We’ve teamed up with experienced photo course provider, Sharp Shots Photo Club and world renowned camera manufacturer, Nikon, to bring nine lucky DofE participants a once in a lifetime opportunity to master taking photos to bring their own story to life. The course is aimed at those who wouldn’t necessarily have had the opportunity to learn photography for their DofE Skills section.
Not only has each participant received a state of the art Nikon DSLR, they have weekly photo workshops led by Sharp Shots Photo Club. Each participant has been paired with a Nikon photographer to help guide them through their photographic journey as well as giving an insight into the working life of a professional photographer.
Meet the participants
Aysha is studying to become a zoologist and wildlife conservationist and is doing her Gold Award. When Aysha became ill just before her 18th birthday and was bed bound, she found photography of the natural world helped her hold onto hope and gave her courage. She now cares for her father. Her story will focus on caring for her father and how the natural world continues to inspire and give courage to both of them.
Caitlin is doing her Silver Award. She has suffered from poor mental health and was homeless for a while. She’s now got a job and home and since discovering photography she feels at ease and more content with her history and the battles she’s fought. Caitlin’s story will explore the dark times she’s lived through as well as the hope she feels now.
Claire is doing her Gold Award. She loves to travel with her family and likes to take lots of photos of her travels to create lasting memories. Claire’s epilepsy and autism has impacted her life, often leaving her frustrated but determined to overcome the challenges she faces. Claire wants to tell the story of her DofE journey, showing the independence it has given her.
Corron is doing his Bronze Award. He believes it’s better to visualise and see things than to read about it. He wants to tell his story about being a young carer for his twin sisters who have learning disabilities. Corron found the transition to high school challenging and was referred to Head Start for support. This inspired him to set up a resilience club at school to offer similar support to others who struggle with confidence, self-esteem and mental health and wellbeing.
Josh is doing his Gold Award. He likes photography because it can give a clear message. He’s keen to tell the story of his Gold Award journey, from upcycling old pieces of wood into works of art for his volunteering, practising yoga and working out at the gym for his physical section, learning photography for his skill and of course his expedition where he sees his role as encouraging some of his slower team members.
Mackenzie is doing his Bronze Award. He is a footie fanatic! He never misses a Bristol Rovers home game and loves capturing special moments on his camera during the games. If he’s not watching football he’s playing it! Mackenzie’s story will focus on his love of football.
Maryam is doing her Bronze Award. She’s always had an interest in photography and is loving learning how to use her camera properly. She thinks photographs can tell a story and that there’s often a silent message behind a photo. Maryam wants to tell her story about feeling lost and disorientated during lockdown and coming out the other side with the support of her family and friends.
Nathan’s currently doing his Silver Award at school. Nathan is interested in photography as he finds writing difficult and finds a picture can tell its own story. He wants to share what it’s like being in foster care with hidden disabilities and how he’s overcome a lot of challenges through his photo story.
Phoebe is doing her Bronze Award. She first started taking photos at her cousin’s first birthday party and straight away loved the feeling of capturing a moment and freezing it forever. She wants to tell the story of the feeling of abandonment and change, reflecting on the past, present and future and drawing on how things are always changing and specifically the impact of the pandemic.
At the end of the course each participant’s story will feature in an exhibition.
Follow their journey on social media: