Portfolio: To Text or Not to Text

The use of text and contextualisation has always been a major part of my work but deciding when and how to use it has always been tricky. Recently I've been designing a portfolio and the use of text in that has had somewhat mixed feedback. Discussing with colleagues from the University of Central Lancashire many see the text as a useful accompaniment to the images but others believe that the images should speak for themselves and text should not be necessary. It's a difficult dilemma. I understand both arguments.

However I have found that when other photographers present their work the story they tell can often enhance the understanding of the images and something I hope my own presentations get across. When I cannot be there however written text can replace my telling of the narrative. Going off Sugar Paper Theories by Jack Latham his images and the narrative they create doesn't need the written evaluation that accompanies them but they are very much enhanced by it to tell a far more complex and questioning narrative. In comparison Iain Sarjeant's Out of the Ordinary Vol. II has no text at all other then place names accompanying the images. The book still provides an interesting look into modern Scotland but without the same written accompaniment that's all it can be unless the viewer themselves creates a different meaning.

More consultation will be required I feel.


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