Here To… share what happened at the Photography How To

Yesterday evening saw the coming and going of Here To’s first ever photography workshop at Platform.

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Facilitated by Nena – an Angel based professional photographer, graphic designer, Pilates teacher and Here To Wizard – the session covered digital camera basics (camera functions, focusing, pixel and resolution), setting up the camera, framing the image (composition, the Rule of Thirds and ‘thinking in colour’) and taking a picture (portrait and group photography, and capturing events).

Attendees included representatives from the London Canal MuseumFinsbury Park Community HubClidiveLondon Metropolitan University and the Turkish Education Group, and the common challenge experienced by those present was capturing events and activities in a way that excites people and motivates them to join in.

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Key takeaways

We covered a lot of concepts at the first session, but here are 5 key points to remember that can make a difference to your photography right now:

Take time to consider your composition: what are you taking a picture of and why? How do you want others to feel when they view it?

Lighting is crucial: a quick way to improve the quality of your pictures is to ensure light is shining onto your subject, rather than behind it

Stand your ground: lean against walls, use your elbows, kneel down or stand on a chair to try new ways to steady your shot. And don’t forget to hold your breath when taking your picture!

Rules are there to be broken: concepts like the Rule of Thirds are very helpful, but there are exceptions. So remember to keep an experimental approach and to take lots of pictures

Every time you edit or crop an image, you’re reducing its quality: Nena will cover this more in the next session. Her advice was to try and crop your image as much as you can in the viewfinder before you take the photo, rather than relying on editing it afterwards

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Why we’re Here To run photography workshops

We’re running these FREE photography sessions in direct response to feedback from Here To users: that more help taking, selecting and cropping images for the Here To website would be really useful.

This is because photography is a really important aspect of the Here To website, and each opportunity is accompanied by a beautiful and relevant photo to excite residents about the project on offer.

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Interested in joining us?

We have 2 more sessions left in the series for 2013. Each session takes place 4-6pm on a Monday at Platform.

* Session 2 – How to make the best of your photo – 25 Nov

The second session will be very computer-based and will explore how to use image manipulation software, such as Photoshop, to make the very best of the photos you have taken in session 1 or that you have brought with you. Nena will go through basic tools and techniques common to most photo editing software: selecting, cropping, contrast, exposure, colour balance and sharpening.

* Session 3 – Using mobile phones to take pictures – 9 Dec

As most of us carry one around in our pockets, this session is devoted to taking great pictures on mobile phones and preparing these photos for use on the web.

How to book

To book yourself or a team member onto a session, please RSVP by emailing Katherine, the Here To Manager, at katherine@hereto.org.

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Please include the session(s) you would like to attend and a contact name, phone number and email address.

This is a great chance for you and your organisation to get a photography skills boost for free, so we hope you can join us. These sorts of sessions and courses led by professional photographers usually cost hundreds of pounds!

Here To… find a new team member

We’re Here To share some good news: the Here To Islington team is expanding!

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After a busy but amazing summer, we’ve decided to create a new role to support our core mission of making volunteering easier and more exciting for everyone involved: a Community Development Co-ordinator.

Despite being less than a year old, Here To has evolved quite a bit over the last 6 months. We’ve come up with lots of new ideas based on our action learning, and we’ve got big ambitions for the future. We’re Here To find a new person to join our team so we can work together to undertake new activities. Specifically, we are looking to build our own income streams that make us less reliant on grant funding, and also to target what we offer by creating mini-projects under a more general Here To umbrella.

This is a really exciting time to join the Here To team and there is scope to have a significant impact on the future direction of the project.

Are you a highly motivated person? Do you enjoy organising new, fun filled events? Is research and impact assessment your thing? Do you know a thing or two about working in the voluntary sector? Are you a master at communicating with everyone and anyone? If ‘yes’, we can’t wait to hear from you!

Deadline: Monday 2 December, 9am

Community Development Co-ordinator

How to apply – CDC 

p.s. You may have noticed that this blog has changed since you last looked at it. You’re not going mad: we were originally looking for 2 part-time team members. However, we decided to combine the 2 roles into a single full time post in response to feedback from potential applicants and to build in a bit more security into the position (considering it is also offered on a contract basis for 6 months). Thanks for bearing with us if you’ve been affected by this change.

Here To… meet Casey

Hello there! Casey here. I just wanted to share a bit about my recent experience helping out with Here To as an Events Wizard.

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Originally from New York state in the USA, I recently spent a year in the UK studying at London Metropolitan University as part of my Communications degree. Following on from this, I have been looking to get some more experience organising and running events, as I think this is an area I would like to focus on in my carer.

So when I heard about the opportunity to help out with Here To, I felt it was pretty much spot on with where I am at right now, and it seemed a great way to meet my own personal goals whilst also doing something good for Islington. In particular, I was interested in experiencing a full event life cycle from start to finish.

I worked alongside Katherine, the Here To Manager, on several occasions to plan a high energy day of pop-up activity in Islington to spread the word about Here To: we called it the ‘Here To Takeover’. This involved scoping out ideas, creating a plan of action, assigning tasks, finding venues, designing activities, making/designing event materials and evaluating/recording the event. I also got to work with local organisations and projects such as HUB Islington, ArchWay With Words, Whittington Park Community Cafe and Islington Central Library, as well as my old uni.

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The Takeover itself involved us visiting 5 Islington locations (with permission) in a single day, running pop-up stalls and small activities to engage members of the public. We also timetabled in a bit of helping out too and we had the Here To Bucket of Community Spirit in tow as well. Check out the ins and outs of what we got up to on Twitter by searching #HereToTakeover.

Reflecting back on the experience, I really LOVED being part of the Here To Takeover. It was really fast-paced and it was great to have achieved something as big as the Takeover with just a couple of planning sessions.

Working with the Here To Manager has equipped me with more events skills for the future and I am proud to have masterminded the first string of Here To bunting! By following a sequence of steps, myself and Katherine made the most of the contacts and resources available to us and it all came together quite nicely. I was even able to incorporate some of my personal hobbies into my helping out with Here To: baking and sewing.

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Following the Takeover, I feel I now have a much clearer idea of what is available in London in terms of community building and opportunities to help out. I have also improved my communication and public speaking skills by talking to different members of the public I would not normally meet.

I have helped out with local projects, neighbours and charitable organisations/campaigns for as long as I can remember, but I would definitely be interested in helping out at Here To Islington in the future. Until then, I will be supporting another community project called Casserole Club.

If you would like to know more about what it’s like to become a Here To Wizard, feel free to drop me a tweet @c_robbbs!