MA – Week 6 / 7 reflection

MA – Week 6 / 7 reflection




{ Falmouth University MA in photography – CRJ }

In June 2019 I started my MA with Falmouth university as part of an accredited education programme.


This week we have been given specific things to thing about and point to in our reflection …


Do you see chance as a key part photography & to what extent does it play a role in your own practice?

Urm, YES ! Most definitely . As a birth photographer chance plays a pivotal role in everything I do pretty much. Chance that the birth isn’t too quick to get there. Chance what time of day it is, and by default what light there is. Chance as to what birth room you get if you’re in hospital, and how much room we have. Chance as to whether your baby is delivered occiput or cephalic, and also what position the mother delivers in, a baby facing the mothers spine is supposed to be the best for deliver in terms of ease and pain, but for photos this only really works photographically, if a mother is delivering on her hands and knees like below.

uk birth photographer Worcestershire , cornwall ,

uk birth photographer Worcestershire , cornwall ,

A lady who delivers on her back it’s ideal if as baby twists around you can be on the side the baby twists too. I adore this shot below, the time of day of delivery was perfect, positioning for photos, if not for labour, was perfect, but it was impossible for many reasons for me to be on the other side of mum for this shot. It was ideal as it was, but it was all dow to chance, and if baby had been facing me this shot would of been even more amazing than I already think it is:)

But a lot of our work this week has been done on just those one off moments. This was just one of those one off moments. Never have I ever been at a birth before or since, where mum delivered using the stirrups, I managed to get a shot from this angle, and the light was this awesome. Everything in photography is chance really, we just manipulate everything we can technically, and comfortably, that we can as artists . In this shot I had done everything I could, the rest was just left down to chance.

Ella : First baby : The Royal London hospital , London : Forcep delivery :followed by Haemorrhage :



Spend a few moments looking back at your contributions on this week’s forums, and those of your peers, as well as your notes from the presentations, further reading and other independent research.

Consider the concepts and ideas discussed:

  • What has challenged you?
  • What has surprised you?
  • What do you feel you have learned?


These two weeks the only real challenge I had was that I was ready to move on quite quickly, and was getting itchy for the next weeks work !

I was already finished with my oral presentation which a lot of people were still working on, so I completed this work quite early on in the fortnight we had to do it in. The free time afterwards though, did mean that I have managed to complete every single piece of reading we have been given so far for the MA, along with reading some more of home truths, and on photography, which I am really happy about. It wasn’t all amazing, or especially relevant to me or my practice, some of it was unbelievably so, but mostly, it was all just really really interesting, even if not directly relevant to me.

What surprised me was crying in the group webinar this week when I presented my images and tried to talk about my dad, and the garden, and all the things I had captured in the images . I knew they were very emotional for me, but didn’t expect to cry, and now it’s recorded for ever and ever for me to go back and remember how bad I look when I cry:)

I’ve learned that I can get a project done super quickly. Working with other people, just like our first collaborative week, is actually really really fun ! I’ve learned there is an awesome site for downloading bird calls, which is just so beautiful; that people on this earth take the time, to just listen to and record birds, how cool is that, that some people see (or in this case hear) beauty so much, they would spend their free time doing that ! Here’s the website incase anyone ever feels like wasting a few hours:)


Write a reflective account of the Peer Commissioned Micro Project. How did you find the process? Was it helpful? Evaluate the set of images you produced.

Amy and I collaborated on this project, and after the seriousness (and stresses) of doing the oral presentation, I *think* everyone, but I know definitely we two, wanted this weeks project to be a bit of lighthearted relief from the OP. Something we could do easily, simply, and that would bring us joy. Odd then, that I chose something which ultimately made me sad, but….. the process of photographing, and then making the slideshow I found super fun. It was an aspect of my life I don’t really have time to think of, or dwell on all that much, so it was very calming, and grounding, to be able to give time to something that I wouldn’t normally.

Amy and I by coincidence actually set each other both the same brief, to have a try and doing some pschyogeography.

“Psychogeography: a beginner’s guide. Unfold a street map … place a glass, rim down, anywhere on the map, and draw round its edge. Pick up the map, go out … and walk the circle, keeping as close as you can to the curve. Record the experience as you go, in whatever medium you favour: film, photograph, manuscript, tape. Catch the textural run-off of the streets; the graffiti, the branded litter, the snatches of conversation … Log the data-stream. Be alert to the happenstance of metaphors, watch for visual rhythms, coincidences, analogies, family resemblances, the changing moods of the street. Complete the circle and the record ends. Walking makes for content; footage for footage.”
Robert MacFarlane, ‘A Road of One’s Own’, in Times Literary Supplement, 07.10.2005.


My “circle” was the teeniest tiniest circle around my childhood family home . Specifically the gardens around it, and the life and memories they hold. The coalescence of beautiful living breathing growth that my brother imbues upon the land there, and the fractured overgrown shadows of memories in a land that our father dug, tended, built, and moulded throughout our childhood, right up until his death.


As I say I found the process of taking the images, very enjoyable, even if there was a tint of sadness, there was equally more pleasure to be gained from remembering special times.

With respect to the actual images, I actually really like them. I don’t really produce images like this a lot at all, and it certainly isn’t my specialism. I find framing without people very hard to do, like I am never really 100% on whether my choice of framing is right, or could be better, I am much more comfortable in a documentary setting, and taking ‘on the fly’ as it were, where it’s all instinctive, and less planned. But I was pleasantly surprised by how they came out, again , it was just enjoyable. Not life changing, or an epiphany  moment, but just different and fun, as photography should be, an exercise in enjoyment, and being present in the moment.

For Amy I gave her the same brief, but as she keep animals (specifically geese, chickens and ducks) on the land she lives on in the U.S, I gave her the added ridiculous twist of doing it from a gooses perspective. She came up with some awesome pieces that she mocked up on to pillows as part of her project, which I found absolutely hilarious, and totally encompassed all that was supposed to be fun, and refreshing about this weeks brief !


Also, document and reflect on any progress on your practical work so far.

I’ve still only been shooting our own children for research so far, but I’ve been really happy with the images and direction of what I am producing. I ordered a couple of newspapers of my work in progress images the other day, ready for Arles next week, and so sad, I have to go to Paris on Monday to pick them up, oh it’s a hard hard life I lead:)So I am very excited about seeing those. It was very hard to shortlist what I wanted in them, being both good examples of my research so far, but also they are so I can see how the images are printing, so I needed a good selection of different colours and tones, which I found hard to do as I am usually very cohesive when it comes to albums, and old about them being the same tones, and being interwoven precisely, these feel a little disjointed at the moment. In the end I ended up ordering two as I had to many to just keep in one book, a bit more money than I would of liked to of spent, so fingers crossed they don’t disappoint !

I am actually doing my first shoot of a home education group tomorrow , as my first ‘official’ piece of work in relation to my research project , so thats very exciting, and on that note …. I need to go and sort my model release forms !!!



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