I’ve spent much of today putting together a slideshow for our leavers’ assembly. I take a huge number of photos of the children I work with: to record progress, to celebrate achievements, to share with parents. But mostly, to be honest, I take them, because I’m fascinated by how the right image can capture and convey the essence of each individual. I’ve become slightly obsessed by learning the art and science of how best to do that. Over the last couple of terms, I’ve persisted and gradually got them used to it, so they don’t pose as much, just accept I’m the one with the camera glued to her hand. For some kids, it’s even better, having the camera there makes me invisible, so they act differently.
When I started looking through, I had over 1500 images of this term, which I’ve whittled down to just under 300. We’ve added a soundtrack,which is a little Disney for my tastes. I am mortally offended by my colleagues’ verdict that I wasn’t allowed to choose “any of your folky indy stuff”, and feel my artistic integrity has been compromised.
Now it’s done, and I’m just so bloody proud of my work. I hope that the parents like it more than posed formal shots, but to be honest, I don’t really care. I know it captures those children, and the time they’ve spent with us.
Now I feel the urge to go away and spend the summer photographing my own children,who are apparently mature, intelligent and a pleasure to teach, according to their reports (and even in B’s case, prone to producing ‘lyrical miracles’- the mind boggles…)