Assessing risk is a conscious and unconscious activity of a photographer and an important part of a professional, accountable practice. Failure to consider risk or take risk assessment seriously can expose third parties to hazards and endanger life.
Accompanying your Illustrated Project Proposal will be a risk assessment form to outline your processes for a typical activity for your project; the risks and the measures you will take (or are already taking) to mitigate or reduce these. These might deal with working in the field, studio, workshop / darkroom environments.
Please view the guidelines for completing a Risk Assessment, and the risk assessment form on the PhotoHub, and start working on this.
Your Proposal should also outline any ethical and/or legal risks your research project is likely to encounter (such as photographing property, children, vulnerable adults) and how you will address these.
I have looked at the guidelines given and produced a risk assessment to accompany my illustrated proposal. I will show this in a later post when completed.
PHOTOGRAPHY, POWER and OTHERS: Reflection
Reflect on the ‘triangle’ model in relation to your own practice: do you feel that there is any kind of imbalance in terms of the relationships between the three ‘corners’?
I feel the Author – Subject – Audience triangle is not as well balanced as it could be within the practice of my own photography. For my current practice my ‘subject’ is the countryside around me and as the author I am capturing a sense of place from what I see and feel around me. I would like the audience to get a sense of what I am feeling when I take the image, but I feel without further dialogue or prompting they are more likely to form their own opinion and thoughts from just what they read into the picture. I hope to address this imbalance as my project progresses.
Think about any previous experiences out shooting: have there ever been any moments when you felt that what you were doing, or had done, was unjust or inappropriate? If so, what prompted this?
I have taken numerous ‘street’ photos when travelling in Morocco on several occasions. I have always had to do this discretely as the Moroccan people have a general dislike of having their photos taken. This is due to a mixture of reasons, from superstition where they believe there is an association with witchcraft and that if someone takes a photo of you, they can use it afterwards to put a spell on you. There is also a distrust and fear of being exploited by tourists. I was using the tilt screen on my camera like a waist level finder to take photos discreetly, so people were not aware they were being taken, or by using the remote-control app on my phone. I feel this was rather an underhand way of getting the images I wanted without giving due regard for the feelings of the subject.
What did this experience teach you about your approaches, both practically and conceptually?
To get good, genuine portraits in the street you must have a dialogue with people, explain your intentions and spend time getting to know the subject and earn their trust so they will be a willing model for you.