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Forward Reflection on Photoresearch

Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” - Coco Chanel

Nowadays, as technology advances and makes it easier for us to see and share images, there is a much easier way to see fashion in the street and reflect on the way we live. Therefore, we think photoresearch will be a very helpful tool in understanding our challenge further, providing us with more clues and insights about our trends and users.

Lens-based culture, as we understand it, is anything we can see, observe, and understand from images, which can range from photographs to film to manipulated images. In the first exercise, we looked at lens-based culture from many angles: technical photography, art, social media, culture, and fashion as it relates to our research.

From these main subjects, we explored some photos to help represent what we explored from our discussion as a group.

While understanding lens-based culture better, we also recognized how social media for example has given us even more tools, such as stickers, emojis, filters, etc. to create images. It also helped us see how this contributes even more now to a lens-based culture, adding a new element to express ourselves better.

Creating this map helped us understand the different layers that exist surrounding or creating the concept of a lens-based culture.

Understanding the field of relations around the camera was an interactive activity that helped us to see the different points of view there are, not just in the image itself, but around the entire context of creating that image.

The diagram we created in class helps to visually organize a way for us to analyze a photo. Identifying the distinct ideologies and objectives that live within the photographer, camera, subject, and audience can help us perceive more deeply developing trends or drivers. From this exercise, we understood the different layers that exist when creating an image and even being a spectator to one. We have to think: Why was the image composed this way? Why this color? How would it be interpreted?

Our next step is to apply photoresearch in our project to envision the future of retail and technology. With this method, we plan to collect photos that would help us understand our users, the business, and technology better.

We are taking into consideration that images are very important these days for shoppers as some of them only have the option to view the image rather than the physical products due to the pandemic.

In order to understand users, we want to observe how consumers express themselves and share what they buy which would mostly come from images on social media.

In our survey, many people responded that one of the disadvantages of buying online is receiving an item that looks different from the website. Knowing this, we want to compare product photos of different online shops and perhaps posts of products from users.

During this session, we also realized how technology changes the way we take and consume images. We will be looking for how this is communicated.

Images are essential in displaying, marketing, sharing, and expressing fashion and our fashion sense. Therefore we understand that there are a lot of ways to approach this part of the project and a lot of photos we can analyze. Nevertheless, it’ll be a very interesting way to contextualize the research we have done so far.

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Natasha Christia
Natasha Christia
Jan 12, 2021

Dear Forward team,

First of all, my best wishes for the new year. Thank you very much for your contribution.

During our session, you pinpointed the different genres of photography and the way they apply to your field.

Indeed, the key terms you are using here "photography", "fashion", "culture" and "social media" are essential when highlighting the field of relations around the image. Take into consideration that the word social is crucial, since it points to a sociological, anthropological and genre analysis of your users.

In your photoresearch, it would be helpful to work on various levels. I provide you with some brainstorming here:

  • Employing images (both still but also moving images, video, gifs etc.) as tools of research, analysis…


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