Photography Assignment 3

Working with a Partner

The photograph on the right, is the final image I selected from my partner photography session. My  partner was Ola Naseef, a student in my MA course and Photography as Research Module.  

As we sat down to our first coffee, I realised that we didn't know each other.The choice to work together was based on curiosity alone, we had seen one another in other modules and had briefly spoken. 

The possibility that someone (who I had yet to develop trust with) would be experiencing potentially very personal moments with me was very scary. I feared that I would not be able to express my truest ideas and be crippled by the thought of being judged.When working with another individual in a therapeutic photography session, it is essential to trust. The quality of our  photographs we could produce, I believe really depended on our ability to accept one another and respect eachothers ideas.



The actual session took a few months of planning. Both Ola and I had conflicting schedules and had to arrange a meeting that suited us both. During our many coffee sessions, I began to get to know her and she me. The idea of doing such a personal photo-shoot was actually becoming less daunting.

In one of our meetings we decided to go out together with our cameras. As we began walking, the pressure of having to bond was released and the act of taking photographs became the central focus. During that session, we began to develop a friendship. We talked about our lives, future plans and personal thoughts all while taking pictures. The act of photographing became a support of expression and as a way of building trust.






Lina Cavalieri, Italian Opera Singer and face of the Piero Fornasetti plates- which inspired my reenactment photographs.I arrived at the University with various items and props. I felt as though I wanted to be very experimental and capture myself in a way that I have never been able to. When  I believe the moment was captured above. This came after various shots to allow me to reenact something of importance. I didn't have a specific image in mind when I designed my session.Even when I discussed with Ola, what I would be doing, I had yet to reveal a specific idea.I had mentioned that I wanted to create a memorable, transformative and deeply personal session. I wanted Ola to be able to capture the me I am unable to see everyday. Hundreds of photographs were taken during the session. I found it interesting how the whole day went so quickly. I had planned the event for many weeks and the actual event went by so fast, just a few hours.


The images below are how I began my photography session with Ola. In previous meetings, I mentioned a desire to wear a wig. In the month prior to the photoshoot, I had a very, very bad haircut and had decided that I would wear a wig. I decided to purchase a bright green wig, it was on sale the day after St. Patrick's Day. I thought, that by being in disguise, I would somehow be able to transform myself into either, Lina as herself or the Fornasetti's disguised version of her: 


After experiencing reenactment photography, I can see how it is important for the practitioner of a therapeutic photography session, to develop trust, very quickly with their clients. Within a clinical setting, persons with various vulnerabilities,social, emotional, physical and mental would need to feel safe within photographic experience.


Overall, I consider this project one of my favourite therapeutic photography assignments. I think it best represents what I wanted to express and I was able to utilise the creative insight of not only myself, but another trusted individual.    

                                                                                                                      Lina Cavalieri Plate Variations, Piero Fornasetti,


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