Portfolio Review with Harley Boothroyd

First-Class BA (Hons) Degree/Deans Award for Endeavour/Current Photography Masters Student

© Self-portrait (2020) by Harley Boothroyd

Harley Boothroyd is a University of Huddersfield graduate with a First-class BA (Hons) degree. Currently working on her master's degree in photography. I had the pleasure of reviewing my portfolio with Harley Boothroyd. We discussed the concept of my project, the style and approach of my images. Reflecting on the goal and message of my project to my images and sequencing a flow that represents Muslim women in hijab in a true light.

Harley stated, “I feel like with the headscarf, there is way too much judgment. ‘They wear a headscarf so they’re this and that, they’re controlled’, and it must be horrible. I know a lot of women that wear one to empower themselves, but the white supremacies say, ‘oh well they’re controlled’. No, they’re not, they are doing that to stand up for them.” Discussing the fundamental of my project and getting Harley’s perspective gave me an insight that not everyone views the hijab in a negative light. She really loved my images and saw the message I am trying to portray, finding each image powerful in its own way.

She suggested I reflect on how I am wanting to exhibit my images, am I having a representation of how free, powerful, and strong the Muslim women are, which completely takes away all the myths that people think. And then possibly, having an image that confines with those myths, creating a juxtaposition.

Harley also encouraged me to get all my images out and pick out the strongest images, comparing each image with one another to help me decide which images I would exhibit and which I wouldn’t. She also suggested to look at the connotations of each photograph, in order for me to select aa strong sequence of images that represent my message the loudest. Choosing images that speak for themselves.

Harley proposed many ways I could possibly exhibit my images: frameless, on a piece of fabric, hanging freely, having a mannequin head with the headscarf on that could say ‘please try’. This really gave me an insight on how to display my strongest sequence of images in a professional manner. And that a personal project can be of exceptional quality, to show off your ability as a photographer.