Photofusion Member: Naomi James

These photographs form part of a personal project which originated from a decision to make photography a more significant part of my everyday life. My work demands had increased and I began to reassess the importance of photography in my life as a creative outlet.

In April 2012, I joined an online photo journal website, posting a single image a day. My aim was to do this for a year. Since much of my time is spent at work, it was inevitable that some images would reflect features of my working day.

I am a teacher, so recording aspects of my daily life proved quite a challenge. I knew I would not be able to post images of children or their work and may be compromising my position if the photographs revealed the identity of my school. The constraints of my timetable also meant many pictures had to be taken hurriedly before school or between lessons.

© Naomi James, Locker Room

As a result, I began to look for features of my working life that represented my day in the absence of the people who bring the environment to life and the characteristics that give the school its individuality.

The responses I received regarding the images I posted made me realise how evocative the school experience is to many. For some they represent the best and/or worst of their life experiences and the starker images I produced often reflected my own anxieties of the day and the sense of isolation that can be experienced in any institution.

The constraints of photographing within the school began to be revealed in many of my photographs. They took on an almost ordered quality, mirroring the boundaries that exist within an educational institution.

Bringing photography into my work setting has made me see the environment, of a job I have been doing for over 25 years, in a new light. The project has been personally valuable in refreshing my perspective regarding my career and in shifting my approach to photography, from one largely preoccupied with technique, to one more concerned with the evocative nature of the photographic image.

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