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B&W Neil 1st May 2011 04:45 PM

My Entry for FADU 2010 - Heather Sullivan
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This month Heather Sullivan tells us about her FADU 2010 entry and explains how she went about her entry and finding her models.

Although I am posting this item the work was of course written by Heather.

Many thanks Heather for taking part in this series of articles.


My entry for FADU 2010 – Heather Sullivan

I first learned about FADU and its yearly show via a friend who mentioned he was entering. I figured I'd join the forum since I didn't see any harm in joining yet another forum. The pace of the forum is more leisurely than most but it also tends to be much less drama and overall more helpful than other forums I'm a member of.

I started making photographs about 11 years ago, while studying art in high school. It was only after dropping out of art school, due to sheer frustration with the curriculum, did I start to teach myself about other forms of photography, from a slightly more technical angle. About three years ago, I embarked on making cyanotypes after reading an article in a magazine on David Chow's cyanotypes. The article pointed out it was just two chemicals mixed with water; I thought to myself, I can manage that easily.

I didn't have any large format cameras at the time so I just used a No. 2 box Brownie camera I had bought at a local charity shop and 120 medium format film. Due to the limitations of the Brownie, I shot mostly outside scenes such as cityscapes and architecture.

Last year I made it my new year’s resolution to finally try out studio photography of nudes at home. I had previously been on a workshop and another shoot with a friend so I wasn't completely "fresh" on the concepts but, being a self-proclaimed hermit and generally shy and unsocial person, I was completely new to the idea of approaching people to pose.


Following a bit of advice on where to look online, I found there's a wealth of models happy to pose for people. In fact, some have it as their sole income. They're not supermodels; their whole business is posing for usually amateur photographers. Paying for experience works better than starting out with two novices on the same project. After three sessions, I had piles of work to choose from for many upcoming publications and shows. I submitted to a few and got into none of them. I was pretty disappointed.

Then the deadline for the FADU exhibition neared and I decided to try again and submit a few pieces to that, as I had done the previous year with some still life photography. I waited excitedly for the book that accompanies the show to be published online and then I searched for my little blue gems. I didn't have to look very far as one of mine was on the book end flap at the top! There was also another picture inside chosen for the main exhibit.


Finally people would be able to see two of my works. This is something for me, as a lot of places online make you hide any nudes with "mature content" warnings, despite my work being quite tame.

I would highly recommend everyone gives entering the FADU Exhibition a try the quality is always very high but you're much more likely to get a piece shown than any other exhibition entry program out there. The meet-ups at the actual show are fun as well!

Heather Sullivan.

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