I had no experience with this genre at the start of the experiment cycle. Although I had previously read a few photoessays, I had never read them with the conscious purpose of understanding the conventions of the genre and the intentions of the writer. My research showed me just how flexible photoessays can be, which is a quality that I find really appealing. The text and the photographs can interact in so many different ways in order to fulfill the purpose of the writer. The one drawback for me is my lack of photography experience; I enjoy taking photos as a hobby, but my lack of any professional skills in the field would definitely make that aspect more difficult.
I think my project could actually be a really interesting and reflective photoessay on how students with different background have different relationships with their parents after transitioning from living at home to living at school. I initially thought that the photos would be portrait-style of each subject with their parents. After researching, however, I realized that the essays with photos that had some type of movement were more dynamic and engaging to me. A fully realized version of this experiment would show the subject and their parents interacting in an environment or situation that spoke to their relationship.
My origin piece is only loosely related to the direction that my experiment has gone in, as I had only briefly discussed what my relationship with my parents was like in high school. For this piece, I fully embraced the idea of exploring parent-child relationships, and I made it into more of a comparative analysis. Instead of simply reflecting on my own life, I want the photoessay to be a point of analysis and critical thinking that forces people to evaluate how their upbringing has affected them.
I would still need to research more examples in order to learn the most effective way to weave my subjects’ stories in between the photographs. I don’t want the essay portion of the photoessay to just be captions that describe what’s happening in the photos. I want it to be more of a story about independence and parent-child relationships, with the photos naturally supplementing the narrative.
I would need a good digital camera to photograph my subjects. I would also need to learn the technical skills required to take good action shots of my subjects in various lighting situations. This would require practice and patience due to my lack of photography experience. Other than that, this genre just requires some sort of platform on which I can juxtapose text and photographs. Realistically, I would publish this piece on a personal blog and have it available for public viewing. However, I would ideally like it to be featured in a publication like The New York Times or The New Yorker as a lifestyle piece.
Overall, this experiment cycle has introduced me to a genre that I had very little experience with before. After researching, I have gained more of an appreciation for the photoessay., and I now want to explore more examples of the genre across different publishing platforms. I am really interested in fully realizing this piece and playing with this genre more.