Looking at the photos from the exhibition ‘Thunderbolt’, you would be excused for thinking that these photos had been taken by children twice their age, but these photos are in fact the work of the 6 and 7 year olds that make up Amberley First School Photo Club.
Their photos use strong shapes and lines, and an elegant understanding of colour. It is obvious that the photo club members are well versed in composition and are considering complexities not usually associated with young childrens’ photos.
The children were able to talk with confidence about their work and were proud to do so. Dressed to the nines in bow ties and party dresses they pointed out their work with delight, discussing it in terms of colour contrast, colour harmony, leading lines and patterns.
The photo club is run by Cheryl Blundy and Madaline Farrow, both mums to Amberley children. Cheryl has worked as a photographer in number of capacities as widely ranging as fine art and archaeology.
The club has been a hit with children and staff, with a waiting list of children wanting to join the club.
Cheryl says “I love the way the children take photos. They have none of the inhibitions that adults have about getting in close to someone’s face, or making sure every photo is perfect before they take it. There is a real sense of freedom and wonder in the way they use cameras.
It’s been brilliant watching their progression as their understanding of how images work has grown and they have began to integrate what they have learnt into their photos.”
Cheryl and Madaline concentrate on showing the children how to produce good images rather than placing emphasis on the technical aspects of camera modes, which can be confusing to children of all ages. They engage the children with games and activities that explore the visual world and make them investigate what makes a good image, whilst showing them how to use basic camera controls and suggesting different topics for them to photograph each week.
Cheryl is keen to expand on the club and to take the idea out to other schools and youth organisations in the area, a number of which have already shown interest.
For further information please contact Cheryl on 07535122139
Report and pictures contributed by Cheryl Blundy.