How to Develop a Project: Vanessa Winship

From the series "She Dances on Jackson" © Vanessa Winship

In 2012 and 2013 fototazo published thirteen short essays from photographers to the basic question, "What advice do you have for starting a project?"

The series featured replies from Judith Joy RossIrina RozovskyAlejandro CartagenaPhil ToledanoSteven AhlgrenSusan LipperAmani WillettLisa KeresziEirik JohnsonRichard RenaldiBrian UlrichMark SteinmetzTim Davis and Nicholas Nixon.

We continue with a follow-up series of advice from photographers on how to develop a project, asking them how they approach the middle ground of their projects after giving basic definition and before taking steps to finish.

The first responses in this new series came from Elinor CarucciMichael ItkoffJackie NickersonAlessandra SanguinettiChris VereneLaura El-Tantawy and Rory Mulligan.

Today we follow with Vanessa Winship.

From the series "She Dances on Jackson" © Vanessa Winship

It is important to understand the difference between looking and seeing. I think for the most part my work evolves organically, editing as I go. When I edit I make small prints which I pin on the wall so I can live with them. Eventually the strongest ones shine through.

I think when you start out you tend to photograph the obvious, it's not a bad thing, but eventually you begin to weed out the clichés. This comes as you begin to understand more about what you're seeing.

I often have multiple threads going at any one time and eventually the strongest ones win through. I begin to focus more on a specific thread or threads.

But I don't just work with dramatic images, I like to work with images that make sense in sequence as much as images that work alone.

From the series "She Dances on Jackson" © Vanessa Winship