Elena Chimonas' Blog

Photographic Inspirations

Degree Show Involvement – Coventry and London

My main involvement has been with the degree show in Farringdon which will be held from Monday 18th June until Sunday 24th June. My main role to begin with was the Gallery Venue Liaison: We originally had 10 people out of 21 that chose to have another exhibition in a major city so as a group we chose London. I called Free Range which is a warehouse that once a year for 6 weeks is a gallery for graduates and is a showcase of fashion, art, design, photography, motion arts, interior and architecture. I spoke with Tamsin O’Hanlon numerous occasions on the phone and by email and arranged a meeting for the group in London to view the spaces available.

I kept notes with facts and figures from the meeting and took photographs of the gallery for those that were not able to travel to London on that day. After careful consideration we decided as a group to not exhibit our work with Free Range; mainly because by that time it was harder for Tamsin to accommodate a group of 9 into a space and thus the funds needed were growing. We chose to continue to look elsewhere for another gallery which would be a showcase of our work alone. I began ringing other galleries with the help of another member in the group and eventually arranged a viewing for Blackall Studios in Shoreditch for the 12th November. The other member of the group called and arranged a meeting for Free Range gallery in Farringdon for the same day. After both viewings we decided to go with Frameless gallery, mainly because it was cheaper. I personally preferred Blackall studios as it is a much larger space for viewing work and better for a private view to accommodate many people.
After the decision was taken, I devoted my time to advertising both the London and Coventry exhibition. I took minuets at the fortnightly meetings we had and made sure that those people that were not present that day were informed on what had been said and organised that day. I am currently organising the food and drink that will be needed for the private view on Monday 18th June and will purchase that next week with the help of another member in the group. The final role I have taken on with the London exhibition is organising a rota for looking after the show over the course of the 6 days it will be open to the public. The gallery will always have at least one photographer present (with the owner) and if possible two. I have already offered to take on more shifts as I have a place to stay for that week that is only 40 minuets away from the gallery.

I will continue to advertise on Twitter, Facebook and verbally (which I feel is most important as it is much more personal) but the social networking sites can reach more people and quickly. The Coventry Exhibition which is still on is currently a success and hopefully the Exhibition in London will be an even bigger success.

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Distribution Plan

Potential recipients of this PDF portfolio would be sports magazines, newspapers or gallery owners looking for potential employers to look after galleries and run and promote upcoming shows. I will try and promote this portfolio through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter and it will be showcased on my blog.

I will also send the portfolio to the connections I have already made with Rugby Union, Football, Boxing and Motorsport. Hopefully they will contact me again if they need work. This portfolio is a great way to promote myself as a sports photographer and can easily be updated and modified if needs me for future work.

I will continue to contact potential employers and send them this PDF portfolio along with my CV.

Rugby Union – Coventry University, Syston Team, Leicester.

Football – Coventry City, Ricoh Arena.

Boxing – Coventry University.

Motorsport, Rogue Motorsport, 750 Motor Club, Mr2

Reflective Evaluation

This project as a whole has been a success and I have achieved everything that I had planned to.

The target audience has, for the most part, remained the same, the only difference is that it may attract less sport enthusiasts that I originally thought, purely for the fact that I decided not to include my action images of sporting events. The reason I chose not to was after a tutorial with Caroline, she suggested that it was best to cut out the middle and just have the beginning and end. After thinking about what was discussed I agreed with her. Even though I still have an absolute passion for sports photography, and have photographed every sporting event I attended for this project, it was still best to concentrate on the individuals rather than the whole event. The aim of this project is to take a step back from the loud sporting events and look closely at the athletes competing to try to capture the emotion in my portraits.

The body of work produced is suitable for both the Coventry and London exhibitions as it has the minimal, clean look I wanted. I had originally planned to showcase more images on the wall but as the project went on I started to narrow down my choices from 12 images, to 6 then down to 2. I feel this works best with the idea of presenting my most successful images collectively in a book. The book will be displayed on the oak and stainless steel plinth that was made for the exhibition.

Before I realised I had a passion for photographing sports, I always had shoots where I worked with people and enjoyed using skills such as directing. This project was perfect for me as it linked together the two great passions I have with photography and they are sport and people. Many useful contacts have been made throughout the course of this module which will enable me to continue this project when ready to do so. The book contains 30 images, 15 athletes and 3 sports but my next aim is to be able to create a book with 30 images and 15 athletes from 15 different sports.

I noticed near the end that I hadn’t photographed many women in this project and this was not my aim. I had not set out to specifically find male or female sports teams, it just happend to turn out that the sports teams that responded to my request of being involved in the project were mostly male. I don’t think in any way this changes what the project shows because at the end of the day the images show the emotion and journey that athletes from 3 different sports go through. The project is not about the representation of people in sport, it is about the emotion and journey therefore I do not feel that it matters what sex they are.

In general everything went smoothly and according to plan with the photoshoots and travel. The only small disappointment was the Fight Night that was cancelled but the emotions I wanted to portray through my photography was still captured from the other events. In regards to printing and having everything exhibition ready, the first prints of the final A2 images were only a small set back and was soon rectified by printing elsewhere. The books are still an issue that has not yet been resolved. I will call the company in Nottingham again when they open tomorrow at 9am and question why they have not yet been sent when they told me on Monday morning that they would be able to do so.

Overall, even with a couple of minor set backs with the final pieces, as a project I am happy with what I have accomplished. I feel the titles work well with the images, and the photographs as diptychs are a good way of presenting the emotion and journey that the individual went through with the undertaken event and the style in which I chose to photograph them linked the sports well together. I look forward to working with new sports teams and photographing athletes from various sports in the future.

Another day spent on phones

Today has been spent desperately trying to get a new book printed from John e Wright Printers. First I called the Leicester branch as I thought thats there the printers were but they informed me that it was in fact the Nottingham that print everything. After speaking with the Coventry branch they originally told me that they would forward my email with the pre made pdf of the cover and inner pages (from Lightroom) and that they would be able to have it in the store by tomorrow which would have been perfect. After many phone calls and emails to the Nottingham branch my order has finally been put through and now my book will be sent by currier and fingers crossed will be with me by Wednesday Midday.

Update on the blurb books… Many emails back and forth to Blurb and many phone calls to UPS. UPS have informed me that after a formal investigation that was placed on Friday, they have now clearly identified that my package was carelessly misplaced and have reported it as missing. I have also been informed that the driver that delivered my books has now lost his job due to it.
I have had regular emails with Blurb in the Netherlands but they do not seam to understand that they themselves need to get in touch with UPS before I can have more books printed and sent to me. This seams to be an ongoing battle and I’m started to feel very drained. I’m not sure if they will even be able to send me a new set at all. On a possitive note I look forward to the new book arriving from Nottingham. This one book is costing the same as the two blurb books together but I know the quality is great and exhibition standard so should be worth it.

The final pieces for Exhibition

The 4 final pieces that make up my presentation the exhibition are the two A2 thin black frames with one set of a boxer, the book and the plinth in which the book will sit on. I still have not received the boom from the second company in Nottingham but when I do I will post it on here.

A printer in Coventry for Book Binding!

I have found a printers in Coventry who can print a book in potentially 24 hours. I will go to them first thing tomorrow morning. They are located in Earlsdon so I can easily get a bus there. John e Wright printers have been highly recommended so I trust that the quality will be up to standard. The reason I am going there myself is to see the quality before I place my order. Fingers crossed I will have a book by Tuesday Morning and therefore have a hard copy of my book to hand in on Wednesday.

My Blurb book in PDF format

I’m still devastated with my books being stolen from my door step but at the moment there is still nothing I can do but wait. Blurb have finally replied to me with a unhelpful response but hopefully the problem will be resolved soon. As I will not have the physical book for the deadline Wednesday I have no other choice but to submit a PDf file of my book. I’m struggeling to find the words to explain how this has made me feel. My beautiful hand crafted plinth still stands alone without a book.
Journey:Sport:Emotion Cover
Journey:Sport:Emotion Pages

Alternative Ideas

I have looked around online and have decided that I can not take any more chances. I have come across a voucher that will be a good back up. I am also going to order two new books from blurb first thing Monday morning after a few more phone calls to try and resulve the issue of the missing books. I am still rather upset about them but i must now think of other ways so that I can at least have the books for my exhibition. I have a beautifully designed plinth but sadly no book to put on it for the time being.

Herbie Photobooks is a website I can come across, they take up to 14 days to deliver but it is still an option. There is nothing else I can do but keep trying.


The start of the new project:

The Plinth for the Book

When the Oak arrived I was really happy with the look and feel it had. As thy were off cuts they already had an old feel to it so this helped when it came to using the pieces for the construction of the plinth.

I am highly impressed with how the plinth has been made, the smooth, sharp stainless steel works really well against the high grain and burnt look from the oak. The angle is made to perfection and the lip is big enough and sturdy enough for the A4 book. I look forward to being able to put my book on it when the new copy finally arrives.

Blurb Books Stolen

On Thursday 17th at 17:11 my Blurb books were carelessly left at the front door by a UPS delivery driver and as a result they have been stolen. I stayed in uni till late on Thursday and did not get home till 10pm so that’s enough time for a package to be picked up by a passer by as I live on a main road. I’m distraught. Yesterday from 9 -5 I called UPS 4 times to try and resulve the issue and find out exactly why my package was left without a signature needed or even a note through the door.

UPDATE:

I have been in touch with UPS many times on Monday 21st. After they raised the formal investigation they discovered who the driver was and they have proof that he did leave my package on the doorstep without consideration of what might happen to it and as a result is no longer working for UPS. From UPS’s side there is nothing more they can do to help me as Blurb need to put in a formal complaint from his side and then my books can be reprinted and sent to me. I have had many emails back and forth with Blurb but nothing seams to be getting resolved. His last email said that he had contacted UPS and they said that nothing came about from his search.