Tag Archives: big issue
By Tom Collier.
Paul Swift travelled a good distance from his home town of Durham, to visit Bournemouth with his friends and family to showcase and perform stunt driving. Continue reading
Week 2 of Poached Creative and The Big Issue journalists and photography class in Poole started with Jessie (Poached Creative) giving us a run down on what we were going to be doing for the following 5 weeks. I felt a tingle of excitement as I’d not done any work or training for a while now and the thought of getting involed in something worthwhile was just what I needed.
Week 1 had been a great start wih us all getting to know each other and jumping straight in with a talk on journalism by our guest speaker Ann Luce from Bournemouth Uni. We then paired up to do a NIB story together which was a lot of fun so this week I felt all set to learn more and get creative.
Straight after Jessie’s chat our guest speaker Sophie Bowdler arrived to give us a lecture on wedding photography, Sophie being a great example of someone that had made a huge success from learning photography. When Sophie was just 15 she knew she wanted to be a photographer and after leaving school started working for a local photographers agency learning wedding photography. Ten years later Sophie has her own wedding photography business and is now well known throughout the area for her outstanding coverage of weddings. When she started her business she was charging £300 to £600 per shoot and in just 3 years has grown to the point where she can charge anything from a £1000 to £1700 per shoot, I thought that was pretty impressive so wanted to pick up on everything she could teach us.
Sophie stared by outlining her business strategies and how she’d got to where she was today, after that it was all about getting “the shot” and using her camera (Nikon D600) to do the work. I found it very interesting that a lot of people getting married did not want Sophie to use a flash in the church, churches being quite dark and dingy inside made this a challenge which Sophie overcame by using her camera’s light/shutter speed and ISO settings. We learned that using natural light gave a much better colour balance to the photo’s and created a more natural looking picture and when shooting outside often shot her pictures facing into the sun and using her flash to highlight her subjects instead of having the sun behind her. This made a lot of sense as people facing the sun tend to squint and scrunch up their faces trying to keep the sun out of their eyes. Sophie also told us how she trained up an assistant to take pictures of the groom and guests so that she could concentrate on the bride and getting the main shots of the day. Typiclly Sophie would shoot in the region of 1500 photographs at a wedding which she would then filter down to around 100 to 120 for the main album. The main thing was getting the important shots just right because with a wedding there are no second chances. We stopped for a break and chatted amongst ourselves about Sophies pictures and success for 10 minutes and then Rob our photography tutor gave us a run down on the importance of light/colour balance, cropping and exposure.
Friday started out with us all getting excited about our field trip into Poole to do our photo essay, we broke up into groups of 3 or 4 and discussed what our photo essays would be about. I was with Helen and Jamie, Helen decided she was going to take pictures of the birds that are a common sight in Poole and titled her essay “They’ll do anything for chips” while Jamie was going to concentrate on people using their cell phones and he appropriatly titled his essay “Cellular division in Poole”. I decided my subject would be about dementia as I’d seen an elderly gentleman who suffers from dementia in the library that morning and just the day before i’d noticed an empty shop now being used to highlight dementia in our society. Unfortunately my subject in the library had left and then chatting with the people in the dementia society’s shop I discovered I would not be allowed to take pictures of people suffering from dementia that were visiting the shop. I then decided my subject for the day would be the other students doing their photo essays. We all rambled off into Poole high street to find and shoot our chosen subjects, the streets were quite busy and offered up a huge selection of photographic opportunities. We took our photo’s and headed back to Poole Library’s seminar room to enjoy a huge lunch made by Jessie (Poached Creative) and her mother, great sandwiches and plenty of sides and drinks filled us all and gave us the energy for the afternoon.
Back to work, we downloaded our photo’s to pc and learnt how to use Picaso 3 to edit our pics, once done Rob helped us upload to bigissueonlinejournalists.wordpress.com We then wound down with Rob doing a small presentation of our combined works.
I can’t wait for next weeks class now!
After another successful course, trainees interviewed each other to find out what they thought of it and if it’s worth continuing.
The Big Issue secured funding for four six-week courses that have now been completed, but given its success its hoped new funding can be found.
John Watts, a former screen-writer, who has secured a work experience placement at homeless charity Broadway’s press office since finishing the course, said: “I learnt loads and totally stimulated my enthusiasm for [journalism] and can’t wait to get out there and do it for real. If you want to go into journalism the hands-on practical skills will seriously benefit anyone doing the course.”
During the year-long programme the course has developed a balanced and accessible schedule for people from a range of backgrounds with a range of experiences, but all united in their desire to get back on their feet and into work.
Most of the trainees already have an interest in writing or photography and want to develop it further with a view to getting work experience and ultimately paid work. Others appreciate the importance of developing their communication skills whether it be for business, the media world or their personal life.
Seb Taylor, who has toyed with photography as a hobby for years and has since got his first gig as a festival photographer at the Wickerman in Scotland, said he hoped the course would continue. He said: “There’s a hell of a lot of talent out there, but people don’t know ways into doing this and it’s been a fantastic way to do that. Now I’m set up with the tools to know what to do next.”
The course is based around producing real content to publish online so trainees learn how to write in different styles: news, features and blog-posts, and for specific audiences. They also learn how to use a camera: from composing a good shot, using the built and natural environment for effect and how to take the dial off ‘automatic’.
By week two the trainees are out and about taking pictures for a photo-essay and by week three they’re interviewing people for actual news stories. While some theory is taught before the practical sessions, it is after and on reflection the majority of it is learnt.
Throughout the course the importance, relevance and use of social media is integrated: from using a blog to finding stories on Twitter to getting them read on Facebook. Technophobes are broken in gently.
By week six the trainees have the basic skills, knowledge and confidence to try their hand in the real world, so we end the course preparing them for work: from coming off benefits, creating a portfolio, becoming a brand, building a network and nailing down a 12-month ‘career’ plan.
And it seems to work.
Trainees who have completed the programme have gone onto study for a professional journalism qualification, produce videos for charities, work at the Big Issue, freelance for news agencies, volunteer in press offices and become a festival photographer. All have attributed their success to the course.
Wash, peel, chop, simmer, whisk, stir, mix, fry, bake, talk, teach, learn, invent, relax, share, taste, and connect…
Sound like a good way to spend your Sunday afternoons?
A project called the People’s Kitchen has come up with a recipe for successful social interaction in Dalston. Every Sunday a banquet created from surplus food donated by local suppliers is put on at Passing Clouds and other local venues. Continue reading
By Sharon Payne
Chat’s Palace is a community space situated in a wonderful Victorian library built in 1913. The building is used for an amazing variety of events and activities designed to appeal to all ages and interests. Manager Candy Horsbrugh, the only full time member of staff, is full of enthusiasm for the building and its role in the community since the library closed in 1976.
Despite funding difficulties the space, which took on charity status in 1981, hosts barn dancing, exhibitions, workshops, youth projects, club nights for teenagers, live music, comedy nights, darkroom hire and tuition, karate, traditional music tuition, dance classes and even a knitting group for older people that they are hoping to encourage younger people to come along to. Continue reading