The series deals with a topic that I feel strongly for and am passionate to discuss. Hence, it is based off both personal experience and my observations of the situations around me. It originated from this strong frustration over the behaviour of the female friends in my life that gave away a lot of their future and potential for a relationship that was not worth it in the end.
I struggled to understand their reasons and motivations behind their behaviour. This project pushed me to look more into the situation and understand the reasons behind why this was happening. The title ‘Return My Love’ calls to these females to reclaim the control and power that has been given away, and for them to return their love to themselves.
The photo series chronicles the struggle for balance between dependence and independence within a relationship. Within the photos, the message is told through composition and the subject’s emotion.
The girl is the focus of the images. The guy is always framed out of shot and we never see his face or expression. He is the one in power and is the influence on the girl’s emotions and behaviour.
During the process of coming up with this series of images, I first thought of the words associated with the theme that i was tackling:
I did plan out a shot list of the shots i envisioned for some words, and for others, it was an instinctive process during the shoot where I would improvise and execute what naturally came to mind. The shots that i ended up comprise of organic poses based off personal experiences.
Artist References / Moodboard
I referenced the photographic works of Nan Goldin’s The Ballad of Sexual Dependency (1985) . I was drawn to the raw look and feel of that series, which represented the drug and sex culture of that era clearly and accurately. The themes of dependency within relationships was also one that resonated with me while thinking about my own topic.
The rest of my mood board consists of film stills from movies like Hou Hsiao Hsien’s Three times (2005) and Wong Kar Wai’s Days of Being Wild (1990). I felt that these stills were very intimate, which was brought out through the character’s emotions and the composition and lighting choices.
Those were factors which i tried to emulate within my photo series to get my message across without being to direct, which hopefully allowed the viewer to develop their own interpretations of each photo.