Living with Addison’s disease can be a challenge at times. The symptoms of Addison’s Disease are mostly invisible. It can feel like a lingering hangover. Sometimes, I forget I have the disease, but at other times it hits me like a ton of bricks. But to look at me you would not know. Behind my smile, I hide the truth.
Really thrilled to receive my #RPSDistinction from @The_RPS. #ARPS #Photography
The Royal Photographic Society exists to educate members of the public by increasing their knowledge and understanding of Photography and in doing so to promote the highest standards of achievement in Photography in order to encourage public appreciation of Photography. The Royal Photographic Society’s Distinctions are recognised as measures of achievement throughout the world.
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”
– (Eleanor Roosevelt’s Most Inspiring Quotes 2014)
The future of this project and my practice is multifaceted. ‘Fractured Identities’ offers further development of the research behind the project. I anticipate deepening my research into what it is like to be human in this rapidly developing digital world, taking this research into a PhD. The proposed start date for this is 2019.
There is an opportunity to develop ‘Fractured Identities’ into a teaching resource for PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education) education in secondary schools. The objective will be to raise awareness of the dangers of online image sharing and to discuss mental health issues caused by comparing oneself to others online.
Other opportunities are being explored into how to develop my teaching skills to enable me to teach and mentor in further education establishments.
The nature of this project lends itself to the development of a fully interactive website that explores digital image manipulation. The domains for this website have already been acquired (but not yet populated):-
The intent is to make the ‘Mask of Divine Proportion’ project as participatory as possible. Visitors to the site will be able to upload their image and manipulate it. The project is in its infancy at the moment and is planned for late 2019 release.
Other plans include a six-week exhibition of the ‘Masked Identities’ project in July and August 2019. This has already been secured at the Heritage Centre Gallery in the Forest of Dean. Discussions are also underway for other opportunities to exhibit.
Eleanor Roosevelt’s Most Inspiring Quotes. 2014. Marie Claire [online]. Available at: https://www.marieclaire.com/celebrity/a11250/eleanor-roosevelt-quotes/ [accessed 17 August 2018].
Having listened to Haley Morris-Cafiero speak at a recent guest lecture, I find myself in awe of her bravery in her book, ‘The Watchers’.
In February 2013, her images from the series ‘Wait Watchers’ were published on Lenscratch. The next day they were published on Huffington Post and then in the Daily Mail newspaper. After that, the images went viral. The comments sections on these articles were filled with anonymous comments criticising her. Many unsolicited comments were made about her weight and general appearance.
At this point, many people would have retreated into their shell and tried to ignore the criticism. Instead, Morris-Cafiero said “I love my body and these unsolicited criticisms fuelled me to make new images. I now set up a camera and record people as they pass by me while I am doing what society wants me to do: exercise and get a makeover. By attempting to “improve” myself, I am engaging in the conversation of body acceptance and idealized beauty standards that unrealistic and unwanted by many people.” (THE WATCHERS: a book of the Wait Watchers photographs 2014)
Morris-Cafiero has suffered from hypothyroidism since she was in college. This condition has caused her to put on weight. I can totally relate to this. I have hypothyroidism and Addison’s Disease. Both of these conditions have caused me to gain weight since 2000. It has taken me a long time to accept that this is the case. In my case, my body is also unable to regulate its own temperature (something that I still struggle to accept). When I am under greater levels of stress or excitement, my symptoms are very pronounced and I can become very sweaty very quickly.
When I am under greater levels of stress or excitement, my symptoms are very pronounced and I can become very sweaty very quickly. This was very evident during my private view where I was also being interviewed by BBC Radio Gloucestershire. I was very self-conscious of the fact my hair was wet.
However, thinking about what Morris-Cafiero has been doing, makes me determined to continue. The photographs and videos of me with sweaty hair have been published in this CRJ when previously I would have hidden these from other people. Whilst I have accepted for a few years know that I look the way I do, I have had trouble with accepting the sweaty appearance. Morris-Cafiero has inspired me to look past this and embrace who I am totally.
Morris-Cafiero’s images are compelling, real and raw. They represent authenticity and bravery. It is to this that I aspire.
THE WATCHERS: a book of the Wait Watchers photographs. 2014. Kickstarter [online]. Available at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/528118868/the-watchers-a-book-of-the-wait-watchers-photograp [accessed 14 August 2018].
Figure 1: ‘I’ve Come To Accept My Appearance, But I’m Quickly Reminded That Others Have Not.’ An Overweight Award-Winning Photographer Documents Society’s ‘Critical Gaze’ Towards Obesity.. 2018. ViralSpell [online]. Available at: http://www.viralspell.com/ive-come-to-accept-my-appearance-but-im-quickly-reminded-that-others-have-not-an-overweight-photographer-documents-societys-critical-gaze-towards-obesity/ [accessed 14 August 2018].
Figure 2: Twitter. 2018. Twitter.com [online]. Available at: https://twitter.com/BBCGlos/status/1025669452187222022 [accessed 14 August 2018].
Addison’s Disease means that at times I suffer from fatigue, muscle pain, and have trouble concentrating at times. Taking on the MA whilst working full time has been a huge challenge.
The Falmouth Flex course has been very rewarding and also challenging. However, it has helped me to learn how to micromanage my condition. This has been achieved by tracking the amount of water and salt that I consume. Salt is very important for me as my sodium levels are usually very low. Eating extra salt can actually give my body a boost when I need it.
I have developed tremendous persistence and determination to do my best on the course. I have never limited this in any way. The first year was particularly hard and at times arduous. I have had to make sacrifices along the way to achieve this.
Firstly, I reduced my working week to 4 days a week in September 2017. This will be reduced to 3 days a week in September 2018 as I plan towards a PhD (something I never imagined in my future). I have had to develop discipline and persistence to ensure that I complete everything I need to. In that respect, suffering from a chronic disease has been a fantastic teacher as I was patient enough to learn its lessons.
But it hasn’t stopped there. The MA content has been so interesting and challenging that I have achieved far more work than I thought possible. My passion and enthusiasm for knowledge gained through both research and practice have been lit on fire by the course. My work ethic and work rate have, as a result, both increased as I have progressed through the course and this will stand me in good stead for the future.
I am so grateful for the support from all the staff on the course. I have been forced into re-examining who I am as a photographer. I was lost before the course started, but now I know what I am want to explore.
But, as always, my illness is beginning to catch up with me as I approach the end of a module (and this time, the end of the course). So, even as I write these last few entries, my body is tired and I am fighting yet another infection. It is time for a rest after final hand in at midday today.
Would I change anything if I did it again? Hell no. This course and its challenges have been the best thing to happen to my photographic practice. Without it, I would still be a lost photographer ambling along. Without it, I would not have met some amazing people who will remain in my life after the course.
This course has taken its toll on me but in a good way, as I emerge from the end of the course rejuvenated and excited for my future. Thank you, Falmouth!
As part of the Source Graduate Online Photography 2018, Source commission a number of respected figures from the world of photography. These selectors choose their favourite sets of images from all the work submitted. The work is then featured in the online selection, as well as printed in a supplement that I distributed with the magazine.
On 22nd August 2018 at 22:02 hours, I received the very exciting email from Source:-
“Hi Jo, I’m delighted to be able to inform you that your work has been chosen by one of this year’s selectors for the project (Maxwell Anderson, Founder – Bemojake Books). Your work will feature both in the online selection and in the printed supplement that will be included with the next issue of the magazine. Congratulations!”
Source asked for a copy of image number 1 and image number 5 (sequence as they appear in my submission on the site). Only one will be used, but having 2 allows for flexibility in the design of the supplement. The required format was:-
Saved as a JPEG
300 DPI resolution
22cm in height
I was able to make these changes in Photoshop and send through in good time.
I am honoured and thrilled to have been selected and cannot wait to see the online selection and the printed supplement. These will be posted to this CRJ after the final deadline for the FMP.
To maintain the consistency across my work, I decided to use the sans serif font Proxima Nova across all documents. Due to my previous research into Instagram fonts, I chose this font for my booklet, marketing materials, website, and now the assignments. I find the font easy to read on the screen. The font is clean, modern lines and has easy legibility at all point sizes. The font is recognisable to many people as that used on Instagram, and reflects my theme.
I decided that both documents would be interactive pdfs created in InDesign. The software offers more flexibility in terms of layout that Microsoft programs. I also chose to produce both documents in landscape format to make it easier to read online. This also allows the reader to view a whole page at a time, without the text becoming unreadable.
The only difficulty is that it is not straightforward to set the line spacing in Indesign. In Word, a single line spacing is 120% of the font size. So in InDesign this equates to a 14.4pt spacing for a 12pt font size (and this is what the software defaults to). To get a 1.5 line spacing (as required), the calculation is therefore 1.5 x 14.4 = 21.6pt for a 12pt font. This has ts to be manually set for each text box.
The documents both have a front cover based on the same layout, again aiding consistency.
Each document was also created using a common colour scheme. The dark red boxes, hashtags, interactive buttons, page titles, and hyperlinks were all set to the colour 9f163d.
Both documents used hashtags. The CRP only has them on the front page, whereas the FMP has them on the majority of pages. The hashtags used were all researched and checked on Instagram and reflect the content of each FMP page.
But why use hashtags? Hashtags are the most popular means of categorising content on social media. It makes content discoverable and allows users to find relevant content from other people and businesses. The hashtag also allows connection and engagement with other social media users based on a common theme or interest. In my case, they are related to the work I have been doing considering the effects of social media on our self-portraits. For this reason, they have been placed throughout the FMP document.