Individual Practice: Review of Shoe Shoots 4-6

Shoe Shoot 4

Shot on 9th of April 2017, images from the shoot can be seen here.

This wasn’t really a shoot where I intended to get final images although I did collect some interesting images. In reality it was more research in that I visited car boot sales as another source of discarded / recycled shoes. I choose to visit one of the larger car boots in Swindon which happens at weekends at Blunsdon Stadium. A few things became quickly apparent, firstly prices are significantly cheaper than charity shops but the quality is much more variable with everything on offer from very good quality items to frankly complete rubbish. There is also an interesting cross section of society at such events, sellers ranging from seemingly middle class mums selling mainly brand name children’s clothes in good condition to hard core market traders, buyers on the other hand, judging by the clothes worn and cars driven seem to be mainly lower income families who are depending on such events for staples. This juxtaposition is interesting to witness, it does also lead to a degree of tension in some exchanges and some unintended irony with old shoes for sale next to iconic fashion magazine Vogue back issues.


Shoe Shoot 5

Shot on 10th of April 2017, a total of 112 images from the shoot can be seen here. Following the feedback from shoot 3 I decided to photograph my increasing collection of shoes against a plain white background. I now had shoes from friends as well as additional purchases made in charity shops. As well as some donated specialist shoes in the form of roller blades and ice skates obtained through freecycle, along with some borrowed skates from Kelly. Again I was satisfied with the technical quality of the lighting but the white background made the images look more like fashion shots than the documentary look I was after.

I did do some experimental work with props such as including the charity shop labels in some shots which I think gives an interesting contrast when you have something that is, or was clearly, a high fashion item at one point then contrasted with the label which then lends a different perspective. I also included a cocktail glass with some shoes I thought were probably from the 50’s, or at least styled then, to give some additional narrative to the images but at the end of day have to conclude the fashion shoes are not as interesting as battered and obviously worn examples also acquired.


I also discarded the idea of using Kelly’s skates which are obviously very high quality and cost and, as such, far from the concept of discarded or at least re-cycled shoes.

Shoe Shoot 6

Jayne Brown 1924-2017

Shot on 11th of April 2017, images from the shoot can be seen here.

I had put an appeal out on Freescycle and one lady had kindly donated her recently deceased 93 year old mother in laws 10 or so pairs of shoes. In a brief conversation she stated that in recent years mum refused to purchase anything new claiming she wouldn’t get the wear our of it and “could be gone tomorrow” I thought this was an interesting back story and made me think that simple captions to the images might be an interesting way to present them as per the example above. Sadly apart from this the donated shoes were too plain or not worn enough to make interesting subjects.

The rest of the shoot was trying the variety of shoes I now had in various compostions and I was now starting to focus more and more on simplifying the images, eliminating any distractions and focussing on the shoes themselves as objects. A couple of the shoes here, although not necessarily the compositions in this shoot stood out. Namely the male and female trainers borrowed from friends which they had used in completing the moonwalk twice.  The MoonWalk is a fund raising charity event walked over the marathon distance with a couple of unique aspects, firtsly its done overnight and secondly all participants, male and female wear decorated bra’s.

As a result these trainers were the first shoes I decided would be definitely in the final image selection.

Shoe Shoot 7 – 9 review here.

This entry was posted in 1 Individual Practice, Individual Practice 2: In Step.

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