Sarah Gallear


I am grateful to tutor Derek Trillo drawing my attention to this assignment by Sarah Gallear. Sarah is a student on the level 2 Documentary course. This assignment is a really good illustration of a number of learning points:

  • Use what you know. Clearly the events which triggered Sarah to produce this work were not welcome, but they do provide a starting point that she can express her feelings about.
  • Use captions to add to images rather than ram the point home – the image above is entitled ‘Numb’ and this works. If the image was a rather more cliched approach, such as this one, the caption would add nothing.


  • Think about how your work relates to work you have seen by other photographers and how work you have seen can provide the foundation for your work. In her log Sarah records that she had previously looked at the work of Tom Wood¬†– ¬†while this is undoubtedly the case, the resultant image is hers (and my personal favourite out of the series).


  1. jsumb 13 March 2014 at 2:09 pm

    Very moving and powerful work Sarah, without describing what it was that impelled you to make this work, I get the very real sense of loss and sadness.

  2. Stephanie Dh. 13 March 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Like John, I have been struck by the subtlety in your work and your words Sarah, these images makes us feel rather than being simply descriptive and it is immediately possible to relate to them.

  3. insightimages 13 March 2014 at 6:21 pm

    I think the two points I’d make as to why I recommended this body of work are:

    1. The images, when viewed alone, are interesting, cohesive and maybe even quirky. Their impact isn’t (perhaps) immediately apparent. However, when viewed with the text, the images gain an emotional weight that is only fully conveyed by the combination of images and text together.

    2. Every image shows an illustrative, yet abstract, emotion. This is really difficult to convey consistently across a whole assignment, especially where the images show variety and pace.

    This assignment has a completely different feel to Sarah’s assignment one submission which was journalistic. The events have clearly had a marked effect on her photography: she appears more expressive, focused and determined than before. It’s admirable that Sarah has managed to find these positive attributes at a time of loss. I find it inspiring that she can be so motivated at such a difficult time, and that she found her photography to be therepeutic.

  4. Catherine 14 March 2014 at 10:35 am

    A really effective and creative way of expressing that sense of loss and such a good choice/rationale of b+w Sarah.

  5. Gina 14 March 2014 at 11:01 am

    Desolation, loss, looking for answers, even a sense of trying to move on – beautifully expressed in visual form – one that resonates personally and, I’m sure with many others.

  6. Jacqui 14 March 2014 at 11:15 am

    Outstanding! Your visual translation is spot on. Look forward to seeing more of your work in future bulletins

  7. standickinson 14 March 2014 at 11:55 am

    Very impressive, Sarah; it must have taken some courage to approach the assignment in this way at a tough time. Well done.

  8. hortonjane2013 17 March 2014 at 11:09 am

    These are sensitive, subtle and moving Sarah, and convey struggle and emotion very effectively.

  9. Sarah G 18 March 2014 at 10:11 pm

    Thanks for the comments everyone. I’d encourage all students to have the courage to experiment and try something different and if you get photographers block, have a look at whats happening in your life and try and interpret that.


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