I taught one group of older kids aged 13-17 whom i saw every day 7 days a week.
How the photography classes came about:
I noticed very quickly when i came to this part of Andrah Pradesh that people really liked to have their photograph taken, so much so that if they saw you had a camera, they would stop you in your tracks (city or countryside) and ask for their photo to be taken, they did not want to keep the photo, just to see their image on the digital screen of my camera was enough. I got stopped so many times that i created a separate website for all these “requested portraits” which you can see here.
Impressed by the innate love of the camera and lack of self-consciousness in front of the lens, i decided instead to put my students behind the lens with photography lessons for my group of older kids. They were fast learners, after getting over the novelty of actually being left on their own with the cameras, they started to come back with very impressive photographs, they grasped complex and diverse notions of composition, abstract and portraiture and documentary. These 3 images were taken towards the end of our lessons after a month or so:
Every lesson would begin with the discussion of a concept, such as “abstract vs figurative” or “portraiture vs the snapshot”, i would then split the class into 3 groups (each group had one camera) and send them off on their own to photograph the topic/concept of the day, we would finish the lesson off with group crits of the photographs taken…
…and here is a selection of students’ work from the entire period of lessons: