The projects that arise from the Reportage Photography short course at Central Saint Martins, never cease to amaze us! With each student’s journey on the course being vastly different, the course allows one to turn an amazing idea into an inspirational project. One such student on Reportage Photography course was Jade Holford. We spoke to Jade about her experience of working in a refugee camp and how it moved her to inspire good deeds with simply a camera.
What is your occupation?
I’m a nanny and I am currently working on a speech therapy app when not looking after the kids.
What was your Reportage Photography project?
It is called Unique Giving and it is photo project that follows good deed chains.
What inspired you to create this project?
When I returned from providing humanitarian aid in a refugee camp, I felt I had lost my faith in humanity. I’d never felt so guilty for having food and a bed and could not understand why more people were not doing more to help. I then did a shoe drive as the kids on the camp were wearing sandals in winter or shoes five sizes too big for them. While I was doing the drive, I became acutely aware of all the good deeds friends, families and strangers were doing and the penny dropped. Daily good deeds don’t end at the deed; they accumulate and encourage more good deeds towards one another. Sometimes weaving their way to the places that need it the most.
I chose the project to have a camera or good deed card passed along when someone does something nice to them, so that we can all say a little thank you to the people who make the world a nicer place.
What has been your favourite good deed so far?
A doctor sent me a photo of her holding her boyfriend’s hand and it read ‘To James, for just holding me when I had no words or energy left after a night of trauma calls’. To me it really encapsulates how I was feeling when I thought of the project, sometimes the smallest things mean the most and some of those little good deeds will end up being a part of a larger act.
You studied Reportage Photography, why did you chose this course and what did you gain from this learning experience?
I wanted to learn about how to develop a project. I’d never completed a project before and was always unsure if I was going about it the right way. The course taught me so many things. I loved the classes where we explored our style and broke it down, looking at how and what we choose to take photos of, this has definitely changed the way I approach photography and choose my subjects now. We also looked at a lot of different photographers which opened my eyes to the numerous projects where the photographer doesn’t always take the photo which I thought was rather fitting for my Unique Giving project.
Reportage Photography runs throughout the year, please visit the short courses website for further information http://www.arts.ac.uk/csm/courses/short-courses/