Proposal Pitch & Feedback – Week 4.

Is still life photography becoming commercialised?

Mode of presentation selected.

For the topic of my research project, I will explore the question of whether still life photography is becoming increasingly commercialised. My project will be shown through a symposium presentation as I feel this is the most appropriate way to share my findings, as well as allowing me to develop my presenting skills further.

Description of subject to be investigated.

My idea for my research project has stemmed from a personal interest in commercial photography that I wish to pursue further in a potential career, as well as proposed plans to work with still life in my final major project. Combining the two has presented me with questioning how the contemporary is challenging the preceding assumptions of still life. With this I can begin to research still life photography and how it has progressed from the beginning, leading to how it has developed commercially. Through these initial ideas, I can also conduct an argument as to why it has become commercial. This allows me to explore wider issues of whether money has influenced this shift, as well as how different marketing and advertising strategies has promoted still life alternatively. This also has a heavy influence on how viewers will develop their own thoughts and opinions, as a consumer may interpret something different to an artist on a photography piece. By introducing this idea, it will allow me to engage and interact with my symposium audience by requesting their own views on pieces of work. I will use various photographers and examples for both still life photography and commercialised still life so I can inform and discuss the changes with my audience in order for them to have a better understanding of the industry and form their own thoughts and ideas.

Sources to be utilised and what methods will be used to acquire them. 

There are a number of sources from which I shall retrieve my information. My starting point will begin with books and articles on still life and commercial photography from Coventry University’s Lancaster Library. By searching these topics and finding appropriate material, I can then read through these and pick out key extracts allowing me to begin forming my paper and the points I wish to discuss. It will also introduce me to various artists that I can go on to explore their work and how it will support my arguments. There will also be a number of online web pages I will view particularly for commercial photography, as with the current digital age this will be the preferred method of presenting and sharing work. I can also conduct interviews, which will enable me to gain first hand opinions and information to also consider. I may also visit art galleries and exhibitions for quantative data analysis by recording how much still life photography I can locate versus the amount of commercial photography. All material used will be appropriately referenced throughout the research and writing of my paper.

Methods/Forms of interpretation/analysis to be used.

Once I have acquired the material needed to form my paper, I will analyse it thoroughly in order to form arguments both for and against. It will also enable me to produce an answer to my proposed question. The use of interviews, analysis and quantative data will provide evidence to support the arguments I will present.

Plan/schedule of work.

The schedule of work will be spread over 5 months. Acquiring my data, including viewing articles and web pages, analysing material from books and conducting interviews, will take place in the beginning months of the schedule. By November I will be writing and putting together my paper in preparation for group tutorial presentations and a full practice run at the beginning of December. Following feedback via tutorials, I will be able to make appropriate changes to continuously improve and shape my paper for the symposium date at the end of February and submission date on 4th March 2015.


Acker, L (n.d) Leo Acker Photographer [Online] available from <> [15 October 2014]

Breakey, A (n.d) Annabelle Breakey Photography [Online] available from <> [15 October 2014]

Christ, M (n.d) Marcel Christ [Online] available from <> [18 October 2014]

Daffurn, R & Hicks, R. (1985) Pictures that sell: a guide to successful stock photography. London: William Collins Sons & Co Ltd.

Grummett, S (n.d) Scott Grummett: Still Life [Online] available from <> [15 October 2014]

Hicks, R & Schultz, F. (2002) Still life and special effects photography: a guide to professional lighting techniques. Switzerland: Rotovision SA.

Knowles, J (n.d) Jonathan Knowles [Online] available from <> [16 October 2014]

O’Connor, M. (1989) Conceptual still life photography. Switzerland: Rotovision SA.

Parfitt, D (n.d) David Parfitt [Online] available from <> [19 October 2014]

Pendleton, B. (1982) Creative Still Life Photography. U.K: Blandford Press.

Perers, K (2014) Kristin Perers [Online] available from <> [16 October 2014]

Petry, M. (2013) Nature morte: contemporary artists reinvigorate the still-life tradition. London: Thames & Hudson Ltd.

Rowell, M. (1997) Objects of desire: the modern still life. New York: The Museum of Modern Art.

Salomon, A. (1982) Advertising photography. London: Thames & Hudson Ltd.

Saunders, D. (1994) The world’s best advertising photography. London: B.T. Batsford Ltd.

The Arts Council Collection (1989) It’s a still life. London: The Southbank Board.

Van Sommers, J (n.d) Jenny Van Sommers [Online] available from <> [17 October 2014]


  • Still life and commercialised still life both huge areas to be able to cover both in depth.
  • Huge history of still life, both painting and photography.
  • Consider investigating one rather than both.
  • How can I investigate how it is becoming ‘more’ commercialised rather than the initial change?
  • May not necessarily need to look so much into marketing/advertising strategies, how it is being used to make money.
  • Daniel Gordon.
  • Sarah Jones.
  • Eled Lassry.

~ by victoriasimkissphotography on October 22, 2014.

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