While Smith took some compelling photographs and produced a great story with Country Doctor, to me he seems more removed from the story than Briony Campbell does in The Dad Project.
Smith seems more of an observer telling the story whereas Campbell is part of the story, just as much as her father.
I think that by ‘an ending without an ending’ she means that although one part of the story (the life of her father) has come to an end, other parts of the story (her relationship with her father, the memories of the project, the feelings created by the photos) will all live on.
What did I learn from the exercise?
These were both very interesting projects in their different ways. Smith took time to integrate himself with the family before he even started taking pictures to put his subjects at ease and to ensure the images didn’t seem posed.I think I saw from this how everday scenes can be built up to form a narrative.
Campbell’s work seems as much a photo diary as anything else. My biggest learning point from this was just how involved it was for everyone, Campbell took the photos but her father was very deeply involved, Campbell was immersed in the project.