Who am I? Photography student Finn shares FMP story to help peers struggling with identity

by india

Finn Hale started studying on our UAL Art & Design Level 3 Diploma in 2021, focusing on the Photography pathway. Finn started learning about photography in Year 9 as part of his GCSE’s and wanted to study photography in hopes to go onto University.

We spoke to Finn about his time at Trafford College and his Final Major Project (FMP), and how this piece of work has helped him to explore his identity, whilst helping others who may be in similar positions.

Hi Finn! Can you tell us more about your course and how it has enabled you to explore personal themes such as identity through your work?

The course has given me the opportunity to learn about lighting, and to realise that film could be something I go onto study at University.

I use photography as a way to showcase the things I find interesting when I don’t always have the words to describe them. Working with film allows me to learn more about how to present my ideas in order to better express myself.

What have been the best parts of the course for you?

My highlight would be something I learned whilst doing my FMP, and that was that there isn’t an exact time limit to figuring out who I am – I knew that before but I didn’t truly accept that fact until this project came around.

With this course, I have figured out what I want to move on to in University, which is a pretty big thing for me – that opens more doors into my identity that I will hopefully later figure out.

Tell us more about your FMP Film – who am I?

My idea behind this project was to capture trying to figure myself out but failing in the process to do so.

I struggle with gender dysphoria and facial dysmorphia so this project helps to show that I have no real clue who I am at the moment.

I started this project in March of this year, and it has been through a lot. It was originally going to be a mini-found footage film based on the same idea but I decided to drop the found footage idea due to time.

Identity is a big subject and something I know a lot of people struggle with so by putting this out there, I hope that others know that they aren’t alone in their struggles and that it can and will get better with time.

At Trafford College Group, we have a LGBTQIA+ Social Group, a pastoral support group which is open to students who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. The group will be going to Manchester Pride in August.

How important is the group to you? Are looking forward to celebrating Manchester Pride in August?

This will be my first time going to pride so I think it’s important that I have fun with it!

Being a part of the LGBTQIA+Social Group is important to me so I have a good support system. Going to pride with the group, and as a college will help me develop new friendships.

I’m looking forward to it and I think it will help me become more open with the group.

For anyone who may be thinking of joining, can you tell them what to expect and how has the group helped you and others?

I think joining would be good if you need more LGBTQIA+ friends or need to be around people who could relate to your experiences.

We have a Microsoft Teams online group where we can chat and we’ve been on trips out to LGBTQIA+ places and have meetings every Wednesday.

I’ve yet to go to an in person meeting as I’m not in on Wednesdays and haven’t made it to one on my day off, I do intend to start going more in September.