Subscribing To Reality

Samantha Cliff, Graduate Photography student from the
University for the Creative Arts, Farnham.
This is a collection of my own photography which I have taken. Some for my University projects and others for my personal projects, hope you enjoy.

A wedding blessing that I photographed last year…with a broken camera i think they came out pretty well.

Captured in Camden market London

Captured in Camden market London

On the 24th of June 2013 myself and fellow class mates graduated from the University of Creative Arts, after four years.  The proudest moment of my life so far, never in my wildest dreams thought I would have gone and completed university. I have made some of my closest friends here and I very sad to be leaving! Onwards and Upwards … Wishing everyone the best for the feature and missing you all already!  

‘The Locals’ is a social documentary project photographed by Samantha Cliff. The series documents the regular customers that drink at the Albion pub in Farnham, Surrey. The series of photographs aims to document the customers and the working relationship that has been formed between them and Samantha.

This is a personal project to Samantha, talking about her work she expresses:

“As a bar tender within the Albion over the last year, I have formed a connection or working relationship with the customers. This bond I share with the customers made it easier for me to come in to the pub at any time of day and photograph a number of customers in pub, asking them to do, as I wanted. It was important for my project to have the customer relaxed and trusting me as a photographer, the same as they would do if I was on the other side of the bar serving them their drinks, so the working relationship I share with the customer would show through. This has been a hard project to construct due to the amount of test shoots that took place, I had to be aware if customers where getting frustrated with the camera I would only shoot for three hours at a time to insure I was not putting pressure on the customers. Unfortunately some of the interesting characters that I would of liked to photograph did not want to be photographed. Over all I think the customers and landlord have enjoyed seeing my project progress. ”

The series was constructed over many weeks and months at varying times of day to maximize the customer base that come into the pub. With the key positing of the customers within a set area at the bar ensured that the audience of the series would become as familiar to the bar settings and feel like one of the locals by the end of the series.


Folka Exhibition 2013 - 20th - 24th June
Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London E1 6QL
In association with Free Range,
Follow us on twitter- https://twitter.com/whatthefolka

Folka Exhibition 2013 - 20th - 24th June

Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London E1 6QL

In association with Free Range,

Follow us on twitter- https://twitter.com/whatthefolka

blessedbutscary asked: What kind of questions were your subjects asked while on camera?

I did not ask them any specific questions while they were taking part, just the normal chit chat before and after they would normally be laughing about the obscure project they have just taken part in.

I did not ask question while my subject where on camera because I did not want them to be talking while I was photographing them, I also wanted to make them feel a little awkward because it helped with the atmosphere of the shoot by taking the subject out of his/her comfort zone.

End project ….

Physiognomy Dysmorphia = facial feature deformity or abnormality.


Based on how society is over-conscious about beauty and the “ideal look”, mainly looking at the use and abuse of beauty products to feel socially accepted. In the case of this project I have given this ideology a twist by replacing the beauty products with elastic bands. Through this project I have asked my subjects to perform in front of the camera by placing the elastic bands over their faces, giving the opposite effect to beauty product; distorting the face rather than matching it to the idea of beauty. Limiting the objects used for this distortion of my subjects face to four thick blue elastic bands, to represent the features of the face; two eyes, one nose and one mouth. This theme of four has also been carried on with the use of four final images.

 Using people between the ages of 20 - 23 made it easier for myself to connect with my subjects and asking them to take part in my project. I discovered from the project research that people of ages 20 - 25 are most confident with where they stand in society as they have already discovered their own identity that they are comfortable with. Whilst in this age range, they are still of the ages where they can “mess around”, taking themselves out of their comfort zones.

Within this project my subjects portrayed themselves in a very vulnerable state, in which society could judge them for looking the way they do. There was no mirror or reflective surfaces in which my subjects could see themselves in and what they looked like while they where performing in front of the camera.

Carry on from the last set of images….

This project is based on how our society is over conscious about beauty and the “ideal look” manly looking at the abuse of beauty products to feel socially accepted. Through this project i am giving this ideology a twist by replacing the beauty products with the elastic bands that have the opposite effect on my subject.