During my studies at University West, I had the opportunity to study a semester abroad. I went to the lovely town of York, in the northern part of England. I took a course in visual culture, and our final task of the semester was to create a photo essay on a subject we chose ourselves.
During the weekends York floods with tourists, and on almost every corner you would see street performers of various skill and talents. I was always curious about who they were and why they choose to perform on the street. I think I had the idea about it that they did it for money, but I was wrong.
I headed out on the streets of York with my camera in my hand and a lovely assistant by my side (my friend Clara), who helped me take notes. I photographed the performers and listened to them perform. Then I walked up and talked with them for a bit, asked them who they were and where they where from, and also why they perform on the streets of York. It was lovely talking to these people who where very humble and gracious about everything, and very happy to share their stories.
When I had gathered the stories I edited all the pictures and wrote down all the stories. I decided to make the essay in black and white because I thought it would convey the right feeling. It was important to me that the people was portraid in the right way, and that their story came accross as real and could be understood in the right way. So I worked a lot with the text in adition to the pictures, to make them complement and reenforce each performers story.
I published the essay on a publishing site called Issuu.com and you can read it here.
I got some very nice feedback from my professor who thought it was a very strong essay with a lot of heart and a nice layout of the concept. I also sent it to a publisher in Sweden for feedback and got some great feedback from him as well, but the best feedback was the fact that the local paper in York got in touch and wanted to publish parts of it in the newspaper.
This was a super fun project and I enjoyed it all the way from start to finish. It really pushed me out of my comfort zone and developed both my photography and editing & layout skills, as well as my writing and storytelling.