Experimentation, Sustainable Prospects

Sustainable Prospects – Shoot Mod4#31 – Behind the Mask – My Mask #7


Poor girl with a mask on her face
can you really see through those cut-out holes
or are you completely blind?
to what’s before you, what you are missing?
what you are leaving behind?”

– Lauren Ashley (Hello Poetry, 2017)




Hello Poetry. (2017). Mask poems on Hello Poetry. [online] Available at: https://hellopoetry.com/words/mask/ [Accessed 12 Nov. 2017].

Coursework, Sustainable Prospects

Sustainable Prospects – Photographer’s Terms and Conditions

As part of this module, I have reviewed and rewritten my business terms and conditions.


The first document is the terms and conditions I use for all events and private bookings. I have used this document in various forms since 2015 and have recently updated it to the version attached here. This is written in consumer-friendly language.



The second document is a general terms and conditions document, created and adapted from the Association of Photographers website (The-aop.org, 2017). This is the document that I intend to attach to all estimates and treatments for commercial and editorial work.




The-aop.org. (2017). Legal & Business Forms. [online] Available at: https://www.the-aop.org/information/downloads/legal-business-forms [Accessed 26 Nov. 2017].

Lecture Notes, Sustainable Prospects

Sustainable Prospects – Advertising Agencies – Lecture Notes






Experimentation, Sustainable Prospects

Sustainable Prospects – Shoot Mod4#30 – Behind the Mask – Removing My Mask #4


Drawing inspiration from Gillian Wearing’s work involving masks (PREVIOUS BLOG POST), I decided to attempt to cast a mask of my own face and get other people to wear it in photographs.

With the help of a friend (Alison), I trialled covering my face with chromatic alginate. Following on from previous allergic reaction issues, I researched and chose a make that is both non-toxic and hypoallergenic.  The alginate changes colour as it sets (from pink to white) to ensure that the correct amount of time is given for the material to set.

Alison and I made sure that we had prepared everything well in advance as the material is fast setting. We completed a trial run and found the material to set incredibly quickly, even when made with cold water. We decided to make the mask in parts.

The other complication is that I have an irrational fear of things going into my eyes and I panic if I feel I cannot breathe. This made the process more challenging. This was especially true when the alginate went up my nose slightly. I panicked and ripped the mask off my mouth (which had to be redone). We kept the alginate away from my eyes to prevent another panic reaction.

The first mask (above) did not have any stability or integrity. It broke up before it could be strengthened. The whole mask ended up looking like white blancmange.

I then decided to retry using strips of bandage soaked in alginate. This was pressed and held against my face and produced a more stable mask. The alginate was easier to control and did not go anywhere unexpected, so this time there were no panic episodes.

In front of the camera wearing the mask I felt invincible. The mask was very powerful and quite stiff to remove. I removed the mask to reveal a severe allergic reaction to the bandage material used.

The inside of the mask is too rough to create a mask of my face. I would like to get a replica mask made of my face but am concerned about potential further allergic reactions and panic attacks if the moulding material gets in my eyes or up my nose. I intend to investigate professional mask making services and to have a discussion with them before any moulding process takes place.




Experimentation, Sustainable Prospects

Sustainable Prospects – Shoot Mod4#29 – Behind the Mask – My Mask #6


Behind my mask of silver and gold
My identity is hidden well
No one sees past the masquerade
The beauty of the mask puts them under a spell
They get lost in swirling patterns
Of crushed velvet in midnight blue
In a trance and blind to the truth
Tears run down my face like morning dew
But no one notices
The pain that I bear
Because I still dance in circles
With the moonlight in my hair
And the mask on my face
Is where it shall stay
Because my life is a masquerade
And it fools the world every day”

– Satsuki Sep 2014 (Hello Poetry, 2017)


Applying a Gold Collagen mask to my face, I felt a little like CP30 from Star Wars!. The mask is quite slimy and kept moving as the shots were taken. This felt the same as it does when my daily mask slips a little and starts to show who I really am. I do not like this sensation, it makes me uneasy and feels very risky.

“Sometimes it’s not the people who change; it’s the mask that falls off.”

– (Nancyjohnsonsmith.com, 2017)


My true emotions and expressions beneath this mask are hard to read. The eye slots are restrictive to both see out and in. The mouth slot is very limiting. The mask moulds to my face, so it picks up some of the muscle movement below it.

The gold mask is symbolic of the masks I place on every day to face the world. Sometimes it slips. Would you recognise me without my mask? Will you celebrate who I am, offering me support and encouragement to be myself unmasked?




Hello Poetry. (2017). Mask poems on Hello Poetry. [online] Available at: https://hellopoetry.com/words/mask/ [Accessed 12 Nov. 2017].

Nancyjohnsonsmith.com. (2017). Losing Our Masks – Shifting Our Relationships | Nancy Johnson Smith. [online] Available at: https://nancyjohnsonsmith.com/losing-our-masks-shifting-our-relationships/ [Accessed 25 Nov. 2017].


Coursework, Sustainable Prospects

Sustainable Prospects – Pricing Photographs




Experimentation, Sustainable Prospects

Sustainable Prospects – Shoot Mod4#28 – Behind the Mask – My Mask #5

Eyes are often referred to as the windows to the soul. If you can’t see my eyes, you cannot see my soul. You cannot know what I am feeling or thinking.

Psychologists Sebastiaan Mathôt and Stefan Van der Stigchel proposed that our eyes (and in particular our pupils) react to our emotions, revealing our true feelings and intentions to those we engage with. We have no control over this response of the pupils. They argue that “studies have shown that the light response is far more than a reflex, and reveals what you attend to, how you interpret what you see, and even what you think about” (Mathôt and Van der Stigchel, 2015: 374)

My gaze does not return your gaze. Your eyes are drawn to this image, yet you cannot penetrate beyond the flowers. There is tension between what you see and what I reveal. It is easy to fake a smile with my mouth, but not so easy to fake it with my eyes. My eyes always give me away. By looking at my eyes, you will know how I am really thinking.

So are the eyes the window to my soul?

It says in Luke 11:34 “the eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body is also full of darkness.” (The Holy Bible, 2005: 809). I interpret this as if you look into my eyes you would be able to see how I feel; you could see the truth and sincerity in my expression. My true self and identity is accessed through my eyes. I take away the option to look into my eyes and you cannot know who I am. I will then be who I want you to think I am.

When I am ready I will let you look into my eyes.





The Holy Bible. (2005). Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Bibles.

Mathôt, S. and Van der Stigchel, S. (2015). New Light on the Mind’s Eye: The Pupillary Light Response as Active Vision. Current Directions in Psychological Science, [online] 24(5), pp.374-378. Available at: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0963721415593725 [Accessed 25 Nov. 2017].

Project Development, Sustainable Prospects

Sustainable Prospects – Mask Image Variations

In order to increase the engagement of the viewer with the project, and following feedback received in a webinar, I have experimented with the mask images. I wanted to make the viewer relate to the participants and feel challenged by the person behind the mask.

The masked people images (figure 1), reveal an awful lot about the person. As a viewer, we are not as challenged when we see the person behind the mask.

I chose to photograph each mask on its own (figure 2). The viewer then needs to engage with the images and the words to determine who they think is behind the mask. By not seeing the person’s hair, gender, clothing etc., the viewer wonders about and will make assumptions about the person behind the mask. They have to decide, from their own life experiences, what the person will look like. The reveal leaves the viewer challenged in their perception of what people are hiding. This makes the project more powerful and makes the viewer realise that ‘ordinary’ people suffer too. These people could be someone they know. The message of the project is stronger this way.

I have received comments from viewers that they did not expect the person behind the mask image to look like they did. In some cases, they even guessed the gender and age incorrectly. They have gone on to comment that the images behind the masks are sometimes shocking in their content and they feel a real, genuine concern and connection with the person.

The process of recording each session has remained consistent, with the participants wearing the mask before taking it off to confront their issues. This is still an essential part of the process.

Figure 1 shows the original mask images, which do reveal a lot about the person behind the mask. This results in the viewer not being as invested and engaged in the images. Figure 2 is the masks alone.

Figure 1: Sutherst. Original mask images. 2017


Figure 2: Sutherst. New mask images. 2017

Practice Development, Sustainable Prospects

Sustainable Prospects – Photographic Product Review

In late October, I was asked by Saal Digital to take part in a photo book product test.  For transparency, the photobook was provided to my specification and design, but I am not being paid to promote the company. I was given a voucher to cover most of the cost of the book and I paid the balance of the book I ordered.

Firstly, I downloaded their Design Software and was able to quickly and easily choose options to suit my Equine Landscapes project. There is a diverse range of design options, quality of print mediums, and templates available to use. The design process took less than 30 minutes to complete. The screenshots of the design pages are below:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

© Jo Sutherst 2017 – Copying or redistributing these images is not permitted without express written permission.


To really test the quality that Saal could provide, the specification I chose to order was:

Photobook XT (extra thick) 19 x 19 Spreads: matte photo paper, 20 pages
Cover: leather sapphire black, cover padding: padded, without barcode

Delivery was fast.  It took just over a week from ordering to delivery. This is quite impressive considering it has come from Germany.

So my first impressions were good. The book was delivered well protected in the packaging. The leather cover is absolutely gorgeous. The extra cover padding gives it a luxurious and expensive feel. The texture of the leather enhanced the tactile feel of the cover. The print on the cover is sharp and of a very high quality.

The XL pages I chose are an incredible 1.08mm thick and printed on 600gsm paper. The thickness adds to the feeling of quality. The matte finish works perfectly with my images, the colour reproduction is excellent, and the printed images are bright. The images are beautifully detailed and clear.

The lay-flat binding feels very secure and is very neat. I chose not to have any images placed across the binding but having seen the quality Saal produced I would be very confident that this would offer high-quality images, adding flexibility in the design.


A video of the actual photo book is below.


Overall, I was blown away by the quality and service offered by Saal Digital. In comparison to other photo books I have previously ordered, the price and quality of Saal Digital products is exceptional. I will certainly be using Saal Digital for my next photo books and am also looking forward to purchasing some of the other products that they offer.

Find this photo book and other products for sale at saal-digital.co.uk

@SaalDigitaluk @saaldigital_uk #saaldigitaluk



My Online Reviews


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Facebook.com. (2017). Log in or sign up to view. [online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/josutherstphotography/ [Accessed 27 Nov. 2017].

Instagram.com. (2017). Jo Sutherst Photography (@jo_sutherst_photography) • Instagram photos and videos. [online] Available at: https://www.instagram.com/jo_sutherst_photography/ [Accessed 27 Nov. 2017].

Twitter.com. (2017). JO SUTHERST PHOTOS (@JoSutherst) on Twitter. [online] Available at: https://twitter.com/JoSutherst [Accessed 27 Nov. 2017].

Experimentation, Sustainable Prospects

Sustainable Prospects – Shoot Mod4#27 – Behind the Mask – My Mask #4


Smile clown smile
Dress up and paint your face
Jump and fall down
It’s just paint after all
Look at them laugh
Here them clap
They laugh about you
Who cares in the end?
The joke is on you
Keep it inside and hide
Smile while you are empty
Smile while you are sad
Smile while you are dying
They will still laugh
Smile clown smile
The show must go on
Hurry, step right in
Jump and fall again
No one will come to your rescue
It’s just paint after all”

– Hugo A Oct 2012 (Hello Poetry, 2017)




Hello Poetry. (2017). Mask poems on Hello Poetry. [online] Available at: https://hellopoetry.com/words/mask/ [Accessed 12 Nov. 2017].