Beyond Belief – A project exploring faith, religion and hope

Beyond Belief is an ongoing project focusing on ideas of hope, faith and religion. This project explores how as humans, we find things to hold onto and to have faith in. When life is constantly moving around us, we must find something to centre ourselves. For many this is religion, however we manage to find certainty in all kinds of things. We find hope and joy in the little things, in believing, in having faith or looking at something we find to be beautiful. In the midst of pandemic, an unprecedented global event, capturing hope has been a challenge but has also helped to ground myself; I look daily for rays of hope amongst the chaos.

This is a photographic exploration and documentation of the people, places and landscapes I have encountered whilst exploring belief. I seek personal connection with those I photograph, to learn about who they are and what they believe in. When in conversation with individuals, I aim to be open and in return I gain an intimate glimpse of their interior. To capture the story of hope and faith, the things that keeps us going.

Reflective Overview-

Reflective Overview FMP What are the main written resources you have used to help you develop your work and ideas? List and give a brief summary of their relevance (publications/writers/articles/theories you have focused on over the past year): I have read a lot of articles and essays on theology, hope and faith. A few ofContinue reading “Reflective Overview-“

Archives –


When on my way back up to Manchester I stopped off at my Nans house to pay her a visit. Because of covid I haven’t been able to see her in about 10 months. She is still quite cautious so we sat in her garden at a distance. It made me realise how this yearContinue reading “Nan-“

Bieke Depoorter

The relationships Depoorter establishes with the subjects of her photographs lie at the foundation of her artistic practice. Accidental encounters are the starting point, and how these interactions naturally develop dictates the suite. Several recent projects have been the result of Depoorter always questioning the medium itself. In Sète#15, and also Dvalemodus, a short filmContinue reading “Bieke Depoorter”

Faith and Theology –

Faith, inner attitude, conviction, or trust relating human beings to a supreme God or ultimate salvation. In Christianity theology, faith is the divinely inspired human response to God’s historical revelation through Jesus Christ and, consequently, is of crucial significance. When researching more about the term faith, I came across this article that explains a little about translationsContinue reading “Faith and Theology –”

Book layout –

When thinking about book layout I made sure to carefully think about the flow to my book – in terms of narrative and tones. I made sure that the images on consecutive pages have something similar – like the colour pallet, subject matter etc. Throughout my book I tried to make it ebb and flowContinue reading “Book layout –”

Jack Latham –

In conversation – (2017) When researching documentary photography and story telling I came across Jack Latham. The way in which he describes his process is really interesting as he focuses more on the story telling and narrative aspect of photography rather than being labelled as a fine art or documentary photographer alone. “My father isContinue reading “Jack Latham –”

Louis Quail

Louis Quail is a documentary photographer exploring social and aesthetic issues. His latest project Big Brother captures his brother’s struggle with Schizophrenia and has received significant critical acclaim. Big Brother Introduction Big Brother is an intimate photographic portrayal of my brother, Justin’s struggle with schizophrenia. It utilises multiple sources of documentation to show his lifeContinue reading “Louis Quail”

Tereza Červeňová –

Cervenová’s work is characterised by juxtaposing delicate imagery and soft light with political and personal references. The artist often photographs people who play an important role in her life as she is drawn to the connections that exist between herself and the sitter(s). Her portraits and landscapes have a painterly, other-worldly dimension which is oftenContinue reading “Tereza Červeňová –”

The influence of religion on photography + Yang Yan Kang

Article – When looking into religion within photography, I came across this article. The article runs through many different ways in which religious themes and ideas have been portrayed within the photographic image and how many of these images have been incredibly controversial. Religion is a sensitive subject as it means so much to manyContinue reading “The influence of religion on photography + Yang Yan Kang”

Andres Serrano –

Perhaps no artist has generated more controversy with photography on religious themes than Andres Serrano. Piss Christ, his controversial photograph of a plastic crucifix submerged in his own urine, so outraged Christian fundamentalists that the image was vandalised several times and provoked United States Senators Al D’Amato and Jesse Helms to attack Serrano in Congress forContinue reading “Andres Serrano –”

Text and Image open call –

As I have recently been focusing a lot of the relationship between text and image this open call suited my work well. The scheme: Successful applicants will be partnered with research students from the University of St Andrews to explore ideas around the theme ‘revelation’, as doctrine and experience. Artists will be invited to attend presentations byContinue reading “Text and Image open call –”

Theology –

Theology,  philosophically oriented discipline of religious speculation and apologetics that is traditionally restricted, because of its origins and format, to Christianity but that may also encompass, because of its themes, other religions, including especially Islam and Judaism. The themes of theology include God, humanity, the world, salvation, and eschatology (the study of last times). The concept of theology that is applicable as a science in all religions and that is therefore neutralContinue reading “Theology –”

Making a book –

When beginning to construct and layout my book I have been doing a lot of research into how other photographers and artists have made phonebooks and the creative decisions they have made when doing so. I have looked at a lot of photographers that shoot in a similar style to me – a social documentaryContinue reading “Making a book –”

Stephen Shore –

One of the most significant photographers of our time, Stephen Shore has often been considered alongside other artists who rose to prominence in the 1970s by capturing the mundane aspects of American popular culture in straightforward, unglamorous images. But Shore has worked with many forms of photography, switching from cheap automatic cameras to large-format cameras in theContinue reading “Stephen Shore –”

Fletcher Moss –

I have been starting to focus a little on traces and objects amongst the land. Traces and clues that people have been present. As at the moment, many place seem empty and abandoned. It is nice to know that others have been there too. A lot of these images have a childlike and playful elementContinue reading “Fletcher Moss –”

Alec Soth –

Soth’s work is rooted in the distinctly American tradition of ‘on-the-road photography’ developed by photographers like Walker Evans, Robert Frank, and Stephen Shore. Concerned with the mythologies and oddities that proliferate America’s disconnected communities, Soth has an instinct for the relationship between narrative and metaphor. His clarity of voice has drawn many comparisons to literature,Continue reading “Alec Soth –”

Hope about the future –

When looking into themes of hope and also interviewing others and asking what gives them hope, I came across this article asking Experts what gives them hope for the future as this relates directly to my project. I have been finding it really interesting to see the things that give other people hope. ViceContinue reading “Hope about the future –”

Snow –

When thinking about landscape images within my project – I aim to include a wide range. To take images of places I escape to, places I find myself engulfed in is something I aim to do. Thinking about themes of place. The snow made for very cool toned images – something I wouldn’t usually enjoyContinue reading “Snow –”

Leon and Izzy –

Moving forward, I got in contact with Leon and Izzy to take some more portraits and ask more questions about hope, belief and faith. I was looking back through my images from reflect and research to see which were the most successful and I did really like the images of Theo and Juliana (the couple).Continue reading “Leon and Izzy –”

Professional Practice –

Professionalising Practice Project – P3 is for all undergraduate and postgraduate students in Art, Design and Media. Whilst P3 is extracurricular, the sessions are designed to complement your education and to enable you to graduate with an informed view of expected professional practice. P3 is a series of workshops, talks and practical sessions that willContinue reading “Professional Practice –”

Barnaby –

Throughout this project I have been trying to reach out to and get in contact with as many individuals as I can. I posted an open call of sorts on my instagram, asking Manchester based individuals if they would be interested in a chat about hope, faith and trying times, as well as a sociallyContinue reading “Barnaby –”

Hope –

When looking into ideas of hope and still asking individuals about what gives them hope, I thought it would be beneficial to find and read some articles surrounding the topic. ‘Hope is a​n embrace of the unknown​’: Rebecca Solnit on living in dark times– ‘We may be living through times of unprecedented change, butContinue reading “Hope –”

Lyme Park and friends –

When moving forward with my project, I am investing more time in landscape photography – particularly large places and landscape. Expanse. To realise that we exist within a wide plane, a huge world and universe, seems to put everything into perspective, for me at least. When getting deeper into this project, and thinking about theContinue reading “Lyme Park and friends –”

Moving forward –

When moving forward with my work, I feel I need to refine my ideas in order to create a cohesive body of work that makes sense. I am still interested mainly in the idea of having hope and faith and the things that we as humans focus on to help us through life. I haveContinue reading “Moving forward –”

Final Major Project –

Moving forward in this academic year, I have started to think about my final major project and how I plan to take my photographic work forward. I would like to carry on and extend my Beyond Belief project that I started for the reflect and research unit. My photographic interests have always been in documentaryContinue reading “Final Major Project –”

Layout – Portfolio

Thinking about finals – the layout and sequencing of my images. In book format as well as for portfolio. I wish to refine my images and see which ones are the strongest, and which ones tell the story I wish to portray. When thinking about portfolio layout, I wanted my images to flow nicely andContinue reading “Layout – Portfolio”

More Images –

When back home in Brighton I began to think more about my project in a personal manner. Looking at the land and the people around me. I was consumed with ideas of things greater than myself and ideas of what gives me hope – what do I hold onto when things get tough. I foundContinue reading “More Images –”

Action Plan –

Outline your objective.  Where do you want to be?  My objective is to document the human condition – concerning my practice with ideas of religion, hope and faith and how these affect the lives of others. I have been focusing on the things in life we hold onto when going through difficult times, the thingsContinue reading “Action Plan –”

Learning Agreement-

Outline a plan of action Week 1: WHAT is your area of interest? Documentary photography (film). Looking at worship and religion. Iconography, symbolism and prayer  WHAT do you plan to achieve? To create a narrative within my images, to tell a story and document people and place – target groups  Please identify: 5 Keywords: Worship,Continue reading “Learning Agreement-“


Moving forward with my project, I have started to photograph more landscapes. This concept of having a numinous experience whilst looking at a landscape is something I am really interested in. Focusing on place and again and things that give one hope – Sometimes when I look at a landscape, nature etc, I get thisContinue reading “Landscapes-“

Sam Wright – Light

I am always very conscious about the way in which I use light within a photograph. I feel that by capturing an image that is well lit or that uses light in an interesting way, it always makes for a more beautiful and illuminating image. Sam Wrights images are often golden, with soft hues toContinue reading “Sam Wright – Light”

Questions about hope –

When moving on with this project, I have started to think about the basis on which religion is formed. Ideas of hope, faith and things greater than ourselves. I initially started this project with ideas of documenting religion in the Uk, then I was focused on Christianity – and now I find myself more concernedContinue reading “Questions about hope –”

Research –

Continuing with research into book making and photographers – I came across the photobook reviews on the aperture website. Aperture is “a not-for-profit foundation, connects the photo community and its audiences with the most inspiring work, the sharpest ideas, and with each other—in print, in person, and online. Created in 1952 by photographers and writersContinue reading “Research –”

Reflection –

Moving forward with my project I feel it is important to reflect and look back on what I have done so far and how my ideas have changed and developed over time. Initially I knew I wanted to document religion and faith, however I was taking a more objective approach, documenting a religion and notContinue reading “Reflection –”

Kaylynn Deveney –

The Day to Day Life of Albert Hastings by Kaylynn Deveney When researching text and image I came across this book by Kaylynn Deveny that features 83 photographs by KayLynn Deveney,  77 handwritten captions by Albert Hastings and an assortment of Bert’s poems, drawings and family photographs. The book is an intimate insight into theContinue reading “Kaylynn Deveney –”

Theo and Juliana

After getting in contact with many churches in Manchester via email, asking to speak to and photograph some of their members, I heard back from City Church. They put me in contact with two of their members, Theo and his wife Juliana who they thought would be ‘very good in front of the camera’. IContinue reading “Theo and Juliana”

Clare –

Moving forward with this project, I aim to get in contact with and meet as many people who see themselves as religious as I can. I wish to document and explore this idea of faith and having hope. I got in contact with Clare through the University of Manchester’s Christian Society – Clare is aContinue reading “Clare –”

Hand written –

When looking more into pairing text and image, I found that it was really interesting to use hand writing instead of typed up answers to the questions I have been asking. There is something more personal about handwriting, it has come straight from the individual themselves and is completely unique. My practice is documentary based,Continue reading “Hand written –”

Discussion group –

I found these sessions really helpful when talking about my practice and hearing about how others were getting on. To have others opinions on my work is really important as I am able to get advice from a different pair of eyes – suggestions that I would not have otherwise thought about doing. Notes –Continue reading “Discussion group –”

Text and Image

Thinking about publications and displaying the answers of my questionnaires and interviews.

Sophie Calle – Media Talk

Sophie Calle  is a French writer, photographer, installation artist, and conceptual artist. Calle’s work is distinguished by its use of arbitrary sets of constraints, and evokes the French literary movement of the 1960s known as Oulipo. Her work frequently depicts human vulnerability, and examines identity and intimacy. She is recognised for her detective-like ability toContinue reading “Sophie Calle – Media Talk”

Beyond Belief

In this project I aim to document religion and the act of worship. It is common to turn to religion in difficult times, and during lockdown I began to research how religion is a huge part of so many lives. My Grandad comes from a huge family of Irish Catholics and my Dad grew upContinue reading “Beyond Belief”

William Eggleston

William Eggleston is one of the most influential photographers of the latter half of the 20th century. His portraits and landscapes of the American South reframed the history of the medium and its relationship to color photography. “I had the attitude that I would work with this present-day material and do the best I could toContinue reading “William Eggleston”

The Photograph as document – the traditional nature of photography

Photographs have been used in a forensic setting since the 1800s. Forensic photography has historically been used to record the physical evidence  and appearance of a crime scene. Its purpose being, to provide a lasting record of what the scene looked like initially for the courts. Crime scene photography is different from other variations ofContinue reading “The Photograph as document – the traditional nature of photography”

Essay Research

When writing this essay my main focus is on how truthful a photograph can really be. I am interested in documentary photography and how one goes about capturing the world around us. Issues of objectivity and subjectivity are ever present in photography and my aim was to further explore this amongst other similar topics –Continue reading “Essay Research”


Group discussion call – Thinking about the word place and what this means in a photographic context. Identifying the field Stories within the landscape Places we belong NOEMI GOUDAL – Les Mecaniques Noémie Goudal’s practice is an investigation into photographs and films as dialectical images, wherein close proximities of truth and fiction, real and imaginedContinue reading “PLACE”

Lockdown photos on film

Throughout lockdown I brought my camera around with me when going on my walks, I wanted to document the traces that people had left behind – a sign of life. I mainly shot landscapes or ‘things’ that looked empty apart from one thing indicating a person or something having been there. As we were allContinue reading “Lockdown photos on film”


An article on the application of visual aesthetics to religion might be expected to concentrate on paintings and sculpture with religious subject matter as well as on architecture designed for religious functions. Religious Art and Reality When put at the service of religion, art favours embodiment; that is, it favours objects of worship takingContinue reading “AESTHETICS: VISUAL AESTHETICS”

Iconography –

When beginning to think about religion, I was interested in the icon and iconography. “Pictures are the main subject matter of iconography, which also includes free-standing sculptured forms and reliefs. Free-standing figures or statues are important in ritual as well as in partly serving magical purposes, which cannot always be separated from religious ritual. SuchContinue reading “Iconography –”

Catherine Hyland

Catherine Hylands’ photography centres around people and their connection to the land they inhabit. Primarily landscape based, her work is rooted in notions of fabricated memory, grids, enclosures and national identity, Chinese in particular.  “I’m trying to figure out a way to make something artistic that isn’t just exposing people who are already fragile,” saysContinue reading “Catherine Hyland”

Zed Nelson

Zed Nelson lives in London. His work has been published and exhibited worldwide. Having gained recognition and major awards as a documentary photographer working in some of the most troubled areas of the world, Nelson has increasingly turned his focus on Western society, adopting an increasingly conceptual approach to reflect on contemporary social issues. GunContinue reading “Zed Nelson”

Laura Pannack

Laura Pannack is a London-based, award-winning photographer. Renowned for her portraiture and social documentary artwork, she seeks to explore the complex relationship between subject and photographer. Driven by research-led, self-initiated projects, Pannack seeks to fully understand the lives of those she captures on film in order to portray them as truthfully as possible. Perceiving “time,Continue reading “Laura Pannack”

Cian Oba Smith

Cian Oba-Smith is a photography graduate (UWE) from London capturing people and places in a manner that is at once strikingly realist and also dreamily romantic. Oba-Smith’s photography is often concerned with the fringes of society and has a particular interest in the relationship between people and their environments. He investigates little known communities and subculturesContinue reading “Cian Oba Smith”

2nd Year Work

Rose Tinted, a project about home, nostalgiaand childhood memory. Reflecting on my previous work, I begin to see patterns and themes that come through time and time again. I see myself as a social documentary photographer. I am inquisitive through my work, exploring the lives of others and also elements of my own. My work focusesContinue reading “2nd Year Work”


KEY WORDS- Place Narrative Social Documentary Religion/ Rituals Memory Community In my final year I would like to develop and explore my social documentary photo skills. I would like to look into the lives of others and the human condition and experience. Social issues are a very sensitive subject matter so I must be carefulContinue reading “INITIAL IDEAS”

Alys Tomlinson

Alys Tolminson is a social documentary photographer who looks into the lives of others. I came across Alys when looking into photographing religion and pilgrimages. One project that particularly interested me was her Lourdes series. “In 1858 in small village in the foothills of the Pyrenees, a young peasant girl named Bernadette witnessed a seriesContinue reading “Alys Tomlinson”