iPhone Photography with Blueprint 58

iPhone photography, photography with kids

Tim Merritt has been around the Paint Love community for a while thanks to his wife, Paint Love veteran artist Ellen Gadberry but this is his first time as a lead artist himself! Tim says, "I'd like to help people better understand the terrific cameras they carry every day in their smartphones. Unprecedented numbers of people carry these great cameras with them all the time! I want to help them express their vision with great photographs."  Tim worked with the teens from Blueprint 58, a mentoring program in the Adair Park neighborhood. The kids learned all about perspective, angle, and even how to get that perfect pic with a selfie stick! They put their new skills to use throughout the neighborhood and with friends.  

After the event, leaders from Blueprint 58 wrote, 

Paint Love is an organization that Blueprint has worked with a few times and we keep coming back because they make planning events simple! It is a relief knowing that once we have rounded up our group we can relax and interact with our kids during the event instead of having to be the organizer of every aspect. We love that our group has the chance to try new artistic activities with Paint Love that they may not have the chance to do anywhere else. We have had kids walk away from an event excited to try out the new skill they learn, and that is a cool thing to witness.

For example, during the event, Tim was talking with two of our middle school girls about the pictures they had taken, and he described what a great camera angle one of the girls had used and how that completely changed how the picture looked. As he was saying this, she smiled and looked really accomplished and proud of what she had done. As a group leader, this is the kind of thing I look for at events. I want our kids to feel encouraged and empowered and it was great to see that happen at this event.

Our two middle school girls who attended the photography session with Tim left excited to start taking more photos and working on their vlog, and our high school student who attended left having learned some more techniques for his photography. It is great to see our students excited about new activities and learning new skills.

Altered Portraits at Woodruff's Teen Lounge

We were so excited to host an event at the Woodruff Art Center’s Teen Lounge. We got to share this project with over 50 teens from all over Atlanta. We had a large team of artists to brainstorm the project. Amy Myers, Ross Boone, Margaret Crane, and Caitlin Chase all gave of their immense talent to make this project possible. The theme was social justice in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We did what all busy artists with jobs do, we started an email chain to collaborate. This might be my favorite stage of any project. I love hearing ideas and seeing things come together.

We started talking about the way we see ourselves and the way others see us. We're all so different, but we are also very alike, for reasons that have nothing to do with the color of our skin. We started thinking about what your actions have to say about the way you fit into the world? When you alter your portrait, when you act at all, you have the opportunity to show your true character. If we judged people by character alone, what would that look like?

This quote stood out to us from the I Have a Dream speech:

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

That was our prompt. We like to come up with really deep questions, but then wait to see what the group dynamic is like before diving in. We let the kids decide how deep they want to go when discussing a theme. It turned out that we had tons of great opportunities for discussion. We had four Paint Love artists and one stellar volunteer so there was a lot of room for hands on instruction and one on one conversation.

The first step in our project was to take photos against a plain wall and print on canvas paper. 

A little practice run on an old canvas! 

A little practice run on an old canvas! 

After that, students were able to add to and alter their portraits using embroidery, paint and other found objects. We were so enchanted with the results. I've posted a few here, but you can find the full galleries on our Facebook Page

Gallery I   Gallery II   Gallery III 

A big thank you to Woodruff’s Teen Lounge for hosting us and to our incredible artists and volunteers. Special thanks to Binders for donating canvas boards!