Critical Evaluation

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.

Last minute post!

Whilst I still have until tomorrow for the deadline for this module, I thought I’d try and fit in one last post.

I’ve made up an image – of a cup of tea – because although it’s not as strongly correlated to older age as my other images, it could still be an image for an older person.

This means I can use any quote alongside it – I will try and pick the strongest one to finish my campaign off.

I’ve used Andrew’s quote as I think it rounds up everything in terms of loneliness – to make an effort and let yourself not be lonely.

Andrewtwitterandinsta

Because this image is upright (the rest have been landscape so I’ve had to amend where the text is in the image as mentioned in my previous post) I will use the same one for both twitter and instagram.

I will post this tomorrow morning, which is the day of the deadline so I won’t have a chance to analyse the results, but hopefully I will still get up to 3 retweets which is the minimum I’ve got on my twitter posts (the maximum so far is 5).

Although this imagery isn’t as strong in this photo I feel like the quote, although simple and not a story, gives a strong idea of how some people view and cope with loneliness.


Also as I’ve been writing this I’ve got another retweet from @wearecardiff, who have over 1,000 followers, so hopefully this means that the impressions on this tweet (Anne’s story) will be even higher than the others. This is from tagging them in my photo – again proving how effective this can be on social media.

 

Analytics

I started to look at my analytics on twitter which showed how many impressions and engagements my tweets were getting. I did however make an error on one of them because I spelt #loneliness wrong!! :

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 18.12.00.png

This post got significantly less impressions than the others – which shows how important the hashtags are. I deleted the post and it’s retweet to post it again correctly, hoping this will make a difference in terms of it’s impressions.

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 19.47.02.png

The most successful tweet so far is Meryl’s story. I couldn’t say why this is, as both the first two stories were posted around 9/10 am. I took this screen shot only 2 hours after I had posted Anne’s story, so I don’t think this is a fair representation of this tweet yet.

It’s interesting to see that I have gained followers and retweets from organisations and individuals who I had had no engagement with before on twitter. I think the biggest difference in getting more impressions is definitely retweets. Meryl’s story got 5 retweets and only 1 like, whereas Adrian’s story got 3 retweets and 3 likes – still the same number of retweets and likes between them, but Adrian’s got less engagements because the tweet wasn’t shared as far.

I also used unionmetrics.com to analyse my instagram posting:

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 23.49.40

Bizarrely, it recommends 1am on a friday as the best time for me to post, which seems odd considering I don’t recall posting at this time! Unfortunately, these analytics don’t differentiate from other posts, as I was posting other things during the same time as my campaign from a Topshop event I photographed.

Overall I think looking at these analytics (particularly the twitter ones) has shown me actually how far a couple of retweets can get a post. Given that my twitter account has 38 followers, but some of my tweets have made up to 300/350 impressions, so reached 10 times more people than if I posted it with no hashtags and had no retweets.

This has really proven to me how much of a difference hashtags, tagging and retweets can make when it comes to getting a post seen.

Final ideas to post alone

These are my final images I have to post. The ones on the left are for twitter, on the right for instagram. (I’ve found that without having a complete portrait shape in instagram the writing it too high up in the frame)

AdrianTwitterAdrianINSTA copy

AnnetwitterAnneINSTA

 

MeryltwitterMerylINSTA

CrinyllstwitterCrinylls insta

So far I’m really pleased with how these have turned out.

My intention when posting is to use the hashtags I have looked into when I was researching my hospice idea. On twitter however I will be limited so I will be using #loneliness, #lonelyolderstories and #photojstudent.

On instagram there will be many more and this is my first post which shows the hashtags and also a couple of accounts I have tagged in the comments:

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 19.41.35

 

I also made the most of trying to tag people in the images I post on twitter, as I’m limited on characters this is a really good way of getting people’s attention.

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I will keep posting these with the same hashtags (making sure I use my own one for this project), I will then use analytics to see how well the posts are doing.

 

They will be posted on my professional accounts @emilykeophoto (instagram) and @photoJ_emilykeo (twitter). I won’t be posting on Facebook as I don’t think there is much use because I would have to set up a separate account to post them in (as I don’t want to post on my personal social account), and this would take time to build up a following before posting this content.

 

email from esyllt – change of plan

After waiting a couple of days for a reply from Esyllt with the updated narrative, I chased her up and got this very disappointing reply:

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I understand all of the above, however when I set out to work with this organisation, we discussed time frames in relation to my deadline and it wasn’t an issue. I made my plans of imagery very clear when I first met with Shelley to discuss ideas, so it’s frustrating that it’s all of a sudden an issue. Similarly, the release form clearly states the images will be used for promotional purposes and a University of South Wales project, as well as me explaining this to all residents when I met them.

I replied to get an idea of exactly what content I could and couldn’t use.

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 18.30.49.png

I was very careful to not be rude (as I was really stressed at this point – 1 week before my deadline), because it seems quite harsh to me that they’ve told me this so late in the day. If it was going to be an issue and I had known so early on – like with the hospice idea – I could have gone elsewhere or come up with a new idea.

In the email above Esyllt says she didn’t think Shelley understood how I was going to use the images. This annoyed me slightly as working with Shelley was fantastic, and she knew my intentions exactly as we thoroughly went over them, and Esyllt also approved them! So to make it out as if it was Shelley’s fault is slightly upsetting as she was great to work with.

In the end we settled with:

  • I will use images where the subject cannot be identified.
  • I won’t use Age Connects Morgannwg’s name (which is a shame after spending so much energy and work getting to this point with them)
  • I will be posting on my own social media accounts

Generally, this is really frustrating but I’m just going to have to use whatever images I have (which is few) and maybe try and come up with some more, as half the problem is that I cannot get back to the residents given the time I have left and also lack of transport.

This means I have the following images to use so far:

I will begin with posting these images with their quotes on instagram and twitter and try and come up with some more ideas of images I could use without having to involve older people, like a cup of tea on the counter for example.

I also tried to do something a bit abstract by blurring the face out on one of the images:

FORBLOGBURRING

I did this by using the elliptical marquee tool and selecting the face, then I feathered the edge under Select>Refine Edge. I then went to Filter>Blur>Gaussian blur.

Although this technically means the subject isn’t identifiable, I think it’s pushing it a bit. I think it also creates a bit of a creepy element to the image – which is not what I’m aiming to achieve.


I’ve definitely learnt from this experience the setbacks of working with an organisation. Even though it meant I could create some networks and expand my access areas, it’s not turned out as I would hope. It has meant I’ve been able to gain access but ultimately it’s resulted on me working on my own again – which is fine, it’s just very late in the day now to be panicking about what I’m going to do!

I won’t have as many posts as I had planned and wanted, but I’m going to just have to do the best I can given the circumstances.

fabulous oldies

Although I’ve already shot my images, I got sent this article/website by Andy which I found really interesting.

https://fabulousoldies.com/2016/01/03/how-i-met-bob-woods-in-waitrose/

Fabulous Oldies is a blog/website run by Duncan Raban. He essentially celebrates older people and often finds stories of interesting people or people who have something to say. The article I’ve posted above is titled ‘loneliness in waitrose’ and is about a person called Bob who, amongst many other interesting anecdotes, describes the loneliness he has felt as an older person.

It’s quite a long article, but I really found myself engrossed in it. It’s made me think a bit more about how important the stories and wording from a person is than maybe the imagery/photos, which is what I’ve focused on mostly so far. I’m glad the Esyllt is going to respond and help me with the narrative of my images, not only for the sake of the organisation being able to use them but to make sure the stories I’m telling are interesting and relevant to the point.

feedback and meeting with esyllt

Before my meeting with Esyllt I sent her a detailed plan of my ideas and an example of how the tweet would look once posted using the other style of imagery so she could have a direct comparison between the two.

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I took in my images with the split image to Esyllt to show her the new design of the imagery.

I also wanted to confirm that I would be able to post the images on my instagram account as Age Connects Morgannwg don’t use instagram.

The feedback I got was quite strong, she just wanted to ensure everything we were doing fit in with their communications policies. The only negative she really picked out was that the quotes were too long, and not always in keeping with the idea of the campaign of loneliness and isolation. Obviously this is due to the quotes I got from the subjects, as some of them didn’t really relate to either concept, but I still tried to incorporate their own stories whether this was positive or negative.

Esyllt also said that as a general rule, they try not to use the word “senior” in reference to the hashtag idea I had come up with. When I was trying to come up with the hashtag I was trying to come up with something catchy or with alliteration so people would remember or recognise it.

I asked her for her personal opinion or any ideas she had that could apply to a unique hashtag for the campaign.

Overall the feedback was good, and we left the discussion (which was fairly brief – around 20 minutes), to both come up with new ideas for a hashtag and also that I would send her the images with the narrative so that she could cut them down and make sure that they were along the lines of what the organisation wants to promote.

As soon as I got home from the meeting I sent them straight over to her and am now eagerly waiting for a response, as it’s 10 days until the deadline for this module and the campaign should really be underway and I need to be posting as soon as possible.