© 2010 Marica

138 – Strangers No More

Seven days ago we arrived strangers.
After being challenged, photographing only each other and a lot of critiquing … something happened.
We discovered new perspectives of each other and ourselves through different eyes and hearts.
Many photos were taken.
After putting into practice all we learnt, these photos were reduced to what you see before you.
In this process we became connected.
We are strangers no more.

— Alison, Allan, Charlotte, Jacqui, Janet, Leonie, Marica, Ros, Sandy, Tracey, and Fleur (our tutor)

A lot happened today that was very profound for me.

To begin with I showed some photographs in an exhibition. This was a first for me and a wonderful experience. This exhibition, entitled Strangers No More, was the final part of the week long portrait photography course I have been on. During this week I learnt all about creating photographs of people that engage the viewer on an emotional level. These “new ” portraits are all about the creation of  an emotional connection between the photographer and the subject so that the final portrait depicts the subject in an authentic way.

Every day we took hundreds of photos of each other. By the end of each day we were expected to have chosen the two best photographs. By the end of the week our portfolio of 10 photographs was whittled down to only two photographs that we would exhibit. To do this we became immersed in an intensive editing process which involved a lot of critiquing, discussion, feedback and self reflection. This was no simple task. Along the way I  learnt about what makes a good photograph and what doesn’t, and I also learnt a lot more about myself and what makes me tick. Another change that occurred was that all of us participating in this class became closer. We definitely began the week as strangers; this was not the case today as we proudly shared our work as a collective to the public.

The second great thing that happened today was that I won a prize – the Summer School 2010 Fleur Wickes Challenge. On the first day of our course our tutor Fleur asked us how we wanted to handle the week. All of us said we wanted to go hard. Fleur’s challenge was to see how far we could push ourselves and she said she would award the person who had come the furthest over the week a prize. This prize was three hours one-on-one with Fleur.

At the exhibition Fleur announced the prize winner – ME! I was so overwhelmed. I was awarded this prize for my “commitment, guts, and straight-up native talent”.

This was a really big day for me and I loved it. If I hadn’t been prepared to take a risk and put myself in a situation where I felt really out of my comfort zone I would never have had this experience. I’m so glad I listened to my intuition and gave it a go.

42. Every day celebrate. Who you are. What you have achieved. Things that matter to you.
44. Every day remember how far you have come.
45. Every day you are a different person.