media and documentary: photo essay ideas

This trimester, in addition to my Colour Management class, I am taking a Media and Documentary photography class. This is an area of photography I don’t know all that well, but I’m very interested in. I have certainly enjoyed the class materials so far!

This week, we have to present two ideas for our main project, a photo essay. I am thinking of two quite different projects. The first is a focus on queer Australia, what it looks like to be young and belong to the LGBTQIA+ community in in Canberra in 2019. I’m a queer woman myself, and so this is of course of great interest to me. Canberra has a very vibrant queer community so I think I would have a lot of possible subjects for this particular essay, however the thing that is holding me back the most is the social interaction required - it would make me very anxious, and it would also rely on finding subjects and them actually showing up to a shoot.

The second idea is to focus on the role of the library in 2019. My wife is a librarian, so this is also a very relevant subject for me. I like the idea of re-imagining the traditional view of the library as a stuffy, boring, academic space which is exclusive and instead focus on the community-building, lively, safe spaces that they really are for a lot of the community. Since my wife started working at the National Library, I have spent a lot of my study time in their reading rooms, or in local public libraries. I have come to learn how important they are to many people and what an undervalued resource they are.

Overall, I am leaning towards my second option. I think overall it would be more practical in the time given, and it would also be a subject I could expand upon later. Queer issues have been all over the media lately and I am concerned that I wouldn’t necessarily have anything new to say in that space. I think the library option gives me more room to be creative and say something with my work!

What do you think?