I took this at face value and found a subject who I knew would be able to identify five different places which had particular significance. Persuading people to help for a series is more troublesome than for just a one-off, but my choice for this exercise was most cooperative.
There are three interiors and two exteriors. The outside pictures were made on an overcast day and are rather flat, but the context is one of historical significance so a more reflective, undramatic approach seems appropriate.
The interiors represent current associations. One was in a pottery studio with appealing natural light, the others needed artificial lighting. Both were simply lit with a 80cm softbox and gridded dish for main and backlight respectively.
I’ve cropped them square. No reason other than I think it suits the subject and setting and I like it.
I have learned some useful things from this exercise. People want direction – certainly during the photography but also in the arrangements. It’s better to say what I want – and be diverted – than to leave things unclear.
People are concerned about what you want them to do or wear, so even if it doesn’t really matter it’s a good idea to give them something to work on.
Rather than say “It won’t take long”, then feel hurried and under pressure, it would be better to say “I expect to need an hour, maybe less but certainly no more”
Working in confined areas is difficult; highly portable equipment is good but lightweight lighting stands need good heavy weights to keep them safe.
It’s a good idea (for me, anyway) to have a preconceived idea of what I could do. I recce’d the locations I didn’t already know and took some reference pictures. Even if I changed my mind on the day it was reassuring to know that I was turning up with ready-made ideas and plans of how to achieve them. As it turned out I used the ideas because they worked and there wasn’t time to improvise.