Todays photo session went according to plan and apart from the dirty backgrounds everything turned out the way I wanted it.
Some of the images are slightly over lit, I do however like it in this case and think it undermines the ‘fake’ effect in the chav images. The amount of light smoothes the skin and brings out the colours of her make up more obviously and I therefore feel that it emphasis the conventional image of a chav.
The ‘classy-self’ looks almost angel like and very “pure” and again I think it support my desired representation.
In order to communicate the two oppositional ‘characters’ I made a list of symbols I could use in the images to convey meaning of class identity.
There seems to be a general understanding of how fashion plays a role in your class background and therefore I arranged the following items that are commonly assicoted with classiness/chavs.
For the chav:
– Sweatsuits (one colour)
– HipHop style accessories like Big caps
– overthetop statement of “wealth” like gold chains
– hoop earrings (especially oversized ones)
– too much make-up in unnatural bright colours
For the classy girl:
– a hat
– Tidy and simple hair
– sunglasses (sense of fame and importance)
– pearl and other expensive statement jewellery
– a plain and conservative blouse
In addition to the clothes and accessories there was also a lot of room for stereotypical body language and poses.
This subject is neither of the portrayed in real life but facies a conflict of discourses regarding her national identity growing up as a foreigner in a different country. Often immigrants are reduced to a ‘lower class’ stereotype.
The images outline the conflict of how she as an individual is perceived from outsiders based on her multi-cultural background. In some situation people will assume that she comes from a poor background because she has an immigration background nevertheless she is very educated, speaks many languages and studies in a different country, which is something many people would classify as upper-middle class.
Being in a similar situation I know from personal experience that a lot of people here think of me and Sayra as “posh” simply because we are from Europe and study in the Uk and because our english is fluent (suggesting good education).
Being reduced to either lower or upper class based on your appearance and background is not a great feeling. This is the reason why I choose her to be my subject for this phot session.