Young carers urged to capture their lives on camera
Action for Children and the Royal Photographic Society launch photography project challenging young carers to get creative and show what’s important in their lives
Action for Children and the Royal Photographic Society, supported by Arts Council England are today (Monday 23rd May) launching a nationwide photography project to celebrate young carers across the UK.
The charities who share HRH The Duchess of Cambridge as Patron are asking young carers to get creative to photograph what’s important to them in their lives and learn a fantastic new skill along the way.
Selected entries will form a nationwide photography exhibition entitled ‘Young Carers - A Life in Focus’. This will follow a series of free online workshops and resources available to all young carers across the UK, created by leading photographers, on how to take unique images on their mobile phone, device or camera.
Celebrated photographer and visual artist Jo Bradford has produced the innovative and creative online workshops, which will cover technical topics such as composition through leading lines and interesting placements of subjects, lighting using objects you can find around your home to achieve professional results and editing using homemade filters and apps found on your phone.
With an estimated 800,000¹ children and young people across the UK caring for a family member with a disability, illness or mental health issue - some as young as five years old – Action for Children and the Royal Photographic Society are encouraging young carers to capture their thoughts, emotions and life experiences.
Typically, young carers help with practical tasks around the home such as cooking, housework and shopping; physical care, such as helping someone out of bed; and personal care, such as helping someone dress.
Caiden Meacham (10) from Haverfordwest is supported by Action for Children’s young carers service in Pembrokeshire.
He said: “I want to learn how to take good photos and can’t wait to learn. I like taking photos of lots of different things like nature and my pets which mean a lot to me.”
To launch the project, photographer Jo Bradford shares her top three tips for young carers to get them experimenting with their photographic skills:
- Shine a torch on reflective, shiny objects around your home to make interesting light patterns in your photographs. A CD, vase or glass can create a glimmer or reflection.
- Use the objects in your home to create frames by placing them in the fore and background. Placing plants in the foreground could give a great jungle effect or a hole in some bubble wrap could make a fun frame for a face,
- Get experimental with your phone settings – using the panorama setting and shaking your phone up and down can produce abstract patterns around you.
Action for Children supports over 3,700 children and young people who are young carers across the UK, giving them advice and respite through short breaks, activities and the chance to connect with other young carers.
Melanie Armstrong, Chief Executive at Action for Children, said: “We see first-hand the impact of loneliness and stress on young carers, who are dedicating a large part of their childhood to helping loved ones. These children and young people are often desperate for a break from their duties so it’s important for them to have some fun by doing a hobby or something they enjoy.
“Our photography project will offer young carers the chance to do something for themselves while learning a new skill. We can’t wait to see the creative contributions later this year!”
Evan Dawson, Chief Executive of the Royal Photographic Society, adds: "There are thousands of inspirational young people in the UK performing regular caring duties for their loved ones, whilst also completing their education and somehow finding time to have a childhood.
“Every situation is different - but these remarkable lives are rarely seen in the media or understood by their peers. We will provide new photography skills to these young people, and help celebrate their vital contribution to UK communities.”
If you are a young carer in the UK, we’re asking you to take photographs of what’s important to you in your everyday life and we’d love to see them. Selected entries will be part of a nationwide exhibition called Young Carers - A Life in Focus.
For more information: https://rps.org/opportunities/young-carers-a-life-in-focus
NOTES TO EDITORS
About Action for Children:
Action for Children protects and supports vulnerable children and young people by providing practical and emotional care and support, ensuring their voices are heard and campaigning to bring lasting improvements to their lives. With 512 services across the UK, in schools and online, in 2020/21 we helped 604,885 children, young people and families. actionforchildren.org.uk
About The Royal Photographic Society:
The Royal Photographic Society (The RPS) is an educational charity with an international membership. Founded in 1853, when photography was in its infancy, the objective of the RPS is to make the art and science of photography more widely available and is committed to bringing photography to everyone. Today, the RPS is a world-leading photographic community, based in Bristol, UK, with a membership of over 10,000 photographers. The RPS aims to inspire people through its innovative exhibitions, its award-winning RPS Journal, and its highly respected awards and events. The RPS helps photographers create images through its educational programmes, qualifications, and its public initiatives; and it seeks to connect photographers through its UK and
international regional hubs, and specialist groups. Membership is open to everyone.rps.org