Project Proposal & Feedback.

Project Proposal.


“Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that has a seasonal pattern. It’s estimated that SAD affects about 2 million people in the UK.” Having previously shared my story of my own battle with anxiety in Phonar, I wanted to continue highlighting the problems and stigma of mental health and help raise awareness specifically of seasonal affective disorder through the power of photography. In order to do so, I will be photographing still life and landscape throughout Autumn, Winter & Spring to represent the changes in our surrounding environment throughout the year and reflect how it can make those suffering with SAD feel.

I will conduct research into still life and landscape photographers that I feel appropriate and relevant to my practice allowing me to appreciate their style and develop my own ideas. I will also fully research SAD in order for me to gain a thorough understanding of the disorder and portray a true representation of it. In order for my photographs to represent emotions and feelings experienced by those who suffer with SAD, I intend to search and contact people through social media and personal relations. This will allow me to ask them about their own personal journey and how I can represent these experiences through my photographs.

By shooting throughout the year this will build a solid base of images that cover the different weather conditions and atmospheres we face, as well as festivities that come with each season. I can return to these images for the editing process in which I will select the most appropriate photographs in relation to what I learn about SAD sufferers. I will be shooting both in and out of the studio, embracing natural light and experimenting with artificial light to compose interesting and intriguing images. I will also follow up with postproduction to edit my images as desired to enhance them aesthetically.

The presentation strategy I intend to take is through a selection of printed and framed images. Those that are not selected as my final prints I will present in a photo book to create a narrative of the change through the seasons and quotes from the people I speak to that suffer with seasonal affective disorder.


This project will enable me to develop a variety of skills. My research skills will be continually improved whilst using a number of resources to build a better understanding of my theme. I will begin with the use of library books based on still life and landscape, particularly those that focus on weather. I will also use books about SAD. Once I have discovered these books, this may lead me in the direction of connecting the two and finding artists who have used photography as a tool when portraying mental health. I will also use journals, articles and websites for both topics to broaden my knowledge of ideas and concepts. I will develop my communication skills through conducting informal interviews to learn of personal experiences of those suffering with SAD.

My project will allow my to develop my photographic skills particularly in the studio. I intend to experiment with different lighting set ups to portray different moods and feelings in my images. I will also be shooting with a macro lens which I have very little experience with, allowing me to highlight fascinating textures in my objects. Through postproduction I will develop my Photoshop skills to a high, aesthetically pleasing standard.


  • Photoshoots started in September – November for Autumn images.
  • Shooting of Winter images: December – February.
  • First project proposal pitch – January 13th.
  • Shooting of Spring images: March – April.
  • Find all appropriate resources for research. 11th February.
  • Completed informal interviews with sufferers of SAD. 28th February.
  • Selection of Autumn images. 1st March.
  • Complete analysis of research. 11th March.
  • Selection of Winter images. 13th April.
  • Selection of Spring images. 15th April.
  • Final decision of presentation methods. 23rd April.
  • Selection of finals. 24th April.
  • Make photo book. 27th April.
  • Send photo book to print. 28th April.
  • Print finals. 8th May.
  • Mount finals. 11th May.
  • Deadline 20th May 2015.


By the end of this project, I want to have used a solid base of thorough research into photographers and SAD to inspire my own style and ideas to produce an interesting and engaging piece of work. Through critically analyzing my own practice and images, I will learn what makes a successful image and what does not work so well. This will result in consistent experimentation and professional commitment to produce the best results that will form the high quality photographic material presented to my audience. I want my work to be easily understood for all, allowing my audience to appreciate seasonal affective disorder, continually helping contribute to encouraging those suffering with mental health to speak out. Overall, I hope to have learnt how to successfully share an important message to many people through my photographs. I also hope to have improved my confidence further as a photographer in research, developing ideas, shooting, analyzing, postproduction and presenting.

Project feedback following APT.

  • Always bring in material to show, photos ect.
  • Research representation.
  • Incorporate elements of story telling.
    • How are artists doing this?
    • How are they using still life?
  • Potentially shoot with large or medium format cameras.
  • Representative of their experience?
  • Is it my story?
  • Research still life as a genre.
    • History.
    • Loaded with meaning.
    • First intended for objects to communicate broader themes, mortal.
  • Books/Artists to consider:
    • Stilled Life by women.
    • Laura Letinksy.
    • Robyn Stacey – references still life painting.
    • Sam Taylor Wood – contemporary of still life tradition.
    • Self publish be happy.
    • Rinko Kawuchi.
  • Need to take a lot of pictures.

Where do I go from here?

  • I need to consider shooting with large or medium format cameras. I am not very confident with the idea of this, neither am I with the loading/handling of film and processing however this could be advantageous in terms of pushing myself and experimentation.
  • Sort my selection of Autumn images to show next week.
  • Start collecting for my research.
  • Consider my approach of how I am going to find people who suffer with SAD and how I am going to talk to them. I think it is important for me to do this soon as it may affect how I continue to think, frame and shoot my images.
  • Need to start shooting Winter images asap, I often find myself looking and thinking that could make a good picture for my FMP therefore I am considering keeping a camera on me at all times, just for quick shots here and there whilst also continuing with bigger shoots.

~ by victoriasimkissphotography on January 14, 2015.

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