The first two interviews were very interesting to take and resulted in a good reflection about the project and my interview questions.
The first one I took was with John, a 82 year old English man who comes from a military family (he worked in the military himself throughout his life) and later started growing wine on a small scale until he retired. He brought with him a lovely photo album, the “baby album”, which his father carefully arranged with images of John growing up. Starting from birth up until when he went to join the cadet. I selected an image from him in school, sitting next to three trophies he won at the Sport’s Day.
It was quite tricky to interview him, he gave me a lot of single phrased answers and though he seemed like a very chatty guy somehow during the interview, maybe because it was recorded, he became quite shy. He does not use any sort of technology, no phone or computer and has never been very interested in photography or gadgets what so ever.
That is why he also didn’t have a strong opinion about any of these things as he didn’t know much about it. I obviously then tried to explain it to him but found that actually, to someone who doesn’t even know what and how the internet works, a networked image seems quite an abstract thing. He said it was “alright” to take an image of himself, but he obviously wouldn’t do it in any other context than this one time for my project.
Thea, my second interviewee, understood the concept a bit better and was actually quite shocked about the fact that people take selfies. She found it very “selfish, egocentric and useless”. She is a 73 year old Australian lady, who came to England when she was 19. She’s been interested in photography since around that age and also had her own camera, her brother actually went on to become a professional photographer, so she was surrounded by photography more than John. I chose an image of her that she got taken at her job in London working for the Australia House.
She has a Facebook account and uses it to keep in touch with her family in Australia and to see images of them, though she never comments on them she hits the “like” button. She said she would never take an image of herself, only of others like her grandchildren. When I explained to her that my generation takes a lot of selfies and shares them on social networks like Facebook she was actually very shocked and had a strong opinion about it. When it came to taking her own selfie, she was very critical and didn’t like it at all.