Photographing CIEE Monteverde's Kitchen Staff At Work
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Photographing CIEE Monteverde's Kitchen Staff At Work

Idea Generation

What is this project about?

Looking for more support narrowing down your idea? Try using the idea matrix on this page.

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photographing a professional kitchen staff while they're at work

What do you want to get out of this project?

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work on capturing candid moments of people at work, try out food photography, and continue developing my editing style in Lightroom

where did the skills go? we are taking skills out of the idea generation process, in an attempt to make projects more career-focused. If you want to get leveled-up for a project, share it with the appropriate guide or faculty member for feedback upon completion.

Guiding Question

Turn your idea above into a guiding question.

Check out some resources on how to write a guiding question here.

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What is restaurant photography, and how can I capture candid moments of the kitchen staff preparing food?

Exploration

Use this space to take notes, keep track of your sources, or conversations you have with people about this project.

Production

What will it take for you to complete this project?

Use the table below to set your own timeline for deliverables, keep in mind when your final work product is due at the end of the cycle.

Work Product Deliverables

MilestoneDateDone
Meet with Dr. Karen Masters about photographing CIEE Monteverde's kitchen staff while they're at work.
March 24, 2021
Photography session during dinner preparation.
March 29, 2021
Edit the photos (both in color and in black-and-white).
March 30, 2021 β†’ April 16, 2021
Finish the final product!
April 16, 2021
Complete the reflection.
April 27, 2021

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Add a short description and cover photo

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Work Product

Was your project deep?

Reflection

Reflect on this project cycle by answering the questions below.

The act of reflecting allows you to highlight the accomplishments and applications of your project. (questions courtesy of Powderhouse Studios)

Was your project meaningful?

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Did this project matter? In what ways did it further your knowledge, force you to grow, or provide something useful?

Yes. Usually, photoshoots I do are more on the casual side, with friends or family. This was the first photography project I've done that felt like a "real" job because CIEE was expecting a product to look at in the end. Because of this, I was so worried that the photos wouldn't turn out "good" enough (whatever that means, because art is so subjective) or that they wouldn't like them. I had to work very hard not to put so much pressure on myself that I'd end up backing out of the opportunity. It forced me to grow and get past my fears, and approach the photoshoot in the same casual, natural way that I usually do with lower-stakes sessions. I'm glad I stuck with it and ended up having a wonderful time.

Was your project ambitious?

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Given what you already know, did this project challenge you in meaningful ways?

I've been continuing to develop my skills for candid photography of people. This project challenged me to capture moments while being "invisible" and not getting in the way of their work, which was difficult but rewarding. With candid portraiture, I usually have the chance to give tips about where to stand so that the light hits just right, or give them a few posing suggestions, among other things. But with this project, I had to just work with what was in front of me, despite the lighting situation being less than ideal, and I had to pay attention at all times because sometimes beautiful compositions only lasted for a moment as they went about their work. I also struggled with the fact that a lot of my outtakes were blurry because of the constant movement around the kitchen. So, I had to sift through so many pictures in order to find ones that I loved. Also, I experimented with sports mode on my camera and various techniques to capture shots even while there's a lot of movement. Overall, it was a very interesting and enjoyable experience.

Was your project deep?

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Did you project engage with powerful ideas or tools? Additionally, did you engage with the material in a deep sense (i.e. did you develop ownership over the ideas or tools)? Can you utilize these skills independently now?

At the end of the day, people photography is about connection. I was welcomed by the staffβ€” Edith, Marina, and Francinyβ€” with so much warmth and kindness. They made me feel comfortable, which translated into the photos I took. If I felt uncomfortable, then they would've felt uncomfortable, and the photos would end up looking uncomfortable. Luckily, that was not the case, and I think that this mutual comfort and connection can be felt through the photos. I learned that the relationship between the photographer and subjects is crucial to getting natural photos. They've all worked together for many years, and capturing the friendship between them felt deeply moving. It was beautiful to get a glimpse inside of the world they live in every day at work. I enjoyed exploring the connection between the staff and their surroundings, as well as the connection between everyone working in the kitchen on shift when I was there. Franciny and Marina were particularly touching to watch interact, as they are a mother-daughter pair. While I've mostly done individual portraits when doing people photography in the past, I have found a new love for capturing relationships on camera as a result of this project.

Feedback

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QR Partner Peer Feedback
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Advisor Feedback

Coming up with an Idea
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