I was pleased and flattered to be asked to run a children’s workshop for a local group called Wildchild, whose main remit is about giving city children an opportunity to experience planting, getting dirty, and appreciating the outdoors. Although it is usually run on land that the parent group Paradise Co-op manage, the workshop was held in a church which has recently opened a community cafe run by a friend of mine who I met through Just Shelter due to the cold weather. We had access to the garden and the church.
It was lots of fun and the children really seemed to enjoy the workshop very much. They have taken some wonderful photographs which Wildchild will share privately with parents and the group, I was very glad to have inspired them. They were incredibly welcoming and interested in what I do and why.
Here is the outline of the workshop:
Wild Child Photography Workshop Plan – Tuesday 6th February 2018
Main Aims; to introduce the idea of photography being a language and a medium that encourages us to look and see the world around us.
- Who I am – local photographer working as a photographer and studying to be an artist who uses cameras and images in own work (briefly discuss difference)
- Introduce children to the idea that photography is a language everyone can and does use to express themselves, and in particular connection with Wild Child to observe nature
- Ask children to tell me if they can tell me think of different ways photography can be used, where they see photographic images in their world, how they see photographs being used, what they think of photographs if at all
- A very brief introduction to some technicalities – low light, the quality of light, using shutter speeds, how aperture can affect the picture – working in auto of P (I don’t think any more manual controls are worth going into in this session) (I decided not to cover this at all on the day)
- Finally, discuss how photography is about seeing – how it encourages you to take a closer look at the world around you
Choose from one of the following activities: (They may spend the whole time doing one exercise or if they have time they might do more. We may need to spend some time talking to the children about the various options and giving them some ideas, examples, etc.)
- Make a photographic documentary about Wild Child and the Paradise Co-op land where most of the sessions take place. Think about how you will present the documentary – slide show, text or speaker, what you want to say in the documentary.
- Create an abstract art project based around nature in the Paradise Co-op plot. Again, you can suggest how you see the images might be presented, who will your audience be, and think about the point of the project.
- Create a false narrative (a story which you will try to pretend is the truth) using images to convince your audience you are somewhere other than Wandsworth using images and words. i.e. You may photograph yourselves in the woods and claim it is somewhere in Bavaria for instance… how convincing can you make your presentation and where will you show these images, along with your made up story?
The final exercise was chosen by two groups as far as I know. One group turned the church into a prison using cropping and judicious choice of space. Another set theirs in Mexico. The light beating down on the red bricks of the church at the end of the day was perfect! (I think they were also superheroes and seemed to have zombies in the mix too ….)