ON ASSIGNMENT: MY NEW NORMAL

Since returning from Nepal in March, I have been fortunate enough to collaborate with publications covering different aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the state of alarm here in Barcelona.

Aside from some more particular assignments that have taken me to document the army’s mission to disinfect UNSECO world heritage sites, my idea has been and continues to be to document how this exceptional situation is lived, from the perspective of a citizen, my perspective.

As a professional photographer I am, of course, at a slight advantage since I have been allowed to skip the strict confinement rules that have been in place in Spain since all of this began.

That said, things are slowly starting to ‘normalise’ and in most countries people are able to go out to a greater or lesser extent, and I imagine that most of you have been out or are eager to go out and use your cameras! So, with that in mind, I thought I would propose an assignment for all of you to do in order to get back into the game and experience what it is like to be on assignment for a magazine (in this case it’ll be for our blog and Instagram instead 😉 ).

First and foremost, I want to clarify that health and safety are the most important thing and that under no circumstances should you put yourself in danger while taking on this assignment.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get into the details. This assignment has been thought up to be accessible to everyone and anyone who wants to participate. It’s complex, but more importantly it will allow you to express yourself, continue developing your photographic skills and give you the opportunity to create a document that in a the future will be of great historical importance for you and perhaps even for future generations.

So what does it entail?

For this assignment I want you to photograph your day to day, your “new normal”.

Beyond your family or yourselves, I want you to always have your camera on you and document what this new normality is like for you: what it is like to go shopping, to the bank, to the hairdresser. I want you to photograph your streets when you can and even think about doing some portraits and interviews if possible.

Well-known is the phrase by Robert Capa: “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” But how do you do it if you can’t be close? Explore with different focal lengths or be creative and look for ways to solve the situations with your favourite lens without getting close. It is possible, I promise!

Also think about whether you are going to do the assignment in colour or black and white before you begin (this affects how you take your photographs!) and really focus on visually explaining what makes these situations different to what they were before.

Conditions and deadline.

Yes, as with any assignment, there are a series of parameters that have to be followed:

  1. You have three whole weeks starting today, the 23rd of May, to complete the assignment. Send us your work a day late and it will not be considered. Deadline: 13th June.

  2. To submit your work (the pitch) you will have to do an edit of 9 processed and sequenced photos, each with their caption and a short 3-6 line paragraph explaining your particular concept. This must be sent in pdf format.

  3. All submissions should be sent to: info@therawsociety.org

NOTE: If you are selected, you will then have to send in a selection of 20 processed, sequenced and captioned photographs along with a complete explanation of your work (including interview quotes if you have any). This should be a maximum of 800 words. So be ready for this!

We will look through all of your pitches and the one(s) selected will have to send the full project which we will then share on our blog and Instagram feed.

ARE YOU READY? GO! And don’t forget to have fun with it!

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