By Natalie Whitehurst, Centenary City Ambassador
A second photography training session was held on Sunday 12th August, where more ambassadors were able to try their hand at documentary photography. As I am a photographer myself, I was asked to attend both sessions to lend a hand with the photography. Although, as I don’t have much previous experience with documentary photography I was looking forward to developing my own skills as well as helping others!
The wonderful Laura Deane was back to deliver this session again, and this time we were able to go into one of the museum rooms to practice taking portrait shots of each other- with some ambassadors modelling the awesome costumes too! We practiced photographing each other and getting comfortable with both using our camera and interacting with people whilst photographing them.
After this, we were able to venture outside and try our hand at photographing the general public on the street.
Laura made it very clear from the beginning that it does not matter at all what equipment we were using- be it a DSLR or a phone camera- the photos don’t have to be ‘technically’ perfect in order to be deemed good. – “The best camera is the one you have with you”. The important thing is that we are out there talking to people, interacting with them, and capturing something raw and candid. Sometimes an image will be a bit blurry or out of focus…but it will be filled with emotion and will tell a brilliant story. And that makes a great photo.
As I had both my DSLR and phone to hand, I switched between each one and found that using a phone camera actually worked in my advantage in some situations as it was less intrusive and I think that put people at ease. Which is what we want when we’re photographing any centenary events; we want people to feel comfortable and not threatened, as they will then be more willing to participate and share their stories.
It can be very daunting approaching people you don’t know, but the key thing I learned is that if you push yourself it will pay off. Towards the end of the session we were challenged by Laura to take a photo of someone from less than a meter away which was a great opportunity to really push our confidence that bit further!
Here’s the photos I took: