Over the course of this module I feel as though I’ve learnt a lot by putting myself out there in new environments and particularly working with another organisation, rather than just on my own.
Despite learning a lot, I’ve found it very difficult to stick to the deadline and to manage my time, because what I was producing was very much reliant on other people. This has resulted in the final portfolio being quite weak. Overall, I’m happy with the work I produced, but had I known that I wouldn’t have been able to use images with faces in them, I think I would have been able to create a much stronger body of work without having to change concepts right at the end. I would have also produced a lot more, as I had 16 initial posts to start with, ended up with only 5.
The topic I chose to focus on also made it difficult to produce work in some respects. Because of the nature of my chosen topic, including elderly people and people with learning difficulties in sheltered accommodation, the whole process needed to be treated sensitively. Some of the images I took on the first day including people with learning difficulties. Because of this, these subjects would have needed written consent from their next of kin or support workers. This is also something I only found out towards the end of working with Age Connects Morgannwg, and so I wouldn’t have had time to get this consent through the residency managers to contact the next of kin.
I also feel as though I could have done more research into hashtags and focused more on the posting element of the campaign. Because I was left with so little time to post in the end, this meant I rushed it quite a bit. I feel I was successful in terms of trying to target the correct organisations and accounts, particularly on twitter. On instagram, the unlimited element of the comments section meant I was able to use a large amount of hashtags relating to my campaign and the images. I didn’t get round to making a posting plan for my campaign, as I was limited in terms of time and also content so it would have been fairly pointless. I am disappointed that I wasn’t able to start experimenting with posts at different times of the day, to try and get an idea of when my target audience would be online. I assumed it would only be the daytime as I was targeting organisations, however I found that posts in the evening actually got more individuals involved in the campaign.
I’ve also found it really interesting to experiment with different pieces of technology, and I’m disappointed I couldn’t pursue these further. Given the time frame that I was struggling to stick to anyway, it would have been foolish to make my life even harder. I would definitely want to practice these sorts of techniques (such as gifs, green screen apps and cinemagraphs) in my own time to potentially use in a future project.
By working with an organisation rather than on my own, I gained access to areas that allowed me to produce the body of work that I have. Whilst this is an enormous benefit, it also had very large drawbacks. Working with an organisation is always going to take longer in terms of projects like these. This is because it’s not myself that needs to give approval, it’s most likely multiple people (in this case Esyllt and the CEO). Not only this, but with the time pressure of working with an organisation, it also means a lot of dependency on them to ensure the project or idea is pursued and completed. Unfortunately for me this wasn’t the case, because at the last hurdle of approval I was told I cannot use images that identify the subject without getting permission (again) from them, which I didn’t have time for.
Even though the latter part of this project was very stressful, I found that I’ve learnt a lot of social media in general, using it to post images from a shoot I did at a Topshop event and using hashtags to get upwards of 70 likes on images. I will continue to use what I’ve learnt from this module, especially in terms of making the most of hashtags and tagging. I will also try to learn from my mistakes and the difficulties I found along the way – especially when working with an organisation – to make sure we are both on the same page when we agree to work together.