The work of Marcus Bleasdale with his photojournalism makes my own trivial pursuits seem quite selfish and ignorant especially with regards to his choice of subject to portray. He has literally changed his way of life to dedicate bringing to light inequalities in the world while I have so far chosen a much more enclosed, introspective perspective. I should remind myself there are still inequalities where I live and try to bring about change in these places.
He talks about the single-image narrative still being a powerful tool – ‘I know Tom [Stoddart]’s work has been used to raise large amounts of money for aid agencies just through the strength of the single image.’ – (Bleasdale, 2005). This is inspiring for my second assignment for Documentary because he was talking in regards to how other people read the image. My target audience – other people where I live – would need to understand what I was trying to tell through single images.
His work is still documentary and yet he often builds a rapport with his subjects for the photographs first and then this he believes is reflected into pictures. This is illustrated when he says: ‘I spend a lot of time helping as much as I can expanding the relationship that I have as a photographer and a human being.’, followed by: ‘If your subjects have respect for you and you for them, then I think this will be evident in the final image.’ – (Bleasdale, 2005). This interested me greatly because usually I would take candid photographs so the photograph remained unconstructed. This is something which I feel is controversial in documentary; is the photographer then not constructing the image and tailoring it to mean something else despite their best intentions? However if the photographer did not build this (relative novelty for me) of a rapport between photographer and subject, then the photograph wouldn’t be as intimate and affecting. Therefore if the goal is to bring about social change, then the photographs where there is a rapport visible on some level between photographer and subject would have more of a profound effect on the viewer. Indeed this is something I could see in Bleasdale’s work; specifically the ‘Sakura Lisi’ series.
Bleasdale, M. (2005). Inside. Foto8, [online] (Vol4No3), pp.68-70. Available at: https://issuu.com/foto8/docs/vol4no3 [Accessed 6 Mar. 2017].
Bleasdale, M. (2008). The Rape of a Nation. [online] Marcus Bleasdale – Photographer. Available at: http://www.marcusbleasdale.com/new-gallery/ [Accessed 6 Mar. 2017].