A little bit of imagination goes a long way

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One of the great things about kids is their uninhibited imaginations, there’s a whole world of make-believe is inside their little heads, bursting with energy and ideas. Before you know it, they have a story, a play, a song or a picture and the dozen or so youngsters who burst into Impressions Gallery looked like they could do the whole lot!

With my Exposure Leeds hat on, I was leading a Family Photo Workshop, the idea was to encourage kids to enjoy photography and use their imagination. They didn’t disappoint. No sooner had they arrived with their parents than the props box was broken out, wigs, gowns, silly glasses, the lot. One little boy who wasn’t even part of the workshop picked out a rather fetching Geisha wig and a sparkly handbag and helped me  welcome everyone, adding a comment or two of his own.Which was nice.

Grown-ups were dressed up, their children art directed the photography. Who’d have thought so many hats could be fitted on one head? Oh the power of telling your dad to pick his nose or act like a pirate arrrrrr, all in the name of exploring new ways to express yourself with your camera.

While Si did the indoor stuff, I took a group around City Park making them stop every 20 steps, look around, think, tap into their active imaginations and then take a photo. I’d already encouraged them to think of themes, maybe a colour, or a shape, types of buildings, reflections or shadows. One youngster carried a spotty bow tie around, photographing it in all sorts of places. Another worked with a blue feather, another captured architecture and buildings. They stood on things, lay flat on their bellies on the pavement, splashed through water to get the shot they wanted, excitedly showing their photos on the camera screens. It was glorious.

Thanks to Si for helping with the ‘shoot the grown-ups’ session.I don’t know who were the bigger kids, though, Si, me and the Impressions staff or youngsters. A tough call, I’d say…

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