Tuesday, 8 February 2011

TIM by Eleanor Cleasby

TIM by Eleanor Cleasby

I am doing an MA in photography in London. I am working on a project about home carers. If you look after an elderly relative or sick person I would like tell your story. I would like to spend some time with you documenting your daily life and routines.
Thank you.

So ran the advertisement from Ellie on Gumtree. I replied saying, as I would do many times again, saying that I was not exactly what she was looking for but would she like to photograph me anyway. She said she would and we met to discuss the shoot at Waterloo Station on 28th March 2008 and she showed me a storyboard which she had already sketched out in preparation for the shoot. We talked for about an hour and confirmed that she would come to my home early the next day.

The shoot went very well. We both got on well and she was pleased that I was so obliging with my time and during the morning she basically documented my routine. She also recorded me talking about the effects of my illness and this recording formed the basis of the her pictorial essay which she sent to me subsequently. She returned on two more occasions to cover shots which had not worked so well and to take still life photographs of implements which now caused me difficulty to use such as cufflinks, shoelaces, razor etc.

Some months later, we met on the South Bank where she handed me a portfolio of the photographs with "Tim" printed on the cover. When I saw that simple word, tears came to my eyes because I felt so moved that she or indeed anyone should have taken the time and trouble to tell my story in such a way.

It was with Ellie that I first experienced the joy of communication that a model has with the photographer. One communicates through the lens as the picture is taken and round the lens as you chat about other things eg your life, her life etc. Then there is the final communication, the moment when the actual print of the photograph is presented to you.





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