Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Analysing Photographs

Assignment 1

For this assignment I chose to analyse six of Alison Donachie's photographs of herself growing up. Although Alison is in my class I do not know her very well so she would be a good subject for this assignment. I also thought it would be a good way to find out more about one of my classmates. At first I found it quite difficult to try and work out who people in the photographs were and what the possessions said about Alison and her family. Once I started though it didn't take long for things to make sense and a story was soon created from the photo.

Photo 1: In this photo is Alison and what looks like an older sister, who was probably a key influence on Alison growing up. The older girl in the photograph doesn't look particularly interested in what Alison is doing, perhaps suggesting that the two girls don't have a very close relationship, maybe because the other girl is quite a few years older than Alison. Alison is dressed very smart but she is very young, maybe about 5 or 6 so it is more than likely that her mother has chose her outfit for her to wear. However at this age her favourite colours seem to be red and pink as her outfit is mainly red and there is a pink doll's house sitting beside Alison as if she has been playing with it. This shows that she likes playing with typical little girls toys and she is not much of a tom boy. The living room is very tidy and everything is in it's place showing that the household is very organised.

Photo 2: This looks like a family photograph, maybe not of immediate family but cousins, aunts and uncles as well? It looks like it is at some sort of occasion like a Christmas dinner or a party as one of the older ladies is wearing a party hat. They all look close and happy however Alison looks a bit confused and maybe not too happy that the photo has been taken. I don't know if she was maybe just a bit shy as these people do not look like immediate family. On the other hand she seems to look quite settled and comfortable sitting on this older ladies knee, whether it's her grandmother or an older aunt. Alison seems to be starting to take control of her dress sense more as she has her hat on back to front rather than having it sitting normally, maybe trying to be different or this was the cool way to wear a hat.

Photo 3: This photo is of Alison and what looks like the family pets, a dog and a rabbit. She seems to show an interest in animals and she looks very comfortable and happy with these animals. Her body language conveys that she is not at all scared of these animals and she is confident in the way that she holds them. Alison looks like she is still quite young in this photo, implying that her love of animals started at a young age. Close bond with animals, maybe more so the dog as it is very close to her so there must be alot of trust in the relationship. Alison is also wearing Adidas trousers showing that she was aware of fashions from a young age.

Photo 4: Confirming interest in animals and her love for them as she is with what looks like her dog or a relatives dog and she looks extremely happy. It looks like she has a very close bond with this dog because in both the photos that the dog is in it is very close to Alison and it doesn't look uncomfortable. The dog looks like it has been part of Alison's life when she was growing up and this is why they have such a close relationship. Alison is also wearing an Adidas top which shows that fashion had an influence on her growing up. In the background there is a photo of what looks like Alison or her sister (if it was her sister in the first photo) showing her family are proud.

Photo 5: Alison is a young teenager in this photograph with a close friend. She looks very happy and they seem to be very close because they not only have an arm round each other, her friend is also holding her hand showing that they are comfortable and happy in each other's company. Judging by Alison's top (an AC-DC t-shirt) she knows what music she likes and perhaps had an older person influencing her as the band is an older band. Perhaps a parent of older sibling has influenced her taste. She looks like she is beginning to take more pride in her image as her hair has been dyed and cut shorter and this is maybe her beginning to create her own sense of style. From the photo the environment looks like a nice and comfortable house. The kitchen looks modern and again everything seems to have a place shoeing the household is very organised.

Photo 6: In high school, with friends in what looks like the playground or sports field. They all look very happy and close. Alison seems to be growing up and following fashion trends. She has dyed her hair again in this photo and although all the girls are in school uniform they still convey their own style such as their belts, jewellery and hair styles. Alison looks alot more confident and it doesn't look like her favourite colours are pink and red anymore.

When I talked to Alison about the photos and my comments she said that all the information that I got from them was accurate. This shows that you don't have to be a psychic to be able to read photographs. People's possessions and body language in a photo can say a million words and this was proved in this assignment.

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