Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Easter projects

I started the Easter break looking for upmarket dog grooming salons. I had the idea that I wanted to portray the upswing in pampering for dogs and get some amusing pictures illustrating it. It proved a lot harder than I first thought and has not worked out at all so far. I shot in two salons, first Wagin'tails - a pet boutique and spa. All the to me outrageous treatments they listed like aroma therapy etc did not really happen in reality and the dogs pretty much just had the ordinary cuts. I also feel that I did not make the most of the shoot, I could have taken more photos upstairs in the boutique and got the owner's dog to try on some of the outfits. I find it really difficult to ask when I know people are busy and I feel bad about being in the way.
I also did a more conventional saloon in Primrose Hill, more like a day at the salon. Both these shoots are rather uninspiring and I have spent a lot of time looking for places and events. I found a place in Brighton which looked great, it has pink interior and looks like a kitch hairdresser but really smart at the same time. They unfortunately would not let me take pictures there. The response was that I could upset the dogs. I also tried a dog walking group for toy dogs (small dogs), they are really in to dressing the dogs up, but the organiser gave me a long list of reasons of why they would not allow any photos. They were upset because photographers had published their dogs in calendars etc without their permission or knowledge and they have their personal photographer as the lady on the phone kept pointing out to me. So I'm stuck with an idea and no real pictures at the moment basically. But I will keep trying.....

For another project, I spent a long time pondering over different places to photograph, trying to find some interesting fact or something unusual. After trips to Dungeness, Folkestone and Ramsgate I eventually settled for the Isle of Sheepey - an island out in the Thames Estuary. It is part of the Thames Gateway regeneration project and has had a new bridge built connecting it to the mainland and there is further development planned. Sheepey has a reputation for being one of the most deprived areas in South East England. This project has really just started, so there are lots of 'missing' images(the bridge being one). I also keep doubting my choice which really does not help my shooting. I want to mix landscapes with portraits. The weather was wonderfully temperamental which I really like but I was also badly prepared for it and got quite soaked the two days I spent there.
Just realised that I have managed to delete all my Sheepey scans after the ftp upload. Me and technology.....

2 comments:

antrim said...

hi anna, how are you?? i had been watching your blog and to see what you got for the dog grooming story...sounds like challenges are coming up for you...reading your words/process in generating story ideas is something so familiar and i wanted to try to offer some help...maybe you can find a dog advocacy group or some sort of community org. related to your subject of interest and then embedding (if in fact you find a group/topic that intersting) with them will give you a lot of structure for your shooting...it's hard coming up with story ideas...often i find it is just meeting one person, following one thought, one instinct...good luck!

Anna said...

Thanks for your advice Antrim! I also believe sometimes finding the write person/contact can make all the difference. I have had to put my idea on the back burner for the moment but I have every intention to carry on. I just need more time as usual and then I will find those perfect doggies!