths where and where I might need to do some more research and learning. I was intent to pursue excellence even though much of my time was really voluntary as I feel one should always do ones best work in any situation.
I am seriously considering whether to pursue a photography degree in photo journalism or something like that. I love photography of this nature as it is about telling a story and reflecting people.
I hope people consider budgeting for photo documenters for their projects and value their work, and consider innovative ways to showcase the photographers work during and after the project.
With the sharing of photographs on facebook and internet the photographer cannot really sell documentary photos of this type beyond the initial commission either so this could be built into the cost of their employment.
Reponse to the montage at the Song Trails concert was great with lots of positive feedback from participants, their family and QMF.
Response to the photographs for Dance for Recovery – they are being used for the aquittal report for the project and the feedback has been positive with particular photographs being favourites. Many will be showcased in the documentary video. The show creator requested to especially use a few in her future publicity for dance classes, and placed one in an email she sent out to participants in the workshop.
I need all people commissioning work, both photography and documentary, to allow a greater waged budget for the services, however the projects done have provided invaluable experience and additions to my folio for seeking more work.
I also need to initiate more projects to allow for a better return on the time and passion I put into my work so I can do more of it.
(c) June Perkins