In the medium of photography, it is common to see sets of photos built around a theme. Some good examples of these photo series are Nan Goldin’s Ballad of Sexual Dependency, Ali Mobasser’s A Life Told with ID Photos, or Manuel Cosentino’s Behind a Little House. Below are links to familiarize you with these projects.

 Assignment Links

  • Nan Goldin’s Ballad of Sexual Dependency (Links to an external site.)

(this article describes the photo series and reprints some examples)

  • Ali Mobasser’s A Life Told with ID Photos (Links to an external site.)

(this “found art” project is written about in the article; click the “view images” tab at the top of the page to see the collection)

  • Manuel Cosentino’s Behind a Little House (Links to an external site.)

(you can read the article and click the “view images” tab at the top of the page to see the collection)


In this age of the smartphone, we’re all potential photographers. For this journal, come up with a theme for a photo collection, and try to realize that collection with your own phone photos. Describe the unifying idea in a short paragraph, explaining its importance (you may be as serious as you’d like with this). Then snap photos for the collection (minimum 5), and write a brief title and description for each photo, situating it within the overarching theme you’ve selected. You might also choose to have some concluding paragraph to tie the collection together.

The point here is not to come up with award-winning photos (though that might be a fringe benefit); in fact, you’re not being graded on the quality of the photos at all. The purpose of the exercise is to see how a unifying idea can join different images together into a collection, and to explore how verbal and visual ideas interact. Have fun with this assignment, but take the project seriously for its having the potential to reveal how we understand images within broader contexts.

Once you have this project together, post the photos and text on your blog.

Explanation & Answer length: 350 words

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