This module began with a task set by Lecturer Anneke Pettican to create a digital zine that portrays our individual practice and plans for our personal MA project. As a freelance commercial photographer, I work within the realms of portraiture, fashion, family, baby, maternity and product photo shoots. I am continually building on my photographic skills as I plan to own my own photographic studio in the near future.  The skills I have acquired through this commercial work environment are fundamental in allowing me to successfully embark on my MA project. Through photographic portraiture I plan to capture images that visually represent cultural identity. With a specific focus on my own Scottish heritage, I will be visually exploring what the feeling of home means to me and to other cultures around the world.

This interest in cultural identity was sparked during my 12-month internship in Red Bluff, California where I experienced a completely different way of living. Through my previous auto- ethnographic research study during the final year of my BA Photography course, I researched and explored how photographic portraiture influences and contributes to documenting, shaping or criticising cultural identities across the world. With a specific focus on the cultural normality of guns in Northern California, my research investigated how different upbringings, lifestyles and beliefs shape who we are as a person.

To extend this project further, I will be researching into the concepts of cultural identity along with the significance of photographic portraiture in producing a visual story that illustrates how the feeling of home carries many different forms and importances across different cultures.  In reflecting on my own relocation from Scotland to England along with my experience of living in Northern California, I plan to document and explore my own Scottish heritage by visually documenting the specific influences that have resulted in my attribution as a place I call home.

The task of creating a zine was something that is new to me as I am unfamiliar with the process of using InDesign. Through watching various YouTube tutorial videos, I opted to using a brochure style layout as I felt this was a simplistic and eye-catching way to efficiently represent my goals as a commercial photographer and practitioner. I chose a fashion style portrait for the front cover as I think it will grab the audience’s attention and encourage them to read the entire brochure. Although this style of portrait is different from how I plan to shoot my project, it helps to reflect my technical ability, skill set and individual style.

Chancellor, D. (n, d.). Hunters. David Chancellor.

Smart, N. (n, d.). Photography. Ngadi Smart.