The aim for this body of work was to capture portraits that show the expressions and emotions of my family and friends that remind me of who they really are using ‘in-camera’, double exposures. My family and friends are very important to me and I appreciate them more now living away from home and not seeing them on a daily basis. I love my new life at University but I do miss them all, especially my cheeky cousins – indeed they have become a recurring theme of this project. By using a medium format camera and 120 colour film to overlay two exposures onto one frame my goal was to create a beautiful blend of portraiture with nature to create a visual story and representation of their true characters.
As part of my A-Level Photography studies I created a series of multiple exposure imagery using the wizardry of Adobe Photoshop Layering functionality. Photoshop allowed me to be in charge of my artwork’s final outcome – I could tweak the results until the desired effect was realised. Using this tool I was able to create some surreal and fascinating imagery and I was fortunate that my work was selected for an exhibition held at the Headquarters of Fujitsu UK and Ireland in London, 2014. Still, I did feel using Photoshop ‘tricks’ to create these images seem a little like cheating and even underhanded. What I really wanted to do was to explore ‘real’ in-camera double exposures but have never had the opportunity or equipment to do so – until now. In-camera double exposures have given me endless experimental opportunities and opened up a whole world of unexpected and surprising results that, on occasions, have astounded me.
The concept behind my work is to combine portraits with nature to give an underlying meaning and connotation to the person’s character. Florigraphy is a recognised science of the study of flower meanings. From the beginning of recorded history, special meaning and significance has been assigned to different flowers and plants. The symbolic use of flowers is mentioned in Egyptian inscriptions, Chinese writings, and in Greek and Roman mythology. I wanted to use this ‘flower language’ as an essential component to these portraits such as using the Mexican Orange Blossom to symbolise purity and eternal love and the Forget-Me-Not, perhaps unsurprisingly, representing memories and not to forget. Centring my final images on a simple colour palette of white and neutral tones of beige and grey have bought a sense of calm and serenity to these images and thus emphasises the overall look of a dreamy, ethereal and atmospheric look I desired for this project.