Main Assignment Essay – Documentary Photography, Terrace Garden

Write a 500 word reflective evaluation of your final assignment that gives an account of your research for your assignment and a critical assessment of the decisions that you made about the content and research for this assignment.  Did you have to change anything about your project whilst you were working on it?  Give an account of the decisions that you made?

 After being set the assignment of producing a documentary feature that would be suitable for an existing editorial publication, I made the decision to base my feature on a news event. I was drawn to the idea of photographing a feature based on a current issue, however in my first year of studies I captured images of homeless people and felt I wanted to explore different avenues of photography. I began my research looking through magazines, and I was inspired by an article I found in VICE magazine. Artist Janicza Bravo captured images of musicians in an honest light, without the help of Photoshop her Polaroid images came across very real; this gave me an incentive to create my own images in a similar fashion.

I then went on to research other music event photographers and came across Bournemouth-based Photojournalist and photographer, Paul Underhill. Underhill captures many different styles of photography, from commercial, food, fashion, lifestyle and portraiture to event photography. When looking at his, ‘Music events photography’ and ‘Festival Gallery’ images, I noticed he focused his camera not on the main musician playing, but the audience’s reactions. This was when I knew exactly the style of photographs I wanted to create.

I knew the type of magazines that I would want my images to feature in, music magazines that also have a focus on fashion. Examples of my target audiences would be readers of  NME, THE FLY, and Independent magazine’s such as Dazed & Confused, VICE and i-D. When looking for an event to photograph I took into consideration possibilities of the likelihood of getting a back stage pass, to enable me to take photographs from different perspectives.

The music event that I chose to photograph was a Terrace garden party at Mint Warehouse. Two Leeds music companies, System and Set One Twenty, ran the afternoon and evening event. Throughout the day the event was a garden party with live music from four different stages. Well-known House music artists, Seth Troxler, Detroit Swindle and Ten Walls headlined the event on Bank Holiday Sunday. I made my way to the event early, to get familiar with the venue, as I had not attended before.

When the first artist made his way to the stage, it was then the crowds of people swarmed to the terrace, and I made my way around the terrace capturing images of people off guard. I managed to track down the event organiser and was given permission to go back stage behind the DJ booth, to capture images of the crowd. I feel I took a variety of different images; this made the decision of choosing my final ten extremely difficult. After changing my mind continuously, I finally chose my final 10 images, all of which I purposely wanted to be different. I chose some close up shots of attendee’s to highlight facial expressions, and other long shots to show the event as a whole, giving readers a great insight of the atmosphere at that time.


500 WORDS.


Pt. 2


Write a 500 word magazine story to go with your pictures.  This could be a short interview, some descriptive writing or some comment on the story.  This should be written in a style that is suitable for your target magazine.

 On Bank Holiday Sunday, 4th May, where else is there to be other than the huge Terrace Party hosted by Leeds’s music companies System and Set One Twenty, bringing you the best house DJs around. With a capacity of over 1000 people, the terrace party at Mint Warehouse is a sold out event. Mint Warehouse has become most popular for its summer time terrace parties, allowing partygoers and music lovers to enjoy music all day long.

Kicking things off with electronic sounds from American DJ and Producer Seth Troxler, by 4pm the garden terrace is jam-packed. The audience flock to make their way onto the dance floor to ensure they don’t miss a section of Troxlers set.


By 5pm the drinks are flowing, just in time for Londoner DJ and Producer, Oneman’s hour-long set. The up and coming artist made his mark on the House music scene after working as a regular DJ on Rinse FM. Mint Warehouse holds four rooms, with each room performing a mix of different genres, to fulfil every persons needs. Head out to the outdoor terrace to watch the Set One Twenty DJs take over, the main room in the centre of it all holds live DJs such as Mathew Jonson, go upstairs to the loft for some disco classic’s and by the end of the night catch Jonny Rhodes and Ethan Marin in the Boiler room!

It’s hit nighttime, the sun is going down, and so is Ten Walls hour set. Crowds dance their way to the front to get as close to the decks as possible. Amongst the flood of people at the front is twenty- three-year-old Leeds College of Art student Sean Kiwi. We rudely interrupt his impressive dance routine to ask what has been the highlight of his night. ‘Its more the new DJs that I enjoy. Don’t get me wrong I love all the classic’s, but its interesting to hear all the new sounds coming out.’


With the Terrace doors opening at 3pm and no sign of closure at 5am, the party seemed to only be getting bigger. At midnight, Detroit Swindle takes over the main room introducing his latest track, ‘Me Myself and You’.

When asking one excited attendee what brings you to back to System’s terrace parties each summer, twenty-two year old Leeds Student Tilly Guess answered, ‘The amazing live DJs and good people.’ She then went on to explain that herself and her friends like that the event starts early, ‘It’s completely different from going out at night, the atmosphere throughout the day is great, everyone has such a good time.’


System’s Terrace party is not only a place for good music, but on point trends. Surrounded by what seems like the latest limited edition Nike Platinum Collection, the people of Leeds certainly have a great sense of style.

To avoid missing the next System and Set One Twenty Terrace Party, be sure to purchase your ticket from Ticket Arena, Skiddle and Resident Advisor. Don’t miss out.



500 WORDS.



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