Assignment Planning – Mirrors and Windows


For this assignment, we have to choose one of the following

a. mirror  – Choose a community that you’re already part of it can be your child’s nursery or your regular gym. but it should be something that takes up a substantial of your interest and time. Create a photographic response to how this group or community reflects on you? What do you share? how does it function as a mirror reflection of who you are?

b. Window – Use the opportunity to find out about a community that you don’t know much about and tell their story.  Get to know them and talk to them; learn by listening and understanding.  Your aim here is to become an insider.  You’re beginning as an outsider so it is important to choose a group that you can spend a lot of time with.  Negotiation skills and respect are intrinsic to working well with your subjects and are invaluable skills for your development as a photographer.  Be clear about your intentions and involve your subjects in the process in order to obtain the best results.   What window into this world can you access through your role as a photographer?

My thoughts –

At the start of this assignment, I was feeling a bit unsure about how to approach the brief I was not sure about the community part, to be honest. Recently moving back to the Uk I don’t feel I have found my place in the community I don’t think it helps that I’m an introvert and it takes me a while to settle. After much thought, I decided that I just need to get on with it so I decided that I was going to with a. A mirror according to John Swarkowski a mirror is a romantic expression of the photographer’s sensibility as it projects itself in the things and sights of the world. My understanding is that a mirror is an introspective narrative and therefore an examination of one’s own conscious thoughts and feelings be it psychologically or spiritual. The brief asks us to create a photographic series that reflects who we are as part of a group/community something that plays a big part in my life is my role as a mother. My idea for this assignment is to create a photographic series that explores the relationship between mother and daughter in relation to time.

Planning for the assignment :

Before starting the assignment I researched photographers that used the same concept as I was thinking about childhood memories and motherhood. Feeling inspired I started to work on my own ideas for the assignment. My aim for this assignment is to create a series of images that show the relationship between mother and daughter in relation to time. My mother lives in South Africa so I don’t get to see her much. Recently my mother has not been very well and this got me thinking about how fast my daughter is growing up. A mother’s relationship with a child is special when we are younger we are so dependent on our mothers and as we grow older this dependence becomes less we grow up we become independent with our own families this got me thinking about time and how much of this time I have with my daughter the special moments my plan for this assignment is to try and show this in a series of images.

Experimenting with ideas –

The start of the assignment I started to shoot the images in my studio I collected my daughter’s keepsakes and started to experiment with that.  I then decided that I wanted to show my mother somehow in the photographs and so I moved on to self-portraits of me holding an image of my mother and daughter.   Still feeling a bit unsure about where the assignment was going I started to work on my daughter’s portraits.  I was feeling inspired by the work of Laura Makabaa I liked her idea of combining three generations of woman in one image to show the relationship between mothers and daughters.  I was also feeling very inspired by the work of Esther Teichmann and her use of different media in her work such as painting and photomontage.


Our course notes ask us to research ideas about how to put a series of images together we are asked to read Maria short Context and Narrative (I have made some notes in my planning about this). After doing my research I decided that I would approach this assignment by putting together an artboard of images this will help me sort and move images around to get an idea about what images I was going to use.

Artboard 1*the artboard is split into 4 different boards each board with ideas of images I think will work together.

After creating my first art board I wanted to see if my idea would work as mentioned above I feel inspired by the work of Teichmann and Makabaa so I am thinking about creating a series of montage images that show the relationship between mother and daughter in relation to time.

attempt 1 – 


Nikon d5200 f/6.3, 1/20, ISO 800, 18-140mm@18mm tripod used and camera set to timer, natural lighting used from the window.

I decided to start with my self portrait of me holding a photograph of my mother and daughter at two weeks old I like the idea of the photograph because it show the love between mother and daughter.

_DSC0030Nikon d5200 f/3.5, 1/200, ISO 100, 18-140mm@18mm tripod used and camera set to timer

To create my layered image like Makabaa I used photoshop layers and masks I decided to flip the image of me and my daughter I think that it works well in the open space I also experimented with the blending mode and opacity to get desired effect. By creating a layered image I’m able to show how time changes the image of me holding an old photograph from the past of my daughter 2 weeks old and my daughter now age 10.

The final image –

After much thought and looking at the work of the artist mentioned in my planning notes I decided that I wanted to create a black and white series of images. The images I’m creating is a cherished moment, the series is about my daughter as a child and how I see her at this moment in time I feel that by converting the images to black and white it will create that nostalgic feeling I have thinking about time and how much I have with her being a young child.

Planning the assignment –

*After experimenting and research.  I started to work on the final edits for my assignment.  My idea for this assignment is to create a series of black and white photographs I have decided to convert the images to black and white to give it that timeless feel.   I feel inspired by the work of Makanaa and Teichman and how they combined there images together to create a story so for this assignment I want to create a series of photo montage images that tell my story about the relationship between mother and daughter, I am exploring childhood memories and how much time I have before she is grown up.  I will continue to use my artboard’s as I think this works well because it helps with the planning and choosing of images that work well together.

Artboard 2*the artboard consists of my final edits for the assignment

Image 1 –

When thinking about the image I wanted to show time the past and the present.

Nikon d5200, f/8, ISO 100, 18-140mm@48mm

Inspired by the work of Teichmann and the work of Irking Walczak’s image from her series of work Portraits of Yaya I wanted to create something with a dreamlike effect to it.  I thought this image would work well so I started experimenting with photoshop.

*Using photoshop I converted the image to black and white I experimented with different filters and decided to use a fibre filter to creat a veil effect over the image I then used the blending mode exclusion this creates a veil over the image which I think works well for the dreamlike effect I want.



I want to show the old with the new I want to show a memory of something that once was to do this I will add the photographs I took at the start of the assignment of my daughters keepsakes. When I started to work on the image I did not get the idea of the clock till after putting the image together I felt like something was missing in the image when I decided to use the clock the clock shows the time my daughter was born by adding a spin blur to the image I’m able to show the movement of time which I think will work well in my final image.

Using photoshop layers I added each individual image to my photograph to create a photo montage I used the blending mode, opacity and full as well as mask to create my desired effect for my final image I continued to use my art board to plan my position of my images and make notes.

Image 2- 

I had the idea of photographing my daughter with her bear, this childhood bear is known as traveling bear and is my daughters precious childhood possession this bear use to go with my daughter everywhere but as time passed and she got older the bear is only now used at night time my idea with using the bear in the photograph is to show something that is a big part of my daughters childhood I feel that the photograph shows the innocence of a child and how the simple little things are important to them at a very young age. I decided to do some research in child behaviour and see why children become attached to certain childhood possessions I found an interesting article online – a firm grasp on comfort written by Perri Klass, M.D according professor Alicia Lieberman an expert in infant mental health these so called childhood possessions is known as transitional objects they can be anything like blankets, soft toys like my daughters bear. These transitional objects are the specificity of the child’s preference and affection – parallels the developing ability to feel a strong specific attachment to particular people. This transitional object is a bridge between the mother and the external world.

When looking at the images I really wanted to use both images. I decided that I wanted to add the second image of my daughter holding the bear into the grass I would do this using the same technique as before in photoshop layers, mask and blending mode to create my desired effect. Image 2 my daughter holding the bear to the side shows the love for the bear but the change of not needed the bear as much by adding the second image to the grass I wanted to create that feeling of what use to be the past when all she wanted was to take the bear everywhere with her.

Image 3 –

My next thought was play the cherished moments of my daughter being a child and being carefree so I photographed her doing her favourite things blowing dandelions, skipping down the pathway and giving me flowers.

Nikon d5200, f/22, 1/20, ISO 100 18-140mm@18mm tripod used and shutter release/ slow shutter speed used to create the blurred movement because I wanted show the movement of her skipping down the path.

First attempt –

My first thought was to use the following photographs but when putting the photographs together it was just not working so I had to rethink my idea.

*I want to show an image that shows the playful side of my daughters childhood the small cherished moments that I want to remember.

Second attempt


I like the idea of this image it shows my daughter carefree skipping down the path I think the slow shutter speed works well because it shows the movement of the child at play and I think this works well with what I am trying to create in this image I want to keep this image and use it as my background image.

Rethinking the idea of images I decided to use different images image 1 I decided to use this image because I liked the edit and again it would create the dreamlike feel I want to my images image 2 I decided to use the image of my daughter blowing the dandelion this is the same as the previous image but previously I cropped the image. image 3 flowers for mummy while I was busy photographing my daughter she went to pick some flowers to give to me I decided to photograph the moment.

Image of my daughter is used as the background layer. Image 1 I used the content aware tool to make the canvas bigger I then blended the two images together. I decided to create a circle effect around the dandelion image and flowers for my mum by adding this to the image I think it creates a lovely effect it gives the image another dimension the reason I choose to add the circle to both images is because I feel it balances the image out.

Artboard 3 – *creating the images

Artboard 3.jpg

Artboard 4  *Putting the images together, I used the idea of the art board to decide on the sequence of my images.


Contact Sheets –


Assignment Planning –