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Kids school and holiday art clubs

Fun with Photography – Day 1

Photographic artist Marysa Dowling spent the first day of our half term course exploring composition, framing, movement, emotion, storytelling, lighting and the use of props.

The first half of this post will focus on the 7-12 age group…so scroll down if you are more interested in the under 6 age group.

Marysa began with an introduction to her own practice to give the children some ideas for their own work.

DSC_0001 She also talked about other photographic art-work like that of Gillian Wearing and SamTaylor-Wood.


We then used a simple prop to help us compose and frame interesting images.DSC_0016 DSC_0019 DSC_0022 DSC_0025 DSC_0029 DSC_0030 DSC_0033 DSC_0041

Immediately it made us more experimental with our work. Here are some of the results.DSC_0134 DSC_0136 DSC_0140 DSC_0143DSC_0142

We printed them using small ‘selphy’ printers. Great for those immediate results.DSC_0048 DSC_0049

We then looked at and discussed our images on the big screen and in smaller printouts.

DSC_0057We took some more shots outside, taking it in turns to direct the shot from behind the camera and be directed into an interesting pose.
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We then focussed on close up photography and how to portray emotion.DSC_0102 DSC_0104DSC_0113DSC_0159

More crit sessions as we discussed what makes a good photo.DSC_0146 DSC_0153

Here we are looking at our images on the big screen.DSC_0164 DSC_0168

After lunch we began to make props to use in our next round of photographs. Its amazing what we came up with using a few sheets of paper, card and a variety of tapes!

Each prop said something about ourselves as a person, as we explored our identity through photography.DSC_0209 DSC_0213 This giant model of a pencil was amazing.DSC_0223 DSC_0231 DSC_0300DSC_0233 DSC_0236

DSC_0260We then set up our own studio with specialist lighting and backdrop in order to frame and pose for photograph that said something special about ourselves.

We will be using this equipment more tomorrow.DSC_0242DSC_0244DSC_0246



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I think our first attempts were stunning…young people portraying themselves confidently with such a positive self image.

The younger children were exploring what it meant to make a portrait, beginning with making frames and drawing themselves with special objects. They used the frames to take photographs of themselves.


We also looked at some artists who painted and photographed portraits.

DSC_0056 We  made a little model out of a cardboard tube, making it into our own personalised character.DSC_0064 DSC_0067 DSC_0069 DSC_0070 DSC_0094 DSC_0095 DSC_0097 DSC_0098 DSC_0119DSC_0116


We practiced photographing our character.

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Then took it for a little walk and photographed it in different situations, starting to tell a story.

DSC_0194 We played with scale, placing it next to something really big.

DSC_0195 We looked at interesting angles for our shots.

And interesting places.


Here are a selection of our photographs.photo 1 photo 2You can just see this one perched on a precipice!photo 3 photo 4 photo 5 photo 7 photo 8 We then made some portraits of our own using oil pastels, adding objects that said something about ourselves. We will develop these portraits into photographs tomorrow using the studio equipment. We will dress up and make and use props to make a great portrait.

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