Bertien Van Manen – Give me your image

Today i’ve been looking at the work of Bertien Van Manen ( and the project titled Give me your image which looks to consist of a variety of objects that also show a portrait of a person that may or may not be the owner of the items,

Here are some images that i’ve found:

(Bertien Van Manen, Give me your image, 2002 Belgrade, 2006)

(Bertien Van Manen, Give me your image, 2003 Toulouse, 2006)

The images from the series have all been taken differently but all contain a portrait of a person this could be a form of memorial to the person or a way to add a personal link between the person and the object or room where the images have been taken.

The work links to my own in the way that the images all contain personal objects that look to have been taken on location and away from the studio, they also look to be lit by a form of natural lighting.

When photographing the items may have been re-arranged or moved to make the composition and layout of the images work better and create work that is more effective. This is something that i need to consider when i produce my own images and is something that i am currently working on with my current shoot that has been completed a few days ago.



Shoot 3

This shoot was based mainly on personal objects that link mainly to childhood memories through the objects that have been chosen,

The objects that i have photographed here link to the different memories some are childhood based and others are more recent, the objects belong to myself and to my younger sister,

The objects were all photographed on a wooden surface instead of a plain surface as i prefer the effect that this gives the images when you view them, the images were also taken from mainly above unless the object needed to be facing upright and at the camera,

For the shoot i photographed mainly books and various soft toys that have memories attached to them for various reasons, some are more personal to the owner than others

If you have any feedback please feel free to add a comment



Shoot 2

With this shoot i have experimented with the idea of grouping objects together and photographed each of them against a plain white fabric to see the effect this would give to the images, the images were also again lit by natural light,

Although the shoot doesn’t look as effective as my previous shoot, i like how in some of the images the white fabric has helped the objects to stand out more and keep the focus on them, although i do prefer the previous shoot and how the objects have been photographed where they appear in various places.

This shoot has also given me a way to test out different compositions within the images, and explore how i layout the objects when i photograph them. The objects were all photographed using a tripod  to make sure that the camera was the same distance away from the objects each time.

For me this shoot hasn’t been all that successful, as not all of the images that i have taken looks as if they haven’t worked as well as some of the others that were taken,

Any feedback please feel free to add a comment





Shoot 1

It’s been a few weeks since my last post so i thought i’d get back into things by writing up my shoot review and post up some of my favourite images from the shoot,

For this first shoot i began by taking photos in and around the house i live in and focused mainly on shelves that feature in different rooms and the objects that are owned by different people and are displayed on them. I also wanted to focus mainly on the position of the objects and photograph them where they appear on the shelves.

The images were all lit by natural light as i found this to be softer and has worked well within the images. When i was looking back through the images i noticed that many of the objects that i had photographed were similar to others and all the shelves were different in how things had been placed onto them.

The images themselves were also taken around different rooms, and many items have personal memories attached to them and mean something to either myself or to family members.

If you have any feedback on the shoot please feel free to add a comment






Jon Crispin-‘ Found Objects’

This afternoon while doing some research for my uni work I came across the photographer Jon Crispin through the following article ( The article talked about how the photographer travelled around and entered abandoned mental asylums and photographed the suitcases that contain personal objects that belonged to the patients,

Although the objects aren’t personal to the photographer himself, for me the photographs still show a person through the objects that have been left behind long after they have passed away.

Here are some of the images from the article:


The objects in the images are all different, but in some of the images there are sections of what could be handwritten letters, this for me adds a personal connection with the objects that would have once belonged to a mental patient, Some of the suitcases also look to contain personal photographs that look like family images, of family members or possibly friends that the individual would of known.

Because of how the objects have been photographed it makes the personal items look as if the objects have just been collected together and left behind and forgotten about. Some of the objects also look as if they haven’t aged at all and look as I’ve said before as if they have been left and been forgotten about.

These images show another way to photograph other people’s objects, this could be done by asking the owner of the items to set them up on a surface and photograph them themselves or could possibly be done through giving the owner a box and getting them to fill it with personal items and then photograph the ‘box of objects’ as it appears without re-arranging anything. This is something I will need to think about over the next few shoots and weeks.

Lecture Notes: 7/3/2016

Hi, everyone so this afternoon I’ve decided to spend some time writing up my lecture notes from Monday’s lecture which was again delivered by Wendy McMurdo.

During the lecture she focused on the theme of self-portraits and broke the lecture down into the two following categories:

  • Imposters, impressionists and fakes
  • Appropriation and self-portraiture

During the lecture we were shown a variety of work from the following photographers and artists:

  • Nikki s Lee
  • Cindy Sherman
  • Marina Abramovic
  • Sophie Calle
  • Man Ray
  • Richard Prince
  • Erica Scourti
  • Amalia Ulman
  • Melanie Bonajo
  • Francesca Woodman

All of the above photographers looked at identity in different or similar ways and based their work on self-portraiture whether it was based on themselves or someone else

Through the lecture the artist’s work that for me stood out the most and linked to my project was Sophie Calle and her ‘the hotel’ series of work where she photographed personal objects that belonged to various hotel guests that she then produced narratives about based on how she thought the guests acted. In the images she doesn’t always appear in the images but when she does it is usually as a blurred figure in the distance.

An article based on her work and info about the photographer can be viewed on (

Here are some examples of her work from ‘The Hotel’ series of work:

(The hotel, Room 47, 1981)

(The Hotel, Room 29, 1981)

As you can see from the above two images, Calle has taken a photograph of what looks to be the top half of the bed in the hotel room and then at the very bottom of the image there is a section of text which lists an account of the date and times the photographer enters the room, what’s inside the room e.g. any personal objects and the position of where they are in room and what room they are in e.g. bathroom etc…

The image that can be seen at the bottom of the of the first image shows a selection of photographs that are of the personal objects that belong to the hotel guest and look they also show the position of them in room and how they have been left out, whether it be in a suitcase, on the bed, or in the wardrobe.

The photographs give the viewer a brief insight into the hotel guests lives through the objects that have have taken with them and also the way that the rooms have been left whether they be neat and tidy or messy and unorganized.

This has also made me think about photographing objects where they appear, I have already done a shoot where I went around the house I live in and photographed the various shelves that are seen around the house, in bedrooms and in the living room, the images showed the objects that are visible on them that have been owned for different lengths of time but all in most cases mean something to the owner / owners and in some cases may mean nothing to anyone else looking at them or the images of the objects can be related back to something that looks like something that they own themselves.

Valerie Belin – ‘Still Life 2014’

Today i’ve been looking into the work of Valerie Belin and her ‘Still life 2014’ series of images. The work that can be seen on her website along with all of her other projects and covers a variety of subjects and themes ( but for me it’s the Still life 2014 series that for me links the most to my idea as the images combine a selection and variety of objects that have been photographed either in colour or black and white.

Here are a selection of images from the series:

Still life with dish

(Still life with dish)

Still life with animals

(Still life with animals)

The images when you look at them on her website run in the order of a colour image being followed by a black and white image ( When looking at her images they feature mannequin heads (this is seen as being either one or two) which could link to the individual the objects belong too or somehting else. Also the way that the images have been taken make them look unused and unwanted due to the way that the objects have been piled up and made to look chaotic almost like they have been piling up for a period of time and keep being added to.

When looking through all of the images some of them make it look like the objects are taking over and burying the individual (mannequin) this could link to hoarding where a person keeps adding to objects and purchasing things that may not necessarily be needed or wanted or in  many cases objects that are bought but never used and just sit in a room.

The series of work shown above is also mentioned in this article (  and looks at our consumerism and how we rely on cheap and plastic items that can’t be recycled or take a long time to bio-degrade, which in turn slowly takes us over and keeps piling up over time.

The images although they don’t necessarily link to photographing a person through their objects but have shown me and given me the idea to photograph a person’s objects in a way that links to their personality or identity (e.g. if a person is fun and lively then the objects would be placed in a fun quirky way to show their personality or if a person is crazy and chaotic then the objects would be placed to reflect this part of the individual)