For Polly Braden’s talk she showed us a selection of different pieces of work, to show a variety of different ways she’s worked in the industry.
Firstly she spoke of her project Made in China (2003). Travelling to China Braden stayed with six girls at a factory which made shoes for companies such as Topshop and Clarks. The women and men lived in two different blocks. The workers do get paid for over time, however two of the women went on a food strike because the pay wasn’t enough. Some of the factory workers were also imprisoned over a dispute over pay. The women who showed Braden around the factory and acted as her guide was Ho Ping, the workers have to move into the factory away from their family, and only see them once a year.
She also spoke of China Between (2005-2009) this was created over several years and is a bigger body of work. A lot of her work has been based in china, and this is based on it’s street life. Previously Braden’s work has been shot using medium format, but China Between was shot using a Canon EOS 5D II. During the time Braden was there she had a six week residency where she worked teaching at a university.
Polly Braden mostly shoots for magazines mostly, and showed us some of the spreads she has done such as, England’s Woman’s Cricket Team. Magazines she has shot for include the Telegraph and ICON Magazine. An editor Braden has worked with a lot in the past is Sally Williams.
Another piece of work Braden spoke of was London’s Square Mile on her powerpoint she put dates 2006-2015 and on her website it just has 2014. She did however say that it is an ongoing piece of work, because the area is changing so much, each time she shoots their it’s different and so the style changes. To shoot the work she used a digital medium format camera. Some advice she gave the class was to not share our work until you feel it’s complete. She wanted to make a book with this work but ended up sharing parts of it instead, which were shown in different magazine, including The Guardians Big Picture segment.
One of her most successful books was Great Interactions which was created on assignment. This work was exhibited and there is a book. Her most recent book was created with David Campany titled Adventures in Lea Valley (2016) this consists of photograph her and Campany took along the Lea Valley.
Overall I found Polly Braden’s talk very influential, her work is very interesting, she’s a fantastic photographer but and seems to be able to connect with her subjects really well.