Curiosity is usually the prime motivation, and later pure “magic” generates interest. Like it or not, this is the way these people see photography. It is magic to them to see themselves and their friends appear as a product of their own efforts.
A picture that they can show, that they have made, is enough to change an outlook or even just improve one day in an otherwise repetitive and de-stimulating atmosphere.
Maybe there is an argument for improving their technical expertise, but I believe that this occurs as a sideline of their increasing desire to do better. What really matters in this situation is the thought that goes with the work. Most of these girls have less than ambitious aspirations for their future. Leave school early, work in a shop or office, get married and have children is a typical scenario. At least for a little time (and hopefully longer) these girls have a special interest, a self-expressive alternative.
It would be easy to analyse their involvement and ideas but I feel in-adequate to do this in the face of the girls simplicity. If they find it the best part of their school life, gain enthusiasm and interest while coping with both interpretive skill and the discipline of technique, then I feel the end has already justified the means.
The girls seem to think so!
Puddle and Cloud
Rachael Garcie, Form 4.
I’d like to be a Graphic Artist but I just like photographs. I like to look at them and wish I could take nice ones myself.
My Sister. My Dog
Elizabeth Firth, Form 3.
I think it’s a dumb photo. I just like taking photos, and printing them at school is fun. I like the one of my dog.
Colleen Riley and Kim Dane
We chose to photograph at school ’cause its good to see what school’s like and to look at the other kids.