I have helped VII Photo photographer Anastasia Taylor-Lind in researching for a project in Syria to do with refugee camps on the countries that outskirt Syria. It was a great experience for me because Anastasia’s work is very much what I could see myself getting into and enjoying.
Here is the email I sent to Anastasia in order to get some work with her
I am a photography student studying at Coventry University. I have a work placement module to do and I would love to work with you.
I am passionate about documentary photography and portraiture. Having ongoing projects myself, photographing a gypsy community and people living on canal boats, it has given me a definitive direction of what I want to do with my life. I was introduced to your work recently and I am really fascinated by your bodies of work and your style of working. I would love to see what you do on a day to day basis and learn from you.
Many thanks for your time
Here is an example of the kind of work Anastasia does.
The reason I wanted to get some experience with Anastasia in the first place is because I thought it would be good to get a gage on what it is really like to be a documentary photographer in day to day life. To be honest it was kind of what I expected. Anastasia is part of an agency called VII Photo and they will sometimes giver her commissions to do certain jobs but she also has the opportunity to spend her own money on doing a project and then sell it to a paper or magazine and because she is part of the agency and has built up a good reputation she can be fairly sure that her project will be published and therefore get the money in.
It was a very relaxed experience at her house and straight away I felt at ease and comfortable. I sat with my iPad and tried to pin point a topic for her next project by looking at things like child brides in the refugee camps that outskirt Syria and even looked at mass weddings which included going on strange dating websites and translating/reading articles from journalists in Syria. I think doing this research and being guided along the way has helped me with my own practice and how I approach my subjects.
The most important thing I learnt was how to research efficiently, Anastasia takes everything back to basics and has huge spider diagrams on her walls to add things to, no matter how big or small and I found this a really effective method of planning her project. I felt like I had achieved something for her to work with and more importantly, a skill for myself to work with on future projects.