This week we was lucky enough to have a online talk from Photographer, Bronia Stewart. She discussed her three major projects, Babestation, Essex and Pepe. She uses harsh flash throughout her images which really makes Bronia’s work stand out and recognisable. From starting her career and finishing her masters Bronia carried out different job roles before becoming a freelance photographer. She discussed the job of being a assistant to another photographer. She said it is a very tough and not very well paid but you do learn a lot and have the opportunity to be around people who influence you. It’s a great way in to learn how to be a professional and be a photographer on your own.
Bronia made some excellent points for when she sets out to make a project. Always be clear in what images you want to produce. When approaching your subjects show them examples of the type of images you want to produce. She would give out prints rather than sending them out. Always be honest with your subject of what your aim is. When carrying out a documentary photography make a clear start of the images you want to take. With all projects Bronia has always struggled to get subjects. When carrying out projects you always get to the point where you don’t know what you want to take. Never give up because it will always click and work out in the end.
Pepe- Pepe is a project about gang violence, following a certain boy. Throughout the project she captures the gang of Pepe but also the loving and caring side to his family. She really pushed the project photographing the same people every day. Having set deadlines to push you as much as possible. If you know you only have 1 month to take the whole project you know you will have it finished in that time frame. You shoot as much as possible within how much time you have. When Bronia found she had infinite time she found herself faffing around. Push harder to find different angles in the subject matter, work with different people to find out what really works.
Babestation- Babestation is a main project of Bronia’s. She went behind the scenes with the models and started to photograph them behind the scenes. She got very close with the people she was shooting with. She wanted to get a firm balance between not wanting to prompt the models but not to judge or portray them in the wrong way.
Essex- After Babestation she wanted to carry on women who are influenced by the media. Not needing any skill or aspiration but still living a very luxury life style. She looked at the glamour, modelling and reality tv. She even became a extra on TOWIE to meet the extras she wanted to photograph. Its very easy to judge young women with money and there’s a lot behind the scenes when spending time with people.
Bronia discusses that when starting a project and you carry out one shoot you know the project is going to be worth going back and if it is working. Its not about the pictures its the relationship with the subject and if the subjects enjoying it. If you don’t work well with the subject you can leave the project after the first shoot if it’s not working. The research part if frustrating. The emailing behind a laptop and finding the right subjects, but its all worth it in the end.