Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Semester Two: Assignment One

Our first assignment for semester two was to swap a collection of photographs with another design student we didn’t know well. The photos were to be either a selection from different times throughout our lives or of our family home and room. When we were first given this assignment I wondered whether I would find it almost impossible to define what kind of person someone was from photographs alone. I swapped photos with Abbie Graham who is studying Graphic Design. She gave me photos of her family home to study. To begin with it was quite daunting, as I felt rather intrusive analysing photos of a house belonging to someone I didn’t really know. After looking through them I decided to focus on six photographs which included photos of her kitchen, living rooms, bedroom and sibling’s room.

The first thing that stuck me was that her home was quite minimalist but not to the point where there wasn’t character and I still got a feel of what she and her family are like (well I think anyway). From looking at these photographs, I decided some of her family members were organised, taking pride in the appearance of the house whereas others are slightly more relaxed. An unmade bed suggests to me that her parents are not overly strict but because the house is very tidy they still have structure. There are posters on her brother’s bedroom walls. Posters of Bands like Kings of Leon and Foo Fighters as well as electric guitars suggests that his taste in music is mainly rock. Therefore Abbie may have similar taste in music, although McFly tickets in her room make me think that her music taste is more pop/rock. Music generally must be important to Abbie’s family as there are various musical instruments, radios and iPod systems around the house. The interiors are mainly neutral which suggests her family don’t like overly bright colours. Her house also has mainly modern unfussy furnishings. Her family’s taste may be an element which led her to studying Graphic Design. It is clear that her family or certain family members are active as there are walking boots by the door, a wii fit and they have a family dog.

I think Abbie’s room is decorated fairly similarly to the rest of the house which suggests her tastes have been somewhat influenced by her parents. The walls are fairly neutral with a touch of colour on one wall. She still has elements which illustrate her own personality, such as collections of her possessions in certain parts of her room. I get the impression that she likes to have lots of her own possessions on show in her room to make it her own. She does although still keep things in order on various hooks and shelves. Maybe she has acquired this trait from her parents. Lots of her possessions look like they have been kept from certain occasions which illustrates that she is sentimental. She has collected glow bands, concert tickets and masks probably from special occasions and nights out. This suggests to me that she is sociable and a fun person to be around. This is confirmed by the photograph of her and a few of her close friends on her desk. Both Abbie and her brother have lots of their own possessions so it seems that their parents don’t favour one of them over the other. This may suggest that there is no sibling rivalry between them and they probably get on well. She must like elephants as there are quite a few wooden elephants on shelves around her desk and also a toy elephant in the living room. They may have been presents from her friends/ family or bought on holiday. Abbie’s collection of possessions she has complied over the years and displayed in her room suggests she has lots of great memories. They probably all individually remind her of a certain time or person.

Being a subject of research myself I found strange as I have never previously had someone describe to me what kind of person they think I am. I was intrigued to find out what conclusions Abbie had come to after looking at my own photos. On meeting up to compare our notes I discovered that everything I had guessed from her photos had been accurate. Neither, did I bring up anything that Abbie didn't already know about her self. From completing this assignment, I have come to the conclusion that you can discover a lot about someone by just looking at their home environment and possessions.

I feel that by completing this assignment, I have learnt that it is extremely important to take into account your subjects opinions and consider their feelings in general. I understand that I must notify my subject if I intend on publishing any personal information/photographs I have gathered.