DEVELOPING PERSONAL STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCING PHOTOGRAPHIC PROJECTS
Tutor: Rob Knight
WHAT IS A PROJECT?
“A piece of planned work or an activity that is finished over a period of time and
intended to achieve a particular purpose”. Cambridge Dictionary
What Are Our Objectives?
1. To produce a finished photographic project within the workshop timescale
2. To make, rather than to take, photographic pictures
3. To think conceptually about your aims and outcomes
“In photography of serious ambition, the photographer’s subject is almost never
simply the subject matter”. Peter Fraser
Welcome to our new online workshop, ‘The Project’.
We will be exploring some of the ideas and approaches to help develop personal strategies for producing
photographic projects. As photographers we are all accustomed to the producing images, but many of us are
less familiar, and may find hard to rationalise, the concept of a photographic project. The project is in
essence an extended, but connected, body of work, where we are able to shape the possibilities of why and
how we can develop a series of photographs.
A project can feel somewhat nebulous and abstract, without a firm idea of the what, why and how. Many
photographers are often left scratching around for project ideas that can sometimes fail to materialise. We
therefore are proposing project ideas from which you can choose to work on during the workshop. All the
project briefs allow for the possibility of working everyday without the need to travel anyway.
‘The Project’ brief essentially asks that we, ‘playfully’, develop a given concept from inception through to
completion. We will explore, reflect and refine our practical work throughout the the workshop, by beginning
to recognise how some key practitioners throughout the history of photography, have developed their
photographic picture-making and project objectives. Most importantly, ‘The Project’ will be practice based,
that is, pictures made. It will be an opportunity to do as Todd Hido suggests, which is; “Slow down and think
about your craft”. The photographer John Blakemore eloquently reflects the ethos of the workshop;
“At the conclusion of any extended piece of work, one inevitably questions
the results. What have I learned during this journey? What has this intense period
of activity been about?”
(Selected images from Intertidal project by Rob)
The workshop will help develop your understanding, ability and confidence to conceive of and to make, a
series/set of photographs that are bound by the explorative nature of your project. You will learn to
understand better the intentions of your body of work. It will also ask of you to consider how a picture ‘looks’,
that is, the possibilities of framing, what photographer Larry Fink describes as “that little instantaneous
nuance and movement”. Photographing is the art of selection and arrangement combined.
“You can’t wait until you have a great idea, because it’s not a great idea until you get into it.” John Szarkowski
The workshop is for anyone working digitally or analogue, with a camera or with a smartphone. It is for
anyone who wants to consider and to understand better how to develop their creative photographic potential.
’The Project’ is for anyone who wishes to explore and reconnect with their passion for making photographs,
and to help develop personal creativity through defining and working on a photographic project.
This workshop is for anyone who works with the medium using any process or combination of processes.
Essentially, it is about the possibility of the photographic picture and personal commitment. This is also for
anyone who might work, in video, audio or the written word. This introduction to photographic based projects
will allow you to bring your work together, and to reflect upon your picture-making and visual story telling as
you shape your own photographic project.
The workshop will utilise different models of learning including:
• Scheduled online one to one sessions, starting with a getting to know you and objectives.
• Pre-recorded and curated video content that will form ideas for discussion and reflection.
• Group online video/audio discussions sessions led by the tutors where we will discuss your personal
approaches to project development.
• Live discussion sessions to collaborate and learn from tutors, but importantly for peers to consider
alternative viewpoints and potential for projects.
• Practical mini projects to help shape our thinking and learning for the project.
• Structured feedback both group based and individually throughout.
• Independent study around key texts to help inform tutorials.
• Collaborative working to further develop ideas around your project-based work.
On completion of the workshop each participant will receive a summary of their development. Each
participant can (if requested) be issued with a digital credential to demonstrate workshop participation which
can then be added to and shown on digital cv's, social media and on the learners LinkedIn profile, for
example, if they have one.
On Completion You will be able to:
1. Acknowledge some ideas related to photographic projects.
2. Recognise some key photographers and their approaches to the series or project.
3. Explore strategic approaches to working in a project manner.
4. Apply knowledge and strategies in creating personal photographic projects.
5. Demonstrate an explorative mindset around a project and alternative viewpoints.
6. To reflect, explain and critique your own images and project ideas.
7. Embrace a playful approach to developing projects.
8. Critically reflect on your final project body of work.
9. Reflect on the impact of working with attention over a given period and how this has effected
creative understanding and development.
This new and exciting workshop will be offered online and delivered via our
dedicated online learning platform, video live group sessions and innovative collaboration tools where we will facilitate an engaging, positive and challenging learning environment for all participants.
‘The Project’ has been designed to work effectively as a stand alone workshop, but may be taken and
linked alongside our innovative and highly regarded, ‘The Sequence’ and the future ,’The Book’ workshops.
“One cannot photograph experience, but to have lived it can change and develop habitual
ways of seeing and of knowing." John Blakemore
As well as being professional a photographer Rob has a long established professional background in education and learning at both degree and masters level.
The course duration will be over a four week period, with the first week being the introductory period where we will stage a one to one session with each participant to understand their individual learning style and starting point with photography projects, participants will be introduced to the first key concepts and key writers / thinkers on project based approaches and everyone will get to know one and other and how all the systems including learning portal work .
Each week will be a mixture of 1to1 sessions online, reading and reflective comment / discussion in the learning portal, live online group discussion sessions and reflective sessions to explore your own project and it's development across the four weeks. Weeks two and three will be intense enough to develop your thinking and as a group challenge everyone to collaborate and discuss individual approaches to working in projects as well as the key practitioners in the area. Our key focus across the four weeks will be extremely practical and experiential in leading your through project ideation, inception, development and reflection of your images to explore, create and refine approaches to working photographically.
This workshop is highly participatory and will develop an effective toolkit with which you can frame your approach to photography and working in series' moving forward.
To sign up for this new course please complete THIS form.
We guarantee this course will both enable and empower every attendee moving forward with their photography and personal creative journey no matter what your previous level of experience.
NEXT COURSE DATES: 7/04/24 - 12/05/24 (5 weeks with 1 week reading week)
Course price: £485 per person
The workshop will be limited to strictly 10 participants to ensure the cohort size is large enough for vibrant discussion and small enough for 1to1 time, coaching and mentoring across the duration.
"I loved every aspect of the workshop and the amount of effort that Rob and David obviously put into the creation and running of the course was extraordinary. I loved the fact that everyone was encouraged to participate - which cannot have been easy because we all came with different requirements. I loved the fact that you changed tack after the first group session to make sure things were more time limited and comprehensively covered. In other words you flexed to the needs of the course and participants. In the future just carry on I would say."
"It has made my completely rethink photobooks and how I will approach my projects and books in the future"
"I like and appreciate that Rob is very clear in what he says and has a very easy and relaxed manner. At no time was I made to feel that I wasn't an equal member of the group and my opinions/contributions were as valuable as everyone else's. This is a skill not all trainers possess."
('Intertidal' series / project by Rob)