Social documentary photography at Whitechapel Mission
I have now since September been volunteering at Whitechapel Mission on a Tuesday afternoon working with a mens group. The group gets together from 12-2pm every Tuesday and I have been doing talks on photography and the voice how you can use photography to display your world and develop your voice. I have been showing the group the images that they have created of their worlds. The only editing I do is to remove horribly underexposed or really badly blurred images, other than that I do not edit the images that the Men make. We show these images and get them o discuss why they made the images and what they wanted to say with the images. This lets them have a voice and aids in communication, I learn more than I teach in these sessions and I find them highly enjoyable. I will not be showing any of the images here on this website, till I have at least shown them to the men, (and had their approval) as I want them to have a say in how they are represented. I do not make images without their approval, as I want them to be aware of what I am doing as a photographer. One thing that I am noticing, is that I feel the images are getting better, it is easier with time to make images of people, as they ignore you more, the more familiar they are to having their photo made (or taken).
This is proving an interesting project, that will take some time to get me to the point where I am happy with the images as I am trying to make them without preconseptions working on what is in front of me, thinking of what I want to say but also working with what I see. It is social documentary photography that is not trying to be anything other that what I see and experience in these sessions.