Lulu by Bournemouth Pier

Updated: Dec 17, 2018

For my documentary photography project I wanted to shoot something that was quite personal. I came up with several ideas but the best that I chose to go with was to study youth culture and student life. With this idea I had a thought about what I could focus on and that turned out to be hangovers or “the morning after” memories. I like how I can use this concept to produce styled pictures that use the real life memories in a recreation of what once happened to all of us. I felt that the topic was something that most people could relate to at one point in their lives.


In the first shoot I wanted to recreate my own personal favourite memory of a “morning after”. It was on the beach after a party that had run through the night. Having spoken to lots of other students at Bournemouth University and Arts University Bournemouth this seemed to be quite a common experience as we’re so close to the beautiful sea, and despite how intoxicated one might be, the majority of us end up in a good place.


Having researched other photographers that explore party culture and alcohol consumption/ drug use I know that there is a lack of media that depicts these topics in a more natural way than heroin chic. Heroin chic was a movement that was pretty extreme that came about in the 1990s that, for its time was quite raw and honest and realistic. However, I find that nowadays heroin chic doesn’t really stand a place amongst other realistic documentary because its more neorealistic and something that one has to mock up. I’m a big fan of realism, even if many of my shoots are stylised – its more the concept behind them.


So I didn’t want to shoot along the lines of heroin chic photography. I wanted to bring something new where I study the youth around me and recreate real moments in real locations with real people and real outfits. The only thing that I was “faking” was the lighting, or the time of day. I thought that shooting around the golden hour would give a lovely sensitivity to the images and make them appear more beautiful in the way that youth see some of their best memories.

At some points this project could have been arguably more narrative than documentary but the way I see it is that I am using documentary methods to create the photography and not producing stereotypical documentary photography on its own, because thats not my style.


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