The Young People Photography project (2013 – 2016)

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The project delivered three 12 week accredited Photography and Personal Development courses to young people aged 16-18 per year annum.  Initially the project was funded for one year during 2011/12 but was so successful that we secured further funding from the Children in Need to run the project for a further three years from April 2013 to March 2016.  All the young people were either Not in Education or Training, or were Care Leavers. The courses provided a good grounding in photography skills (composition, portraiture, studio lighting) and presentation of images (mounting, framing, printing).  Each course culminated in an Awards Ceremony where learners received, a digital camera, a CD of their photographs and their exhibited framed photographs.  The courses also included visits to local galleries and places of interest both in London and Nottingham. These included trips to Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham Lakeside Gallery, New Art Exchange, the Tate Modern, and the National Portrait Gallery.

The courses were interactive with young people working individually and together to achieve their own personal goals and towards a joint project at the end of the course. We found that learning portraiture was particularly successful. The learners enjoyed taking photographs of each other – taking good portraits meant that the young photographer had to ‘instruct’ her/his model, telling him/her how to pose and afterwards together analysing and discussed which photographs were preferable and why.  The trips out also encouraged more social interaction with young people who had never been to London feeing excited and talking to each other about photographing Buckingham Palace, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the sights from the London Eye.

Over the 12 courses we supported 101 young people.  All the participants exhibited their work at the end of their individual courses.  Additionally a number of young people from different courses showcased their work in a collective week long exhibition held from 7 – 14 September 2012 at Nottingham Trent University Photography Campus as part of the international World Event Young Artists (WEYA).  Exhibiting their work in itself demonstrated that they were sufficiently proud to show their work to a wider audience, which included family (where they were available), friends, social workers and representatives from other referral agencies and the wider local community.