Project Proposal Final

Coventry University 

BA (Hons) Photography

Independent Practice: Realisation 367MC                                             

PROJECT PROPOSAL

Student: Kat Korwaser Ullman                             Date: 15.05.16

Working title: Mixed Histories

1.TOPIC / TREATMENT & AUDIENCE

A brief description of the project you will be carrying out including the methodology you will undertake, the presentation strategy you aim to employ, and the context for which you intend to create the work.

Mixed Histories explores the origins of six classic cocktails and the stories of their creation. After working in the hospitality industry during my year out, for the company DrinkUp.London, my love for the industry was founded. After I graduate I would like to get back into the industry so I wanted my final year project to help me start thinking about the field again. I want to look back at the history so I can look forward at future trends. The audience for my work would be cocktail lovers, those that like to make cocktails at home but also would go out to cocktail bars.

Each image will mirror the cocktail’s history, to achieve this I will begin to research into the history of some of the classic cocktails and also some of the people who made them. I will look at the styles of photographs that people who are current in the field. The initial parts to my research will be in books such as the Periodic Table of Cocktails by Emma Stokes, The Curious Bartender: The Artistry and Alchemy of Creating the Perfect Cocktail by Tristan Stephenson, Imbibe! Updated and Revised Edition: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to “Professor” Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar by David Wondrich and The Old-Fashioned: The Story of the World’s First Classic Cocktail, with Recipes and Lore by Robert Simonson in Diffords Guide, Imbibe online and DrinkUp.London. Once I have narrowed down the cocktails I want to focus on I will research into the era the cocktail was created in, this will help decide what objects and backdrops, which will also give more context to the image. For this I will use various sites such as the V&A which archives various aspects of life from different eras.

I will look at the styles of photographs that people who are current in the field take but also see if I can incorporate that into my work. There are many photographers that photograph food and drink, which in turn documents trends in food and drink such as Addie Chin. Usually they have been commissioned by a bar, restaurant or brand, which are the main sources of trends. There are also numerous photos on social media particularly Instagram. In this people document what they have been eating and drinking and where. This in itself is a trend as restaurants and bars try to make their food and drink ‘Instagrammable’ so it attracts more customers. Other related work would be in food and drink magazines, particularly that look at trends within the industry such as Hot Dinners, Square Meal, Cocktail Lovers and Bar Magazine. I will keep a physical sketchbook to analyse photographs I like and some I dislike to inspire my practice. Also various food and drink festivals like the DrinkUp.London festivals, Taste of London and BBC Good Food. These bring trends to consumer’s attention in a different format. I will also look at recipe books and history books of cocktails to gain information of drinks. Alongside books like Fictitious Dishes that gain inspiration of food and drink and photograph in response to that. Other research I will look at is still life photography and paintings to help understand lighting and positioning of objects.

The photographs will be presented in individual frames, like the photographs the frames will represent the cocktail histories. Alongside this a ‘menu’ will be presented that details the stories of the drinks and the recipes.

 

2. SKILLS AND RESOURCE REQUIREMENTS

Identify the skills you think you will need to develop, and the resources you envisage being required to enable a successful resolution of your idea within the given time and theme.

I have a small amount of photographic experience in photographing drinks when working for DrinkUp.London I have photographed around 20 different cocktails, the press launch for London Cocktail Week 2014, London Beer Week 2015 and London Wine Week 2015. As well as photographing a day during London Cocktail Week 2014. Besides this I have worked across the three festivals during the festivals many of the drinks trends are shown through the drinks put forward by the bars for each festival.

To achieve this I will need various bits of equipment, as my idea develops I might need specific pieces like studio lighting or digital medium format cameras. But to start I will use my Nikon D800 and phone to practice composition and lighting. To get the final prints I will use the Mamiya 654DF+ when in the studio and my Nikon D800 and studio lights if needed for anything outside of the studio.

3. TIMETABLE

Plan how you will use the study time allocated for this Module. This would include dates for tutorials, seminars, workshops, shooting, processing, printing, editing, mounting etc. (You are advised to build in a one-week buffer zone – i.e. have everything ready a week before the deadline, as something always goes wrong..!)

Each week I plan to take between 1-3 shoots for my project, which I can bring to individual tutorial to discuss where to go and what to do. By the end of April I will have a very good idea of my presentation style and my prints ready to go to the printers. At the start of May I will send off my prints to the printers and order frames. I will also start to look for printers for the menu. Everything will be ready a week before the deadline so anything that needs urgent attention to will get it.

4. OBJECTIVES AND OUTCOMES

With reference to the Assessment Requirements (see below) and Intended Learning Outcomes for this Module, specify what you intend to achieve by the end of this project and try and summarize what you hope to have learnt. This section should also include a sentence describing how you want your audience to respond to your work – how, ideally it would be appreciated and understood. 

By the end of this project I hope to have gained a better understanding of cocktails and their origins. I intend to have improved my photography skills by understanding how to compose a photograph that tells at story. Ideally this will be a body of work that I am proud of and can use to help me secure a job within the drinks industry – particularly as I can show such in depth research that I hope done on the subject. I want the audience to gain a deeper understanding of the cocktails they are drinking and not just to see them as a way to get inebriated.

 

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