My Photography I class is just a semester long, and will very soon be finished. Each week we discuss an artist or technique and they spend the weekend shooting in that style. Then, they edit the photos all week, implementing some new Photoshop technique I want them to learn. This happens over and over again until about now- the last two weeks of class. Now, we start to get serious.
The kids begin to build a personal portfolio in Power Point of their 20 best photos from the semester along with an artist statement. Additionally, they research one famous photographer, write a one-page essay on their life and works, and shoot in their style. Since we look at artists all year long, I try to compile my final list of artists with names the kids are unfamiliar with. I have a standard list that’s been my go-to for the last few years, but wanting to switch it up a little, I found a list of the 100 most influential photographers of all time from Professional Photographer, and used that instead.
*Beware, if you choose to use this list, some of the photographers on here specialize in nudes! I had to edit a bit before releasing it to my kids.*
I allow my kids to peruse the list and hand in their top 3 choices so I could sift through them and assign each student a different photographer. I’m glad I changed things up, because the kids picked some really interesting characters! Some of the photographers on this list I hadn’t heard of before- or, I’d heard their names or seen their work, but never connected the two.
What I wanted to share with you was the connections my kids made. I’ve been looking at their work all year long, and I was curious to see what types of photographers they’d choose to research. I found that a lot of the kids chose artists who work similarly to the way they’ve been shooting all year.
For example, one of my best boy student's work compared with the artist of his choice- William Eggleston:
This one I also found to be quite interesting- here's another student's work compared with her artist of choice- Horst P. Horst:
And finally, one of my most talented students work compared wiht her choice- Paolo Roversi:
Kinda crazy, huh? It's cool to see that the students have developed their style all on their own, and then find that style in professional photographer's works. I can see why each of these students was drawn to the work of the artist they chose. And you know what's really funny? I just realized that these three students all sit next to each other in class!
This weekend they'll be shooting in the style of these photographers (consciously, this time) and I'll share the work with you once they've finished!