Assignment 1 – Encountering Gypsies

by alexmasonphotography

For Assignment 1 we were told to use the research that we developed for Assignment 2 to develop our photographic artefact. I am determined to find some gypsies in my local area so that I can use my camera to document their status in rural life. I have been speaking to everyone I know and have managed to find a connection. I am going to be photographing some gypsies in a weeks time thanks to a friend of my step brothers who used to be friends with some gypsies.

Today I decided to go to one of the gypsy sites I found marked on a map I found on ‘The Guardian’ website. It took me about half an hour to get there. I was slightly apprehensive to walk in. It was as if I had walked into the filming of ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding‘. The area had a collection of caravans and mobile homes. The first person I spoke to was a young lady called Casey, she was very polite and I explained to her in a round about way, how I wanted to take some photos them and how they live. She said it would be fine for me to do that but I should ask the rest of her family. Casey had a big family which as I am aware, is a fairly normal thing. All the men happened to be at work when I arrived which took some of the tension out of it a bit. I asked Casey if she had a mobile phone number I could take so I could let her know when I am coming, so she gave me her number.

I decided against bringing my camera for the first time I met them because I didn’t want to assume that they were going to allow me to walk around their home and intrude on their family orientated day to day life. I organised with Casey to go back there with my camera in about a week.

Here is the map I used to get there

We were given a few examples of the type of audience we have to consider to aim our photographs at and how we could present them in a way that would appeal to one of the following audience members…


A 60 year old fine art collector from New York. She visits galleries regularly and has a large collection of prints and rare books.


16 year old student from Huddersfield. Spends spare time playing video games and watching television online.


Pete is a retired butcher from Dublin. He is time rich but cash poor, he has no internet connection in his home.


A 32 year old PhD student from Hamburg, she spends the weekends with family in Koln.


Ella is a 24 year old nursery worker from leicester, she enjoys glossy monthly and weekly magazines.