Hello! I’m Serena Siow, welcome to my blog!
After finishing my final year of school last year, I had a terrible photographer’s block. This was mostly due to my photography going towards my HSC Visual Art Body Of Work Film, my HSC Dance Major Film and my source of income. As much as I enjoyed working on these projects, it wasn’t for personal enjoyment or stylistic expression. In turn, I have shot digitally since 2012 but have always been captivated by the sentimental value along with the beautiful tones and authenticity of film photography. So in December 2016, I began brain storming ideas to get started on film.
Idea 1: shoot a roll of film per week = unrealistic because of the cost
Idea 2: take 3 film photos per day = unrealistic with the usual 24 or 36 frames/roll and “what would my photos be of?” and “what would keep it thematic or organised?”
I kept the ideas running through my head because I really wanted to push myself as a photographer. I was unhappy with the work I was producing and I started sharing my work less and less over the months, unsatisfied with anything I took.
One night, Mum had come home from a trip to Malaysia visiting family and her brother kindly gifted me two of his film cameras. I bought some film a few days later from Big W and began bringing my film cameras with me everywhere. I currently have a small collection of film cameras including hand me downs and some that Mum found on Ebay.
On New Year’s Eve 2016, I was at home with Mum and at 12:00am, I wished her Happy New Year and took a photo of her with one of the cameras from my uncle and asked her to take one back of me too.
This was the beginning of ‘YOU ME US THEM’. As the year has concluded, this blog is a record of how I continued to take a photo of a new person and had them take a photo back of me every single day of 2017. It was an incredibly process, challenging myself to:
- Learn to understand lighting situations to manually choose my settings. This is a way of teaching myself to become an independent film photographer
- Take photos of different people everyday to be constantly practicing my creativity
- Develop my social skills and confidence. I’m quite a shy person who finds it difficult to speak up in public, especially to complete strangers. Day 13 was the first day that I had to ask a stranger for a photo. It took hours for me to gather up the courage to ask someone but in the end it paid off and this project will too!
Thank you to all 365 days worth of people for making this project possible!