Cameras4Change have developed a strong 5 day program that introduces the camera and photography to individuals that have often never had the opportunity to hold a camera! We get the cameras into their hands right away and let them discover the magic of taking their own photos. Why cameras and photographs? There are lots of reasons!
1. They are accessable – getting cameras may seem like a simple thing, we all seem to have them, but many do not. Even when you put a camera into the hands of someone that has never held one, right away they are engaged and want to learn. If there is something they don’t understand, they want to connect right away to figure it out. Walls and bounderies suddenly melt away, the teen who doesn’t want to talk will open up, the child that is shy will take that step forward. Instant progress!
2. They instill creativity – we are all naturally curious, cameras become a simple tool to expand on that natural trait, the possibilities are endless. When we explore things together in groups we are also opened up to the creativity of others.
3. They allow us to “see” – when you take a picture you really don’t have a choice but to look, you need to focus on what you are doing, you have to see things through the lens, others, your surroundings, the environment you are in, the world and yourself from a different perspective. You may notice something that you were never aware of before. Photography plants you in the here and now in a purposeful way. Whether you are looking at life through a big lens, or focusing down to the fine details of something, photography allows for all the different variances of expression, and is a good way to approach the way we see our world, our lives, and ourselves.
4. They allow for “Self Exploration” – Photographs can be the perfect way to explore many parts of yourself, your thoughts, your dreams, your past, your life right now, your expressions of thought mood or self documentation. The better you know yourself and where you have come from, the easier it is to move forward, and if you have suffered trauma or great challenges, this can be a doorway forward. You can tell a story through photos, you can showcase a situation, advocate for yourself, others or your community.
5. Photography is empowering – To understand just how much, imagine if you never had a single photo of your past. For anyone that has witnessed a person taking photos and seeing them for the very first time, the outcome is obvious. The sense of pride and joy that is expressed is one of the main reasons we love providing these experiences. It allows for individual creative expression to unfold; to have control and make photos that you want to is indeed an empowering experience. To then have those photos is gratifying. A photo says I am here, I matter. Photography is empowering, and empowerment is one step away from independence!