Coursework, Part 2 - Narrative, Project 1 - Telling a story

Project 1 – Exercise – The Dad Project

Read Campbell’s accompanying text which contextualises this project, much like the photo essays of the 1940s.

How does Bryony Campbell’s The Dad Project compare with Country Doctor?

Bryony Campbell is a photography from London. She documented her father’s death from cancer with a series called ‘The Dad Project’. I was consumed with so many emotions when viewing the series. The sadness I felt towards the end of the series was very overwhelming. The pure emotion that Campbell has captured is heart warming, the love she has for her Dad and family is evident through these images. The photographs are so natural and show the intimate relationship within the family. There is a strong connection between the photographer and the subject.

W. Eugene Smith made a photo essay for LIFE magazine. For 23 days he follows the life and work of Dr. Ernest Ceriani from Colorado in 1948. Many of is photo’s were moving, however, they did not effect me in the same way as Campbell’s images. I didn’t feel any connection between the photographer and the subject, there was no relationship like in ‘The Dad Project’.

Campbell was more comfortable in the presence of her Dad than Smith may had been with Dr. Ceriani. Smith made the decision to shot with his camera without any film for a while. This allowed Dr. Ceriani to get used to his presence to enable more candid and meaningful images. Campbell’s series feels a lot more personal whereas Smith’s seems more journalistic.

Both series has accompanying text with the photographs. Smith’s text is very detailed with the whole narrative. Campbell’s narrative is softer and poetic.

What do you like she means by ‘an ending without an ending’?

This gives me a sense of afterlife. Her series has ended but her memories of her father lives in through the photographs and her personal memories. She could also mean she has kept him alive with her series, he will always be viewed by many people. Her Dad will always be remembered, even by those who did not know him, simply through ‘The Dad Project’.

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