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Positive Futures’ Paparazzi Showcase Talents

Posted 11:57AM on Tuesday 26 May 2015

Earlier this year, seven young adults from our Better Together Project became Positive Futures’ very own Paparazzi after setting their sights on snapping up an accredited photography course at Belfast Exposed.

The camera–film fanatics were tutored by renowned photographer Mervyn Smyth who showed our magnificent seven how to shoot super snaps and splendid selfies. Mervyn devised a plan each week to help teach our happy snappers all the tricks of the trade and gave them the inside scoop from his own experiences. The group were able to use all kinds of equipment throughout the course from digital cameras and single–lens reflex cameras (SLR’s) to pin–hole cameras. As well as this, they got to see the developing processes via a visit to a genuine dark room, and received first–hand experience of using Photoshop. Our young group thrived, cutting and pasting and filtering to their heart’s content.

Each Positive Futures Paparazzo has created a different final piece and the fruits of their labour will be showcased in a special event at Belfast Exposed starring our photographers with guests in attendance from Positive Futures and the Belfast Health & Social Care Trust.

Our champion cameramen and camerawomen will be invited to bring family and friends to this special preview event before the photos will be unveiled to the wider public. Following this, the photos will then be toured around a range of locations across Northern Ireland such as at Belfast City Hall and various locations held by Libraries NI.

A dynamic developing duo within our photography group were brother and sister, Natasha and Jonathan McCambley, who said: “It was a great course and we both really enjoyed it.”

Staff from the Better Together Project nominated Belfast Exposed for our “What About Me?” Welcome Award following their positive experiences over the course. Speaking about the experience, Project Manager, Greg Nicholl said: “Mervyn is an excellent teacher and was able to work with the young adults at their own individual level. He gave so much of his time to ensure all the projects were picture perfect. He is a testament to his profession and a superb mentor and role model for those in supported by our Better Together Project. Mervyn is a true ambassador for people with a learning disability.”

The photographs will be on display for public viewing from 6pm on Thursday 4 June at Belfast Exposed, The Exchange Place, 23 Donegall Street as part of Late Night Art.