Photographic Practice: Library Research Task (Studio)

In this blog post we will be looking at a research task for the portrait brief of Photographic Practice. This was a visual research task to get us to explore contemporary and historical photographers to research for portraits projects. We were given specific photography books and magazines to look through to find images.

Once an image was chosen, we then had to answer questions and present our findings on the images. I found an image from the photography magazine Foam by Samuel Fosso.


This is Samuel Fosso’s Image, I do not own the rights to this image. Published in Foam Magazine, Issue 17. Portrait?

Why did you choose this image? Why do you like this work?

  • I like this portrait, because I thought the image was strong and it appealed to me. But when I read the article I found out that Fosso is a cross dresser and the portrait is actually a self-portrait.

Describe the work?

  • The image is a self-portrait of Samuel Fosso recreating a woman fighting for the LGBT community. It is an interesting reflection on what photography can represent and how much more it can mean to someone. These self-portraits reflect

Who is it by? What body of work is the image from? When was it made?

  • The photograph is shot by Samuel Fosso a Nigerian Photographer. The photograph is from his latest series African Spirits which was produced in 2008 and printed for 2009. African Spirits consists of Self Portraits of Fosso representing

What type of portrait is it? Location? Studio?

  • The photograph was shot in Fosso’s studio in Bangui; Fosso still runs his portrait and passport taking business. But most of the local community remains unaware.

Why did they make the work? What function do you think the work has?

  • Fosso always sent images of himself to his mother back in Nigeria, in African Spirits we see re-creations of

Say something about the method of the photographer.

  • Fosso’s shoots on a film camera with celluloid film.

Say something about the technique of the photographer.

  • The lighting is simple and minimalistic but creates a strong portrait. I believe the lighting could be a soft continuous light or a flash with a large rectangular

What do you think the image communicates about the sitter?

  • The image and Samuel Fosso’s work reminds me of Cindy Sherman’s work, however Fosso re-creates iconic figures of Africa’s history. While Sherman dresses herself up as created characters based on the idea of B-movie and film noir actresses.

Sorry I’ve not posted in a while I have been trying to stay on top of my uni work for my current projects but hopefully shall try and get some posts out through March!


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