Thinking Locally – Day 3 – Jennifer Osborne

OSBORNE_Day03_01
(Jennifer Osborne)

After trying out a few assignments and personal projects abroad, I have realized the importance of thinking on a local level. Sometimes I feel photographers get trapped into thinking foreign things are more interesting than the things we see day to day. It certainly is harder to keep a fresh eye to the things we see each day… But I think it is even harder to have a deeper eye for things that are new and shiny.

OSBORNE_Day03_01
(Jennifer Osborne)

After shooting in various countries including Brazil, Cuba, Colombia, China, Italy, USA, UK and Turkey, I have realized that I always feel disappointed about not having enough time in those places to produce truly meaningful or well thought out work. I always find myself feeling like I wanted more access, time or understanding of the language and scenarios. This is why I have decided to start seriously producing work in my part of the world – Vancouver, BC.

OSBORNE_Day03_01
(Jennifer Osborne)

It has been challenging for me to continue on with my Vancouver based work, which I call “Tough Blood” because I often feel that the subject matter is dead, or that I have shot every possible angle, but this is never true. There are always ways to go deeper into a theme or a story. It’s not easy finding ways to articulate something at such a precise level, but I am trying. With this series, TOUGH BLOOD, I often take long breaks in between shooting personal work because it allows me distance and time to think about what I am doing on a subconscious level.

OSBORNE_Day03_01
(Jennifer Osborne)

OSBORNE_Day03_01
(Jennifer Osborne)

OSBORNE_Day03_01
(Jennifer Osborne)

Vancouver has a very large problem with drug addiction, mental illness and homelessness and as you can imagine, there have been many photographs taken to continue this negative image of the city. But with my work, I intend to show the character of the people from the DTES and their ability to transcend harsh living conditions, with a spotlight on the quirkiness of the neighborhood. All of the photos posted today come from TOUGH BLOOD. I strongly recommend any photographer work on a long-term project, even if it is between international stories, because it will only deepen your understanding of what makes an image strong, conceptually and visually.

For inspiration, check out a few of my favourite long-term projects shot by photographers native to the location of the story:

  1. Lauren Greenfield’s “Fast Forward
  2. Martin Parr’s “Think of England
  3. Ernesto Bazan’s “Bazan Cuba
  4. Mikhael Subotzky’s “Die Vier Hoeke
  5. Trent Parke’s “Dream/Life

So yea, I strongly recommend dedicating a portion, if not a majority, of your photographic practice to one subject or region because it will leave you with a meaningful body of work that speaks volumes about a situation.

OSBORNE_Day03_01
(Jennifer Osborne)

Category: Member's Blog

One comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. Please be patient.