MIT OCW Documentary Photography Class — Documentary Photo Project

Another post but my proposal for the documentary project is due today.



The assignment description from the course:

Documentary Photo Project
Each of you will be required to plan and carryout a documentary photo project. You may select your own subject – subject to my approval, but I would urge that you not take on anything too grandiose. I would suggest that you begin looking for a subject close to home, considering, for instance:

Life on your dorm floor
A fraternity weekend, or life in a fraternity
A day-week-month in a local laundromat
A day-week-month in a local laundromat
The work of a scientist, or lab
The activities of a campus group or organization
On the other hand, you may push the envelop as far as you dare – If you can gain access to a group of people, or an organization, whose lives or functioning we normally never see, go for it. But remember, to paraphrase Susan Meiselas:

“Faraway is not a place.”

And even more important, remember that there is one thing that you owe your subjects, be they your roommates or a group of developmentally disabled adults –

Honesty: Honesty in your vision; honesty in what you tell your subjects about your project and its purpose; honesty in your approach to your subject; and honesty in what you present to your viewers.

Your finished project will consist of 15-30 photographs, and 1500-2000 words of explanatory text. The text and photographs should, together, present the uninitiated with an understandable, engaging, ‘picture’ of your subject, but the writing and the photos should each stand on their own.



M has had to be a stand-in for other students. With her help, I chose Ghost Bikes in the Santa Fe Area.