Tonight I taught my first photography workshop in Wath-on-Dearne. I had been dreading it – was on the verge of panic attacks last night – but actually it went very smoothly, the kids were wonderful (there were only 4 of them – I had been prepared for 2 or 3 times that number) and everyone had a good time. It’s been a massive confidence boost to me, managing to get this under my belt.
We started the session with a quick slide-show of about a dozen of my photos, then I showed them in about 30 pictures from the National Portrait Gallery Photographic Portrait Prize over the last four years. I got them to to talk in detail about each picture – what it told them about the person pictured, and how different things like the background, clothing, possessions, pose, framing, angle, lighting etc. could all affect our understanding of the person shown, and could add up to a story about that person.
Then I got them to split into two groups of two, and take photos of one another, thinking about some of those different elements and how they could be used. I just let them use the cameras on fully automatic settings, with flash (although a couple of them worked out how to turn the flash off).
Then I mixed up the groups, and gave each group two halogen desk lamps to play with, switched off the main lights and got them to play with lighting.
Finally, we downloaded the photos and looked at them.
I’m really looking forward to next week now! And on Sunday, I’m giving another workshop to a local Muslim girls’ group.
Several more photography commissions rolling in – I’ve got a conference to do on Friday, and it looks like I’ll have another party to do next week. Suddenly, all systems are go!