SNAPSHOT PROJECT BRONX & THE TRIUMPHANT KIDS
This spring, 100cameras Snapshot Bronx partnered with The Foundling's Haven Academy, a school that seeks to remove the barriers to academic success faced by children in the child welfare and/or foster care system by supporting the child through crisis, working to prevent additional crisis from occurring, and improving the emotional stability and academic abilities of their students. Led by photographer, Brooke Holms, and powered by our friends at ONA Bags, this project is a true highlight.
At the beginning of class, students completed surveys to share where they were at emotionally and creatively. Some of the answers were showing a lack of self-esteem and self-value, however, Brooke saw a transition in confidence by the end of the third class when students began to feel more comfortable as they were starting to realize that their stories are incredibly important and that they have so much to look forward to in their lives.
Photography is an incredible tool to focus energy because photographs encompass a range of emotions. No emotion is a bad thing, especially when it comes to photographs. The kids can actually use photography to work through some of their feelings. When we showed examples of various feelings used in other peoples’ photographs, they seemed to relate to them and were good at identifying the emotions portrayed -- both happy and sad and everything in between.
The students were truly proud of their work, never seeming to be able to wait to get outside and take more pictures, sharing their images with Brooke and their peers excitedly. Brooke is confident this is just the beginning of a story for them, "Giving them the tools to create, to experience feelings, and to channel it into something greater is so important, and they could take what they have learned with them and use it in a way that helps themselves and helps others".
Discovering photography through her journey into adulthood herself as well as after teaching adults in various photography workshops, Brooke realizes first-hand how much photography affects people.
There is something about an image that can create excitement, bring people together, solve a problem, ask important questions or just inspire, Brooke reflects.
From Brooke's point of view upon course completion, the students were all incredible and the way kids interact is so different to adults -- they are eager, quick, smart, very perceptive and full of energy. The students were quite impressive with their transformation into photographers, channeling their energy into creating pictures that gave them a strong sense of pride for their accomplishments and for representing their neighborhood and community.
As a Snapshot teacher, it was especially exciting for her to teach kids, finding it a great way to give back during a time when the world can be overwhelming with all its intricacies and hardships which admittedly can make it hard to know how to help. What she found was a wholly rewarding experience.
As soon as the opportunity came to me to be Snapshot Project Leader, I jumped at the chance. It is nice to have an effective outlet to give back to the community and help others that are not so fortunate. These kids, and all kids, deserve to learn, to create, to feel empowered and appreciated and to feel as though their future is bright. I hope that I helped spark just a little confidence to move them forward and hopefully they will take on photography and fall in love with it as I have.