It would appear my project is coming to a natural conclusion. After a tutorial and a touch of re-jigging presentation wise (mountboard discarded) I’m hitting the finish line. Matilda is entering weeks of mock-exams and time is running out as the deadline approaches, but as I reflect on the results of my photographic adventures I’m happy with the results. I didn’t get every shot in my head onto paper but those that exist deliver the effect I was aiming for. I have tried to capture the essence of the young woman our Matilda has become, her past, her concerns and the future before her. I have heard tales I never knew, I’ve listened to reflections I never knew where in her and I have tried to capture them on film.
I’ve dealt with my shortcomings as a photographer and learnt to abandon the technical for the creative. Not every shot has to be clean, focused and beautifully lit. Not every shot has to pass an examination. But every shot does reflect on my subject, as I experiment with setting, concepts and light. I learnt to play with my camera, to jig with the set parameters I thought made a decent photograph and to question what makes an image work. Through my research into photographer Keith Arnatt I have revaluated the meaning of art and the meaning of text. I have explored the reasoning behind my project and in doing so revealed as much about me as I have my subject. My chosen format of postcards says as much about me as the wordsmith and journalist as it does about me the learning photographer. That desire to capture memories, past or new, have revealed to me the need I have to make everything black and white and yet with this project I have, by letting go of the written rules, read between the lines and seen beyond the objects. I have developed a need to document, to translate the meanings I have for the objects around me into the wider world as I photograph and to place a non-monetary value on them.
This project has become a kind of love letter (or postcard if you will) to the shared past I have with Matilda. To capture her childhood, a childhood I have envied from afar, and to celebrate the future ahead. I may not have produced the most technically gifted photography project but the meanings I have attempted to document hopefully come through. And by documenting Matilda’s journey I have been on one of my own. I can only hope that the viewer will come with us.