During my short time as a photographer, if there is one thing I have enjoyed in terms of technicality, it’s developing film and printing my own photographs. It’s a skill I learned in such a short time and a skill I have yet to perfect, but I am eager to do so. I have worked with 35mm and felt comfortable enough to move forward on to 120, medium format. Developing my skills as a photographer has been extremely rewarding, and seeing the difference between 35mm and 120 absolutely astounded me and made me want to progress further. I want my FMP to reflect in what I have learned and the progress I have made. Photography was never my career goal, nor my ambition. However, over the last two years, I have fallen completely in love with it.
For my Final Major Project, I want to implicate something that has affected myself and many people around the world. When I was eight years old, I lost my auntie to cancer. She was diagnosed at the young age of sixteen, and at eighteen, she had to lose one of her legs. She passed away in her sleep, shortly after becoming terminal. Not long after she passed away, I had the heart breaking news that both of my grandparents had also been stricken by this horrible disease. As a young child, I didn’t really know anything about cancer, all I knew is that it killed. As you can imagine, at eight or nine years old it was pretty terrifying. My grandmother fought extremely hard, right up until the day she died in December 2015, she was fighting. My grandfather is still fighting, even after losing his wife. In the summer of 2015, we had the news that my step father had also been struck with the disease. He is still fighting a battle he may not win.
So I want to dedicate my FMP to those who have been affected by cancer. Whether they have lost someone, or are fighting. I want to raise awareness. Although the disease is very well known all over the world, the treatment for that disease isn’t. Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy are the two main treatments for cancer, and it is dreadful. It’s almost as though the patient has to die a little bit to make a recovery. Both treatments significantly lower the patient’s immune system, putting them at risk to the point where the common cold could kill them.
I aim to contact Macmillan, a notorious charity that aids cancer patients and their families. Whether it is medical support, mental health or grieving support, they are always willing to help. I wish to spend some time with three different patients and photograph them. I will use a Hasselblad and shoot on 120 black and white film. I will take three portraits of each of the patients, one before, one during and one after chemo or radiotherapy. I understand that this is a very delicate subject matter, one that needs extreme care and attention. I will put what I have learned about ethics to use and build a relationship with these people. I will be starting with my step father, so that when I approach Macmillan, they can see the kind of work I wish to do. I wish to shoot in a very Man-Ray style photography. His portraits are incredibly special to me due to the eeriness and lighting upon the subject.