Over the summer I decided to research areas of photography that I felt was relevant to what really interested me. What made me want to pick up a camera and make pictures in the first place. I was also looking for some proper inspiration. Something that would help to develop my project idea.
1) I contacted Jeremy Nicholl, Peter Dench, Donald Weber and Dana Popa. These are photographers who have worked in Ukraine and people whose advice I sought regarding the idea for my project.
2) I researched the work of Anastasia Taylor-Lind who recently produced a body or work based around Russian Cossack women.
3) I travelled to Perpignan and stayed for four nights so that I could meet Peter Dench and Donald Weber. I had images loaded onto my iPad and I wanted to show my progress so far. This was also a great opportunity to see exhibitions which related to my area of study. It also enabled professionals to give me an honest opinion.
4) Books have continued to inspire me. Boris Mikhailov’s ‘Case History’ and Simon Roberts ‘Motherland’ helping me to look at subjects and their surroundings in a different way.
5) I travelled to Kiev in Ukraine to research my project idea. I decide to use the services of a fixer who also acted as a translator. Whilst in Kiev I decided to learn Russian. As I will be working out there for quite some time this can only help open doors for me and enable subjects to take me a bit more seriously.
6) I decided to apply to the Kiev Post as an intern photographer. I figured this would be a great opportunity to combine my photography skills and gain some experience whilst researching my own project. Working at a local paper would also open a few doors and give me some valuable information.
7) I flew to Dublin to see the ‘not Natasha’ exhibition by Dana Popa. Again, relevant to my area of research.
8 ) I continued to work for the Coventry Telegraph. The experience is proving invaluable. My people skills have improved dramatically along with my creativity for making images.