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Discovering Oneself behind the Lenses – Photo Session Epilogue

06 February 2015

Photo by Fourtotwentychars from Foter.com

Ingrid, photographer and Founding Director at Fotosynthesis, shares her experience of organising a portrait day at JRS.

What did you today?

We had fun! Taking pictures of people and catching their smiles.

How many people came? How many photos did you take?
27, I can’t count how many pictures we took, they would not stop posing!

What did you see?

I saw people coming from the outside and looking cold and shy or hiding behind coats and hats. And then I saw them glowing, proud, some really felt like models. That was quite nice to see. They quite surprised to see the result and how beautiful they are… The people who came showed us a secret part of their person, it was quite an intimate afternoon with strangers. And they all want the pictures!

What do you enjoy about taking portraits?

I like the interaction you need to have with people, to engage with them. You have to make them feel relaxed and joke and… it’s funny, I don’t know their names or where they are from. It was more like ‘hey! come in, let’s relax and do the pictures’. It was quite enjoyable. I enjoyed working with M, my colleague, he is good about making people laugh. I liked the simplicity with the people here. I do a lot of photo shoots, but I didn’t see anyone being critical, they just felt good the way they were, which is not often the case. I really liked how people left the room full of energy. One thing is there is a lot of trust, they really trusted us to tell them, which position to sit in or pose, so they did very well.

Did you learn anything today?

I don’t know if I learned anything new, but I remembered again the transformative effect that a photoshoot has on people. The photoshoot breaks the wall, it has an instant positive effect. It was a very therapeutic and hopeful day.

One of the participants said: “It was the best, it made me happy!” Is there anything else you would like to say?

I’d like to be a little mouse and see people’s faces when they see their pictures and see their reactions to the photos, to hear their experience of being photographed. And I’ll be excited to see where the images end up, in a family album or who knows?!

More information on Fotosynthesis, visit here.

Look out for more information and images telling a story about JRS’s work here on this blog soon…! 

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Jesuit Refugee Service UK
The Hurtado Jesuit Centre
2 Chandler Street, London E1W 2QT

020 7488 7310
uk@jrs.net

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