Project Development (SP)

My Feedback from my last module:

LO2: Visual Communication and Decision-Making: (Work in Progress Portfolio)
Exercise discernment in the making, resolution and presentation of practical work, and an ability to communicate ideas through creative visual strategies.

If the aim is to study flowers as the symbols for nature, it would be a good idea to consider the element of time and the different forms we all have in our life. With flowers, this would mean seeds as well as dead flowers and the decay.

I think from all the feedback this was the most effective one. I found this so needed and I love the idea of photographing not only the peak of beauty but also the after, not everything is life is pretty and perfect. From the moment we are born we are decaying and that’s a good thing, with age comes knowledge and wisdom and also the appreciation of life itself. Is that what nature teaches us all that change need to happen but with change come beauty and acceptance. Also reading the feedback I think the connection between human life and flowers are connected. I could explore the concept of the seeds being the birth of life the growing of the flowers blooming and the ageing beauty of decay which connects ageing. 

Week 1: Independent Reflection:

What different research methods exist?

The research method is the action plan of how you’re going to answer your question or topic chosen. I need to think about what is my question? Selecting on a method all depends on my personal goal, subject and what I am studying. The basic research methods are observations, surveys, interviews, focus groups, experiments, analysing data, visiting locations. 

What research methods have you used in the past?

I tend to use primary research methods such as visiting locations and experimenting in the style of other photographers and artist. I tend to reline on Books, videos and social media eg Youtube, Instagram for information and inspiration within my practice. 

How could you utilise other research methods to inform your current project?

I believe I could utilise other research methods by interviews and surveys. I have been thinking that one of my aims is to create an emotional response from my work so I would need to know what response I have achieved. 

What has challenged you this week?

I have found that I have become unsettled with the style of my work lately. I am so conscious that I need to developed and grown as a photographer and to create something unique. I have found my feedback from the last model very useful in the development of my own practice.

LO1: Technical and Visual Skills: (Work in Progress Portfolio)
Demonstrate an awareness of a range of photographic and image-making processes, and display accomplishment of photographic skills relevant to your practice specialism.

Your WIP consists of very similar images. Try to approach your subject in different ways. How do the flower’s roots look like? What kind of shadows do flowers give? Could you consider cameraless photography to get at other dimensions of the subject?

I totally agree that my images have started to become similar and I am so keen to try and approach my subject matter from a different angle. I have actually been teaching Cyanotype to my students and I did really enjoy the technique.





Finding a subject is very much half the battle in this module so well done. What remains is to consider the position(s) you take in relation to that subject. The virtual gallery (which was fun!) indicates a fine art recipe for the work but like the virtual gallery conveys a feeling that all the ingredients can be found in the same packet. You clearly have a set of skills for altering the way we view flowers and the challenge is now to use those skills to communicate multiple layers of meaning. We look forward to seeing where you take it.

I think the element that had a massive impact was Fine Art…………strange but I never considered my work in the genre but it now seems obvious. I feel the keyword is layering and thinking about ways I can communicate my view with a range of images and not just sticking to one of expressing myself.

Week 2: Independent Reflection:

LO6: Written and Oral Communication Skills: (Critical Research Journal & Oral Presentation)
Articulate ideas in a range of formats and contexts, and be able to communicate with different audiences.

 We think your chosen topic has a lot of potentials if it was researched and approached differently. If you are not interested in the socio-economical apparatus you could also study the notion of beauty, for instance.


I was asked, why do I photograph flowers? My answer was, it makes me happy. Our love for flowers drives a worldwide industry which is worth billions. Have you often asked yourself where do your flowers come from? Feedback from my last module suggested that a look into the industry of the cut flowers. For over 200 years the heart of the global trade for cut flowers has been in the Netherlands, called the Royal Floral-Holland auction house at Aalsmeer near Amsterdam. Royal Floral Holland plays an important role within the industry, importing and then re-exporting 40% of flowers from all over the world. In 2018 in the Uk alone the market for cut flowers was worth £1.3 billion. I didn’t realise just how important the floral industry was and keeping up with the large demand requires a well-balanced working network of farmers, wholesalers, airlines, cargo ships, traders, florist and supermarkets. There is also a lot of scientific knowledge needed from example temperature control to keep the flowers in a dormant state. I have found out that from the moment a flower is cut it loses 15% of their value so timing is critical. Also, the time a flower is classed as being fresh is 12-15 days. Within the UK 80% of our cut flowers come from Netherland and a portion from Kenya. I was surprised to learn that one-third of all roses sold in the EU come from Kenya and cut flowers are the second-largest export after tea in Kenya. For me this is important but not the main drive behind taking floral images its more about the notion of beauty.

This week we looked at other careers in photography, the DNA of a 21st Century Photographer and at business basics.


Orange Fire 30th September 2019




Timeless Death 5th October 2019

You may wish to think about the following:

  • Where in the photography industry do you see yourself? In the commercial sector? The fine art sector? Do you want to work as a documentary photographer?

I would have said the commercial sector but now I feel I am more in the fine art Sector. I strongly agree that a painter doesn’t paint or draw what’s exactly in front of them they have their import and emotional connection. They could be focusing on the colours or how light falls onto a subject. In the end, they are using their artist’s style and own take on the subject matter. I take photographs then put my imprint and put my vision of how I see the world into my images.

  • How do you collaborate with other professionals in the industry? Why is this important to your work?

I do feel this is my weakness and I need to work more with other professionals in the industry. I do regularly talk to other photographers on social media. I feel I need them for true criticism and inspiration.

  • What has surprised you this week?

This week I have visited a place called Nettlestead. Nettlestead Place was abandoned during the second half of the 17th century. In 1913, the abandoned house was bought by Ronald Vinson who between 1920 and 1922 built onto the medieval range to make the house as it appears today. While I was walking around I come across a building that was very rundown and looked inside. I was drawn to the loneliness of the space. I wanted to capture this feeling and refect this abandoned, isolated and unloved feeling within one of my images.

  •  What has challenged you this week?

The photographs I created I called loneliness Love. This sense of abandonment and isolation. My challenge was how was I going to create this emotion within my photograph. When I see a space with a chair my imagination thinks of a person waiting and watching out of the window waiting for a return. The silence fills the empty space. I love renaissance art and I wanted to creates an artistic style by adding texture to my photograph This image of a red rose was taken at Nettlestaed and I felt sad for the rose coming to the end of its life all alone in the dark and waiting beautifully for the light.


Week 3: Independent Reflection:

This week we explored the importance of the personal project and how different photographers mix art and commerce. Photography is getting more and more competitive and it is therefore important that you have or find your own visual language, which can be recognised by clients. Spend some time looking back at your notes from this week’s presentations, reading, and forum contributions. Consider the content discussed in relation to your own practice.

Purple Passion 22nd December 2019 (5)

You have my heart 6th October 2019


You have my Heart 6th October 2019.

You have my heart is a story of bleeding love and broken promises. Red is such a powerful colour but also romantic. The red rose is a symbol of passion and love but when I created these images I was thinking about al the love that is forgotten or broken. The petals reminded me of blood and the shape of the heart was present so I decided to enhance the shape. I feel my style has been strongly influenced by Brooke Shaden and I don’t feel I have to have excuses for my practice and there is no wrong or right way of creating art. I have included texture within this image which I feel add an extra layer and emotion to the photograph.

You may wish to think about the following:

  • Do you feel like you have already found your personal visual style/language?

I don’t feel I have finally found my own style but I have seen a massive change in direction. If I compare images I was producing this time last year I have dramatically changed. I have included two images which I have created. Purple Passion is one of those photos you create and there is no turning back. I love the colour purple and this image was taken towards the end of the day. This time of the year I often feel sad that summer is passing and soon the long dark nights will be on us. I remember seeing the rich purple flower in the corner of my eye and feel overwhelmed with excitement and passion. I had to use focus stalking to make sure all the detail was captured. I have been conscious that I wanted a darker mood to these images to reflect the feelings I feeling at the time and the surrounding environment. I wanted to betray a message that when all seems lost beauty is just around the corner.

  • If so, how would you describe it?

If I had to describe my style at this present time I would say I have moved toward a Fine Art genre, Dark, Moody and Bold. I love to use natural lighting but if I need to I will use a ring flash. I seem to add warmer tones to images which are also contrasting.

  • Are you able to mix art and commerce?

I feel I work witing an area of Fine Art and commercial photography. I have been thinking about exploring food and still life photography. I have moved away to extreme closeup images want to tell more of a story within my images.

  • What surprised you this week?

I think I have surprised myself by coming out of my comfort zone and experimenting with new editing techniques. I used to never use any editing programs and used to believe if you edit your photos then if not real photography. I now disagree with that, I feel like an artist who uses a paintbrush to create art I use my camera to create art.

  • What challenged you this week?

I have started to get my photography printed for a craft show I have booked in November. I have been planning what images I will be selling, prices etc. I have signed up to a craft site called: Uk Craft Fairs. You pay a membership fee and they advertise your site plus inform you of all the craft fairs you can attend.

This week, we began to look at the different commercial environments in which photography operates. Spend some time reviewing your notes from the presentations, further reading, and the contributions you and your peers made to this week’s forums. Consider the content discussed in relation to your own practice.

Week 4: Independent Reflection:

You may wish to think about the following:

  • During the course of this week, has your opinion changed about which commercial environment you are operating in, or want to be operating in?

I feel that my option has changed regarding the line between commercial and fine art photography. With my own practice, I feel wonder between the two but lately more so on the side of Fine Art Photography. The big difference between the two I believe is prices. With commercial Photogrhay you are given a price and a brief and then create the final outcome around the price. With FineArt Photography prices come after creating.

  • Which commercial environment do you want to explore further, and why?

I have been thinking about food and drink element side of commercial photography. I think my skills in close up photography would be best suited for this area of photography. Maybe this is something I could consider in the future.

  • What surprised you this week?

I have loved looking at other photographers work and being inspired. I feel looking at Billy Kidd’s theme has really helped with my own work. I like the idea that beauty exists in life and in death but more so in the passing of time in between the two. I would like to develop this concept more. This has inspired me to look at the challenging elements of nature. I saw beauty in the small petals of this Hydrangea which have dried up but still hold such beauty.


Head in the clouds 12th October 2019

  • What challenged you this week?

Due to the changing elements of the weather, I have reached that time of year that I have to rethink how I will be taking my photograph. I used to think I had to stop and think about something else to photograph but actually I don’t and this has helped me with my own creativity.

Week 5: Independent Reflection:

I have noticed a massive change in my work and I actually decided to send my images into Practical Photography for the first time ever. I did send in the following five images which is part of my personal project. I was over the moon that I got a reply back and two of my images are going to be published in the magazine. I had an email from the Editor Ben who asked me to included statements for the two chosen images.

Dear Gemma,

Ben from Practical Photography here – hope you’re well.

I’m in the process of going through our submissions folder and found your recent email – many thanks! I really like the attached images and would like to use one or both in a forthcoming’s ‘Feedback’ section where we analyse an image and explain the techniques etc. Would this be okay? If so, we’d just need the following… 

  • 100 words or so describing the story behind each image – what inspired it, how it was taken, the challenges, the editing etc
  • Hi-res JPEGs large enough for use at A4
  • Your preferred website or social media page
  • Small head and shoulders profile image of your good self (this will only be used postage stamp size)

Hope this is all okay, but just shout with any questions or queries.

Many thanks and best wishes, 


The two images which were selected out off the five are:


Pink Puff Firework

Floral photography for me never gets tedious and I am always looking for a new perspective to view the world around us and to share my experience with others. I love Dahlias they are my favourite flower to photograph, I find them so inspirational and breath-taking. When I saw this is pretty pink Dahlia it reminded me of fireworks exploding in the night sky and the background representing the Northern Lights. Within editing, I used texture slightly to enhance the atmosphere of night time and to create more mood within the photograph. For this photograph, I used a Canon 5D Mk iv and Canon EF 100 mm 2.8L Macro Lens.


2M8A4161 copy

Ruby Lily

This image was taken on a miserable wet day in a Kent garden. I remember walking around the garden looking for inspiration when something red caught my eye. I had never seen such an amazing red colour and the water droplets on the petals reminded me of precious stones glistening in the light. Within my own images colour serves a specific role and function and I use a limited colour pallet. Within editing, I have used texture to create an antique feel which represented something that holds great value and love. For this photograph, I used a Canon 5D Mk iv and Canon EF 100 mm 2.8L Macro Lens.

Week 7: Independent Reflection:

I can be a flower too 31st October 2019.


This was an image I have been working on over a few days, the first time I thought i had finished I wasn’t happy then I left it for a few days and come back to it. I believe that beauty doesn’t exist on its own but its created by the observer. When the weather is warmer I will go out but sue to the fact that flowers are not as easily available I need to buy my flowers from a florist. In a bunch of flowers was this flower/vegetable and out of the bunch was the odd one out and I was more inspired by the organic form then flowers.

Week 8: Independent Reflection:

This week we have explored the fine art markets of the photography world and had the pleasure of listening to Andy Hughes in a live guest lecture. Spend some time looking back at your notes from this week’s presentations, reading, and the forum contributions and consider the content discussed in relation to your own practice.

Week 9: Independent Reflection:

This week I feel my work is developing in the right direction. After looking at Brooke Shaden work I have really taken her concept on board, we shouldn’t be afraid of rejection or of other reactions towards our work and whatever we have to say, say it. I have been conscious of acceptance of my style that I have been taking risks and experimenting within my own practice. I have been exploring textures more and more in my images.

I have included two Photographs I have produced this week, both are roses but each has been approached differently. The first pink rose I actually used photoshop to use a rearrange different roses into one new composition image. It made me think of how light would look naturally fall and helped me to learn new technologies within photoshop. I love learning and I watch Youtube and reading books a lot. The story I was trying to tell in this photograph is simple, we need companionship in dark times and the stream of light falling on the petals is a representation of hope.


Companionship 3rd November 2019

I absolutely love this image for many reasons and the stunning roses were actually together like this but if you look they are not perfect yet still very beautiful. The gentle pink petals are starting to decay and I have left them in the state they are. In the past, I would spend time making sure that the flower was perfect and with no imperfections but now I look for imperfections. I have taken a step back instead of looking closeup and I am now exploring new angles and compositions within the frame. My favourite colour is purple and I decided on a purple background because I felt this compliments the pink and not over the stage the main focus in the shoot. I have included texture with this image but mainly in the background to help create an artist feel.


Perfect Imperfections 20th November 2019

Week 10: Independent Reflection:


I love summer and the winter months seem so dark and long, unfortunately, that time of year is finally with us. On the flip side, I have been taken out of comfort zone and now taking images of subject s I have not explored before. When I Think about autumn I think about darker nights and warm red, yellow tones of the falling leaves. Its time to change our wardrobe and wear cosy clothes and slippers. I was wondering what was the symbolic meaning of autumn?  Ancient cultures, science, and astrology have associated many aspects of this beautiful season to human life. A great symbolic meaning that is associations Mother Nature.  One word, Change! The Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, “The only constant changes.” Autumn perfect reminder that our bodies, minds, and souls change and our own surroundings are always developing. It focuses on the impermanence of life, emphasizing how vital it is to embrace the present. We are reminded of what was, is and will be. My project is called enchantment and Autumn holds mystery.  The constant changing of nature life teaches us how each and every day presents and holds new mysteries. The fresh crisp air and changing leaves hold the key to the unknown. Not knowing what’s around the corner is part of life and once this is accepted we can then truly live life to the fullest. It’s comforting to realize that we are all in the same boat facing the same sea of mystery. I call this image below: Sea of Mystery, the overlapping textures of the deep red tones of the leaf as almost fallen from the sky and balance to returned to life. The warmer months have gone and the temperatures are dropping in the tune of leaves falling, autumn illustrates the beauty of letting go. This season demonstrates death in an alluring, fascinating way. However, it doesn’t have to be considered morbid but we can instead we can accept the idea of letting go and be with one with nature of everything around us.

2M8A1584Sea of Mystery 22nd November 2019:

Week 11: Independent Reflection:

2M8A8201 copy

Definition of star anise

the small brown star-shaped pungent fruit of a Chinese and Vietnamese tree (Illicium verum) that has a flavour similar to but stronger than anise and is dried and used whole or ground as a spice especially in Chinese cooking.

A star around this time of year always reminds me of the Christian spirit and rebirth at Christmas. 

This week we have been thinking about your photographic DNA and what might set you apart from other photographers. We have also discussed the difficulty of marketing oneself as a photographer – and come up with plans and ideas of how to do so. Spend some time looking back at your notes from this week’s presentations, reading, and the forum contributions and consider the content discussed in relation to your own practice.

You may wish to think about the following:

  • Define your visual language.

I feel my visual language is one of mystery and age. I feel I use colour and texture greatly within my photography to tell a story and to inlight an emotion. Keywords to describe my style: Paintly, life, death, fairytales, and colour. I have developed into more of a painterly feel I love the pictorialist movement and maybe that’s why I am leaning towards this kind of style. Nature is a cycle of life and death one can not exist without the other. The project itself implies a fairytale theme Enchantment with Nature but so far I have been exploring the bright side and not the other side of the coin. Colour, something I used to be so scared of, I used to only take images of black and white but now look! It plays such an important part in my own practice that I could be without it. Saying that I would like to explore flora/Nature in a black and white in the future. 

  • How does your visual language differentiate from other photographers working in the same field or genre?

I don’t think macro fine art photography is an over explored area so I do think I have a unique twist on the theme. I have mixed two genres together to create my own style. Floral photography is normally bright and airy and of all thing pure but I want to now explore the things which people discard and ignore. 

  • Who do you look up to?

I look up to many great photographers for different reasons, for me, Brooke Shaden is such amazing talent photographer at such a young age, she’s amazing. Her style, her passion and her unique interested in creativity is contagious. Brooke makes you want to get your camera out and just experiment!!!

  • What has surprised you this week?

I am surprised how far I have come, I look at images I have taken this time a few years ago to where I am now and I do feel proud. I know I have a long way to go and I imagine I will constantly be learning and changing and of course, make mistakes along the way but that’s why I love photography so much, it’s my calling and will be part of my life forever. 

  • What has challenged you this week?
I do feel that I may be changing my direction or theme within my own practice and have moved towards what is classed as forgotten and not beautiful within our life. I have been thinking about exploring, locations and objects which have been discarding throw to one side. I love Urban Decay and how they capture the viewer’s imagination and mistery. An abandoned location holds many untold stories that are a window into the past, covered with dust and cobwebs smelling of a recognisable smell of age. It’s more about telling a story of what is missing and questions unanswered and answers never to find out. One day we will be gone and what will be left will be our processions. 

Forward Direction:

Death and Decay is a normal process which affects us all, living or manmade. We live in a scientific world which is pushing the boundaries between to two making it harder to separate whats natural or manmade. Decay plays an important part in the cycle of life. Cells that are not renewed degenerate and when they die transforms into a simpler form supporting microorganisms and bacteria. Like the Autumn leafs falling to the ground and returning to the earth. I ask myself, why have I become fascinated by decay? Life throws in our directions hills we must climb and sometimes we slip and hurt ourself. A broken heart, a death or stressful situations. Sometimes these events change us forever and we are no longer who we once were. I hate change but I also know change is a good thing. With change comes to strength, knowledge and hope and that is a beautiful thing. If you have ever experienced depression its feels like your falling into a black hole, falling deeper and deeper. When you finally emerge on the other side you feel proud and liberated. Out of weakness comes strength and for me, photography is my therapy. It helps to express myself and not kept the feelings locked and I hope that others enjoy or connect with my work too.
Remember Me: 25th November 2019