I exchanged my childhood photograph with Claire Grant from the textiles department, we exchanged via e-mail, which I think worked best as we didn’t have any meeting before analysing each others backgrounds and families. I have to admit I found it hard to get into this project as I was very aware how certain statements can be taken the wrong way and absolutely didn’t want to offend anybody.
The first photograph I analysed was a snap shot of Claire in her bedroom aged around early teens, seen above. I feel I got a lot out of this photo. My first impressions was that it was not a posed photo and looks as if maybe her mum had come into her room randomly with a camera and then Claire was more than happy to roll over and give a quick smile. This indicated to me that she had a very loving and happy upbringing straight away. When I delved into the photo I started to notice the little things in Claires life at that moment, it really opened my mind at just how much information you can get from one photo. I looked on the window sill first where there was a small gathering of toy squirrels dressed in purple and yellow dresses, I recognised these from playing with my neighbour when I was little so I thought that maybe she had a dolls house or something similar as my neighbour did. I also noticed quite a few wee collections of items around the same area, this gave me the impression that Claire was quite a sentimental person and liked to keep things from her younger childhood as memories?? In the corner of the room there is a large collections of A4 posters, that look to me as if they were all taken from pre-teen or teen magazines. Popular boy bands, Jessica Simpson and characters from Buffy the Vampire appeared amongst these. This gave me the impression that Claire was very into the popular scene of music and celebrities that were around at the time, a proper girly girl reading through that age group gossip magazines. The bright yellow that was the basis colour in her room also made me feel that she was a very happy and bright child, with the splashes of pink through out her room made me feel that she had quite a feminine touch growing into her, there are some cut out bright pink triangles on her wall, a pink face mirror and what appears to be a little pink diary beside her T.V. The diary suggests to me that she may be quite literal and enjoy writing down her thoughts and feeling regularly.
The second photo I looked at was one of Claire and her older brother in the garden with there pet rabbits. From this I thought that Claires family were from a semi-rural area as they have a large and beautiful garden. I also thought that maybe her mother or father was quite into there gardening and or quite home proud due to all the expensive looking bushes and plants. Then I got looking at the pets, I thought that Claire and her brother either on very well as they look quite happy spending time together with there pets, but then I started to look into symbology and thought that maybe they got on with each other to a certain extent but couldn’t share things with each other as the rabbits are complete opposites, black and white, I know that this was the case with me and my brothers growing up sometimes.
I then went on to look at a photo of Claire with her ,what I thought, best friend at the time, leaving a carnival. I first noticed a badge that Claire was wearing and thought that maybe that was a birthday badge from a card and her and her friends were celebrating her birthday. Obviously the main observation in this photo is how close these two friends are. It is quite clear as while they are laughing they are also holding onto each other. This to me shows a very strong friendship and connection between the two girls. I also noticed that they have both got on similar clothing, a plain tank top, a plain jumper and jeans. So they must influence each other in there style and fashion, as many close friends do.
The next photo was one of Claire with three other girls, obviously part of her group of friends at the time. The first thing I noticed was that Claire was leaning slightly towards the girl on the left with the green coloured top on, so I thought that maybe this was her closest friend of the three. Claire is now wearing a floral dress in this photo so her clothing fashion has changed from the previous photo, from plain to a more feminine style, her style is a little different towards her friends aswell as she has opted for floral wear her friends have gone for a slightly safer option of plain, chequered and dotted pattern. She has also cut in a fringe so I thought that this was maybe her trying to individualize herself from her friends. I then went on to look into the background and noticed a stain glass door behind Claires head and that got me thinking that this was wither a school dance or a party at a hall or centre as these are the obvious places where this particular door would be.
I think that this photo clearly shows how close Claire and her mother are, you can see that they are both quite proud of each other here. They both lean into each other which I thought shows that they know that they can rely on each other. This gave me the impression that her family are all very supportive towards each other. It looks as though Claire is heading off to a party aswell as she is wearing pointed black heels and a black floral detailed top. Maybe a birthday party? I also thought that the house gives the feeling that it was quite a warm and loving place to grow up in as it is decorated in warm and neutral colours.
The last photo I looked at was one of Claires first day at school. My first impression of this photo was that it was an important one for her mother as she has thought about the surroundings and light etc by placing her outside in the natural light. I though that since Claire is in a full uniform of a tie blazer and pinafore that her education was of a high standard, not boarding school but a very high performance school. I think that maybe she was very well disciplined when she was younger and education was a very important part of her childhood. I also noticed how neatly she was dressed so it was obvious that her mother had taken care of the first impressions she would make at school. Her tie is neatly placed in the middle of her shirt and her socks are evenly pulled up to the same height.
Overall I found this assignment very hard to get into but as soon as I got writing I really enjoyed it, it was so interesting looking into somebody else life who was around the same age as me, to see if they had the same sort of interests as me etc.
When Claire and I met up in the cantina to discuss our findings over a cup of tea I have to say I was slightly nervous to find out the results of her analysis and to give her mine. I was pretty happy with her findings though, most of her findings I thought were quite accurate. She wrote that in a picture of my mum and I that she looked at me with proud and loving eyes, which I thought was very true as my mum and I get on extremely well. There was a picture of me with my three brother about to go to school and a picture of me and three of my schools friends and she analysed that I always seemed to be in the centre of the photos with people leaning into me and that I was keeping my friends and family together which I never realised or even though about so I was pretty happy at this new finding. She saw that I used to be a bit of a tom boy when I was younger, which is very ture as I grew up along side three brothers so I think it would be hard not to have a little bit of tomboy inside me! Over all I really found that this assignment was a great way to start of semester 2! I was amazed at just how much you can learn about somebody from just a photgraph!