Thursday, February 12, 2015

Photo Essay Purpose Statement and Design Plan

Purpose Statement

The purpose of my photo essay it to show the changes that occur within a family unit over time both physically/biologically and through the development of personality. This will be based off of my own family. The best possible outcome of the communication would be for the audience to reflect on their own journey as a family and how personal events in their own life impacted them. The worst possible outcome would be if people did not take the chance to reflect and simply took the photo essay as a form of insight into my personal life. My communication will change the situation in which I make the communication by allowing the reader to have the chance at self-reflection and insight. This will be best expressed through the medium of photographs on a PowerPoint presentation to allow me to adequately communicate the changes that occur visually and to lead the audience down a journey to the final result, the family today.  The pictures will be photographs of photographs. This allows me to make the pictures my own and still use pictures from the past that I was not able to take myself. The audience will be my peers in class as well as those who have an interest into heredity and psychology. I want to have my audience question whether or not they have made similar progressions over time, and if it brought them closer as a family. Those who do come from different familial backgrounds than myself can compare and contrast my upbringing with their own. They can look at how we are similar and how we are different. I want my audience members to take into account that the question of nature versus nurture really does draw on the aspects of development. If a member of the audience comes from a family of divorce, that may have played a role in the development of their character. I want my audience to be able to use my family as merely an example and take the chance to look at their own upbringing with new eyes. The will be able to not only see the biological progression, but I plan to incorporate forms or psychological and personality development as well. The context is a progression of life itself because all of my family members are at different ages and different stages in their life. The communication will take place in class as well as on my blog, so my pictures and argument need to be able to stand alone when I am not there to advocate for them. My audience should be able to expect an expanse of information that depicts the changes both physically and psychologically of my own family members that can be related to people of similar ages and social circumstances ranging from ages eleven to fifty.  

Design Plan

Purpose: Throughout life, people go through many stages or phases. Who someone is as a child is who they are as an adult, unless there has been some significant form of trauma that has happened to them. I want to show my audience through photographs that as a person grows their personality only deepens, it does not drastically change. I want my audience to reflect on themselves and determine how their personality and upbringing has shaped them as a person, allowing them to become who they are today. Looking at picture from my family when they were younger and pictures of them now will show that their personality is captured in the photographs and they do not differ much. It is an insight to one story of the upbringing of children in a middle class Chicago suburb and how it affected those children and their personalities. They may have changed physically, but their true personality will always be intact. This goes along with the psychological idea of nature versus nurture. The environment that we grew up in certainly shaped up to be the people we are today, but our natural qualities have set us apart from each other as well.
Medium: I am using photographs and photographs of photographs to express my message. The photographs will depict certain personality traits that represent each member of the family adequately. These pictures will be accompanied with a narrative that explains how each member’s personality has grown with them throughout the years that I have known them. Finding pictures that accurately represented my family’s key personality traits proved to be more difficult than I thought, but I believe that when they are presented as a cohesive group they will be very effective. I will present these pictures using the Microsoft PowerPoint program allowing the images to be shown together and to flow seamlessly from slide to slide to tell my story effectively. I want to use a background on my PowerPoint that displays the journey that I am trying to display. I also want to find a font that draws the reader’s attention and makes them connect the caption with the picture easily.
Ethos: I will be able to prove my credibility by making references to big names in psychology. This will draw the interest of those of the audience who are members of the psychological community or have an interest in it. I also can draw accurate conclusions from the photographs because I know my subjects very well. This makes me a credible source to my audience because I am a first generation source, having interacted with my subjects on a daily basis for many years.
Pathos: I will be able to appeal to my audiences emotions through my pictures because there is a certain sentimental aspect to my project. As a reader, you can sense the emotions that are captured in the photographs. I hope to accurately represent each of my subjects and allow their personality to shine through the picture to the audience. My intention is for the audience to reflect on their own personality and question if they really are the same person they were many years ago. I am thinking of putting the pictures in black and white or a hue that expresses the emotion in the picture to draw in the reader. In the pictures of pictures I am also thinking about blurring out the background that is not a part of the intended photo to draw in the reader’s focus. I also want to use a font that appeals to the emotional side of the reader.
Logos: My argument is asking the reader if a person can truly change. It will require some self-reflection on the reader’s part. By comparing and contrasting my family and their changes throughout the years, I will provide the audience with examples of how the changes can occur and how a person can stay the same. I am even going to provide my own self-reflection as an example. The captions and narrative that accompanies the picture will work as an aid to help the reader see the changes at work. I will be making at least five comparisons, hopefully providing enough examples to express the purpose of my photo essay. My arranging the pictures in chronological order on each slide I hope to provide a strong, clear argument.
Arrangement: I am planning to have at least eight slides in my presentation. I have not yet finalized all of the pictures that I will be using, but I will have at least six individual subjects and then analyze my family as a whole and other familial relationships. I will have at least two pictures per slide. One will be an older picture of the subject and one will be a more recent picture. Ideally I would like three pictures to show the progression, but for some of my examples that is not possible. I will start with my parents because that is where our family begins, then progress through our family in the order of which we were born. After I have shown each of my subjects I will show some of the relationships in our family. This will represent the nature and nurture aspects of my arguments and help the audience get a better idea of the personalities of my subjects.
Testing: After I have completed my slideshow I will show it to my friends that are not in our class and do not know the exact description of the project. My friends have met each member of my family to tell if the pictures accurately represent them. They will also be able to tell me if I am portraying the message that I am intending to. I will also show the slide show to one of my peers from class. They will have an understanding of the assignment and be able to provide constructive criticism to help me reach my intended result before I turn in my final draft. 

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