Project development / contextual research / Ethics

On Saturday I designed a new video of Daisy and Lily’s (not their real names’) photo sessions I did with them in Nov 19.

Firstly, ‘Daisy and Lily’ asked if I could not use their real names, and they chose these names instead. Secondly, their mum asked if I could not use hers and her partners names as well.

In addition during the photoshoot, Lily requested NOT to have her face, as in recognisable face, in the images. Instead she wanted to have photographs taken from the side or behind. When I originally booked all these photoshoots in, I explained to both the parents and children, that this was a possibility if they wishes. Lily chose this, where as her mum and sister were not worried about it and were happy to have their faces in the images.

I observed this in their video.

In the next block in early 2020 the families in my project completed a short online survey for me , where I was trying to gain some basic facts and thoughts from all the project participants. This was the survey –

Daisy and Lily’s mum completed the form, stating I could use their responses either alongside the images or independently , but please don’t use their real names.

I added questions and quotes from their survey responses alongside their images , to compliment the various images.

As I had no audio from this session, or video, I have contacted the mum to see if she would like to ask the girls if they would like to record some audio to go alongside. The reason I did this, is I believe the audio makes the slideshow/videos much more interactive, personal and interesting to watch. There is a LOT of work on this website, and it needs to keep you engaged. If there were no audio on any of the slideshows I think this would be a very hard ask.

I suggested the girls could read the instructions for the science experiments they did in the photos, or , I sent them the link to the completed video without the audio, and said they could either record the girls reactions, or the girls could have a conversation about the images, and we can use that, as that is an education as well, discussing what was happening, or discussing the images. I did make it clear that there was no pressure to do this at all, that it was entirely the girls choices, whether they wanted to contribute as well as what. They have control over those choices. I am waiting to hear from them on this.

As their images are primarily about science, in addition I put a post out on a home ed group I am in, about science and home education. It is one of the main things (along with drama and sports) that people always act skeptical that you could do if you are home-educated, let alone successfully. I am usually greeted with huge amounts of skepticism when I explain one of my sons achieved 8/8/9 ( old style A*/A**/A** ) across the 3 sciences at only 14 and 15 as a home educated child, and each syllabus was completed and then the exam taken within 6 months (they usually just flat out don’t believe the last bit!). People just don’t understand. We are so conditioned to think science is only for a select few, the secrets of which are withheld form everyone else, the ‘laymans’. We , as a society, think you need labs and lots of expensive equipment and definitely a professor to impart dangerous secret knowledge on our children. These things have their place obviously, but they are by no means a necessary thing as lots of home-educators will tell you !

I have asked parents to share personal experiences of the public saying things like this to do with science to them, as I would like to share some of these alongside the images of this family literally up to their elbows in science on their dining room table.

In addition I have approached the online science tutoring service that my son used to ask them for a quote on this as well.

This is going to be a new experiment for me as all the other videos are specifically quoted from the people within them. I don’t want it to seem like I am putting words into this families mouths , so I will need to play with this a little. It may be that it needs to be a different video in the end. I am not sure yet.

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This blog is written as part of my studies on the Falmouth University photography ma, an accredited educational programme.