So, I have been thinking about a diverse range of people to include in my project, but where best to start than home, right? I have decided to head back to the flats of Lincolnshire next weekend to see my immediate family. However, the idea of intrusion differs between photographer and viewer; for me, intruding on my parents would be a lot more extreme than a stranger letting themselves into their home.
Therefore, I have had to re-evaluate how to shoot. I have made Mind-Note diagrams of their likes and found what together I can pull them in for. Funnily enough, although they are still married, they very much keep to their own devices. But they love films: my Dad manages an independent cinema while mum hoards a large DVD collection. On weekends my Dad spends time in the garage restoring cars and mum usually sits and reads the paper. But at three o’clock they always come together for a cup of tea. I feel that I would like to photograph a formal portrait in the living room. Although this is not an intimate space as this is where guests congregate, I think it’s the middle ground for them both.
At the same time, keeping in mind having different groups of people, I would like to photograph my Grandad. I have photographed him for many years, through some pretty difficult times in fact, however, he’s always been a little unsure as to why I do. He now lives alone, without my Nana, but her presence is still around his bungalow. I feel that my Nana’s pride in her family has been passed onto my Grandad who is always keen to see his family and friends. I would like to photograph him in front of many of these photographs which are on the wall in the room he relaxes in. That, or in his bedroom, on his bedside table is in fact a (very old) picture of myself. I would like to shoot both ideas when I am there.
As a family member I naturally have a lot more access anyway, so I feel that this planning is needed, trying to detach myself a little more. By all means it won’t be an easy task.
I have asked people I know: Hareena (with her husband and children); John (mid 20s, with his mum) and various friends of my own age. Yet, I still have to find a stranger for this week’s task. I have thought either to go into a hairdressers: it’s a time you can talk to a complete stranger. We trust them with our hair, we chat, we pay and we leave. It is an odd dynamic. But maybe this will be a good way of starting a photographic relationship.