Pitch

My story idea is to cover the rise in food allergies and intolerance’s. I was drawn to this story through my own personal life through working in hospitality and being aware to such a variety of food allergens and intolerance’s that a few years ago, I never heard of. Furthermore, more of my friends than not suffer an allergy or intolerance, including severe ones such as ‘deadly nut allergies’.

In my imagination, I plan for the story to follow those with a variety of food allergies. I want to source the information in the most realistic way possible, by photographing and following a subject around a supermarket and in a restaurant and experience their difficulty in everyday life, with an allergy. Perhaps, I pretend to have an allergy myself in this situation to experience this further. After 2-5 photographs capturing this documented process, I plan to shoot an editorial feature on food allergies/intolerance’s through studio-based photography.

I would like to use a realistic appearing skull, which symbolizes a toxic hazard or death. Through studying a variety of allergens, this will be incorporated to manipulate the skull. For example, when capturing a lactose allergy, I would use ice cream in a cone and stick it upside-down onto the skull, capturing the melting process alongside an excess use of cream, milk, cheese appearing on the skull too.

My feature will contain a mixture of both illustrative photograph and a photo story. My story will be illustrative as the context of the idea is important to understand the photographs and truly grasp the effect of this. A type of ‘balance’ that either one wouldn’t be as great without the other. My story will also be a photo-story especially through documenting a subject in a supermarket, but also the images will symbolize a deeper meaning and use such a surreal type of imagery that it’ll draw readers in.

I envision my work on an online platform so that it can be circulated through various demographic and audience types. Food allergies are not female or male specific. It has been said that they are more common in women, but it has not been proven due to ‘physiological differences or to differences in health-seeking behavior between men and women’ according to the Institute of Food Research.  Therefore, I believe my article could be published in a magazine such as ‘Cosmopolitan’ or ‘The Huffington Post’, but the importance of the circulation online would be the most important element.

I have already begun my research through talking to subjects I plan to use to document in a supermarket/restaurant setting and experiencing conversations with friends and acquaintances about their allergy. I would like to use this primary information as a series of quotes throughout the body of the text instead of secondary information repeating what people already know, or could Google. The secondary information will defiantly be important to my research in broadening my knowledge and prompting what questions to ask a subject, but I want to keep a first-hand human interest angle. I think this could only strengthen my article, supported by Gultang and Ruge theory of news values of ‘personalisation/human interest’ that the public find other people, and their lives interesting and news-worthy in the right context.

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