Dean O'Brien's Blog

352mc Professional Photographic Practice: Caroline Molloy talk

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Today we were privileged to have photographer Caroline Molloy come and talk to our group.  Caroline will also be mentoring a small number of people in the group to help them develop their projects further.

Caroline discussed many of her projects including one which was based on shooting portraits of twins. These were just random pairs of twins found on the streets.  This led to Caroline creating the ‘3650 Days Later’ project which saw her return to the same sets of twins and take their portraits again 10 years later.  Placed side by side one cannot help but see the magic created by these portraits.  What has happened within that period of time?  We discussed the stance and gaze of the twins, even the clothing that they wore.

Other projects of Caroline’s included one based on women soldiers in the Israeli Army. photographing owners of photography shops in India and documenting the lives of Turkish women photographers in London.

One thing that Caroline did stress was the importance of social skills with your subject.  Hence why she is doing an MA in visual anthropology.  Having a good understanding of people is vital.  Technical skills are essential but should not overpower the creation of an image.  Working with your subject is what helps to create the portrait.  Finding that common ground and allowing the subject to open up to you.

Having shot lots of her early work using a Hasselblad medium format film camera we discussed her transition to digital.  Her personal work is still shot using this medium although as expected, modern work practice dictates that digital needs to be used for most day to day commissions.

Caroline’s talk left me thinking about the way in which I manage my own projects.  That good organisation is essential.  A balancing act between paying the bills and not losing that spark that keeps you interested in image making.  Personal projects still remain a large part of her life and I believe that this is why she still retains that passion for creating images.

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Written by Dean O'Brien

February 15, 2012 at 5:51 pm

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