yr 8 self portrait project

October, 2017

Once again I had the pleasure of joining the Yr 8 MGGS girls to help inspire them in one of their final projects for the year. Heading into Yr 9 is a huge step with plenty of social and personal challenges, and it is through imagery and writing that the girls are challenged to explore. This is a little project that we condense into one afternoon, full of great images to inspire, plenty of questions and chatting about how, where, what to do to get the ideal photo. I love the informal nature of this workshop...girls sprawled out over the floor, paper, sketching, sunlight through the trees, shadows across the Artemis deck...perfect creative environment. Sometimes when we are faced with time and location restrictions it forces the best ideas forward. The girls were trying to capture a self portrait...avoiding the typical 'selfie'...that showed their true nature and character as a learning and thinker. It had to incorporate some physical part of the self, whether that be your feet, one eye, your shadow or reflection or even your entire body. The girls achieved amazing results by working together, discussing ideas and questioning their our traits with each other. It is a challenging thing to talk about yourself openly and then creating an image that exposes who you really are... a bit like opening up your secret diary and putting on display.

Hats off to the brave Yr 8 girls!!

Yr 8 Portraits

Yr 8 Portraits

Yr 8 Portraits

Yr 8 Portraits

yr 7 workshop mggs

August, 2017

This year we decided to get the girls 'City Week' ready...

During the months of July & August we took small groups of girls into the city by public transport and explored all the nooks and crannies of Melbourne's laneways on foot.There is no shortage of great photo opportunities in the city, even when it is wet and cold! Whilst hiding from the rain we got some amazing shots taken through the water wall at the National Gallery, and the beautiful archways along the GPO building.

I loved working with this group, as they were now familiar with all the elements of great imagery, having studied it the previous year and discussed it once again before we set out. It was obvious that the girls were pushing the boundaries and looking for new ways of seeing things, seeking out reflections, shadows, textures and interesting perspectives. The results were images that challenged the viewer and told a story worth exploring further.

Well done girls...so excited to see you grasping all aspects of this workshop!

Yr 7 Exploring Melbourne's laneways for great imagery.

Yr 7 Exploring Melbourne's laneways for great imagery.

Yr7 Girls at 'City Week'

Yr7 Girls at 'City Week'

YR 6 WORKSHOP MGGS

November, 2016

Working with the Year 6 girls at MGGS was incredibly rewarding. They were engaged and enthusiastic from the minute I introduced myself. I am always a little unsure as to how each group will respond to my initial presentation, however, seeing the amount of hands shoot up around the group with questions, put that to rest. They tackled each assignment with a great deal of creativity and co-operation with each other. I was blown away with their understanding of the elements we had discussed such as; composition, perspective, colour and detail. The results they captured during the 'Flat Lay' exercise, and our little excursion to the Botanical Gardens, were inspiring and thoughtful. The highlight for me was seeing the final results mounted and displayed in the Wildfell Foyer. As a collective piece these images are truly impressive and the girls have much to be proud of. I'm looking forward to working with them in Yr 7 and pushing their creative limits a lot further. Well done girls....

Yr 6 Girls at work....

Yr 6 Girls at work....

Yr 6 girls work on display in 'Wildfell'

Yr 6 girls work on display in 'Wildfell'

 

Yr 7 workshop mggs

November, 2016

I was lucky enough to run the Yr7 workshop in conjunction with the MGGS 'City Week' programme. After our initial presentation I joined the girls and wandered the back laneways of Melbourne, exploring places they may not usually explore. I was really impressed at their attitude and the willingness to step outside their comfort zone. We walked through smelly laneways, poked our heads through smashed in windows, sort out colourful graffiti and explored the underground subway. The girls found detail everywhere, in signage, tiling, shadows, reflections, even rear-view mirrors on motorbikes! They plucked up the courage to approach strangers, and ask if they would be willing to be photographed, they stepped inside old buildings they had previously not noticed, and not once did they feel the need to take a 'selfie'. The yr7 girls truly grasped the concept of 'being aware of your surroundings' and really seeing the beauty in everyday objects. 

Yr 7 girls at work during 'City Week'...

Yr 7 girls at work during 'City Week'...

 

It all started when....

September, 2016

I realised our kids were missing out on a really, really BIG opportunity...to tell their life story with images. We arm our children with smartphones so they can contact us if the bus breaks down, or they forgot their sports gear....there are many good reasons. Yet we have also armed them with a camera. A camera that unfortunately has not been put to very good use. By the time they get to Yr 7 they are in the thick of exploring social media and all the ups and downs that come with it. As we've seen in the media recently, the mis-use of their image on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat has caused a lot of distress amongst both parents and students. On a personal level, I was becoming increasingly agitated with the sort of images young girls were posting of themselves and their friends. Often these images were awkwardly sexualised even if the intent was not, but what can we expect when their greatest role model is the Kardashians! As a photographer, and a mother, it was time to throw my hat in the ring and have a crack at turning it around...

It started with my daughter and a few of her friends, a little trial run to see where this nagging idea was leading me. We started with some Flat-lay compositions at home, playing with objects and arrangements with the aim of telling a little story. From there we hit the streets of Hawthorn, a place familiar to the girls yet not previously seen through inquisitive eyes. The minute we hopped out of the car they were off, spotting a colourful tiled wall that matched jackets, pink signage on the road, cool graffiti in the train station, fun portraits with Oreos, a lone bird perched on high wall....within an hour they had dozens of exciting images and were eager to find more. 

Their excitement inspired me to set the wheels in motion. That night I brainstormed ideas and concepts, scrolled through Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration and by midnight 'The Image Project' was born.

This is a project I am deeply passionate about. I am no expert on social media or teenage psychology, and I am not the worlds best photographer. But what I do have is many years of experience, both as a photographer and as a mother. So hopefully what I can share with you and your children may just lead them onto to something far more inspiring and creative. 

Portrait of Claudia, by Heidi

Portrait of Claudia, by Heidi