Lens caps off, cameras on! TICE Photography sent our new lead mentor, Jennine Wilson, to Longbenton High School and Whitburn CofE Academy for this year’s TICE Programme.  The Insight Stage is a chance for those who are familiar, and not so familiar, to dig deeper into the evergrowing world of Photography. The digital age means that any person can be a photographer just by using their mobile phone, so to flip the script, Jennine wants to focus TICE Photography on the narrative and intention behind an image.

We began the day with an introduction to the industry, with the aim to have a true understanding of the art behind photography. The students were able to explore the career paths that photography could lead to and also see what Jennine had achieved in her career thus far. Keen to understand the inspiration behind Jennine’s portfolio of work, she showed the group some of her work in Fine Arts Photography and Fashion Photography. They were quick to pick apart the storyline demonstrated within the imagery of her work. From this, the students could analyse and create their own stories based on photography from former Newcastle College students.

Jennine wanted to show in more detail how the world of Photography had been developed since the early 1800s. To do this, a selection of cameras from across many decades were handed out and, as the students looked at them, they began to truly appreciate the development. The older cameras are certainly more exciting to look at!

The students were able to look into the amount of detail behind a photo including problem-solving, communicating a story, creativity, collaborating and inspiring others. This really encouraged the TICE students to express their own individuality in photography and gradually develop their own style. Knowing that Photography is about creative freedom, not just about the perfect image, helped the students relax and feel assured in the work they wanted to produce. The classroom shared why they were intrigued by Photography and wanted involvement with no boundaries of experience. Chloe (Longbenton High School) said, “Even the simplest photos allow me to capture the world before my eyes and see things in a different light”. Morgan (Longbenton High School) said that Photography allowed her to tell a story through imagery and having her own visual voice. By the sounds of it, it seemed that the workshop really helped the students to find their artistic identity and discover their own reasoning for enjoying photography.

The students were then able to explore different creative fields within photography – some personal favourites amongst the students were travel, landscape, wildlife, food, architecture, street, world issues in media and sport. There were too many to count!

After a short break and feeling re-energised, the students jumped right into getting their first photo-shoot on the school campus. Their first task was to go around and take images of the alphabet and numbers to create a grid of their own work. It was amazing to see every single student giving this activity a good go and not shying away from looking for the most creative, wacky image. Although starting from the very beginning, some students showed real talent by trying to take images where they considered all the techniques explained earlier in the day. It was wonderful to see each student incorporating the type of photography they enjoyed in the images they produced. We were incredibly impressed by some on the astuteness some of the students were able to demonstrate through their creations.

Students were quick to settle in and organise their photos into a grid on Photoshop – and slowly but surely, their images were brought to life on the computer screen. They were all able to create very creative grids of their own work and it was clear that the students were proud of the work that they had created in the short time frame. To bring the day to a close, Jennine hinted at the theme for TICE Photography this year (hush hush!) and allowed students to discuss the theme’s influence in 2019. There are certainly exciting times ahead…

It was such a pleasure to work alongside a collaborative group of young, creative photographers. A huge thank you to Longbenton High School and Whitburn CofE Academy for your participation. We will see you soon for Explore Stage!