NATURAL SCHOOL WEBSITE PHOTOGRAPHY – BEDDINGTON INFANTS
Truly natural school website photography requires acute observation, patience and timing. The value is in showing children really learning rather than being directed or posed.
Beddington Infants is unlike any other school I’ve worked with. Under the leadership of Headteacher Liz Kearney, the school follows the Reggio Emilia philosophy to learning. This approach is all about the infinite potential of the child.
Each day, pupils choose which subjects and activities they do whilst still covering the curriculum. Children aren’t bound by classrooms or fixed groups. Assessment of each child happens in the moment, through observation and interaction and across multiple subjects by multiple teachers. The progress of the children thrives on constant, open communication amongst the teaching staff.
- To fully understand and illustrate the school ethos.
- Collaborate with school staff and specialist school website design agency Creative Schools.
- Document a wide range of learning styles, resources and activities.
- Produce natural images to be used to create a new website, prospectus and large scale prints.
Key to any successful shoot is careful planning and every school is different. Several weeks before the shoot, I called Liz Kearney, headteacher. She explained the school ethos and values and the importance to her of showing real learning – children as they really are.
We discussed key styles of learning and acivities to cover, the date of the shoot and the schedule.
We agreed 15 minute slots to cover each ‘scene’ and keeping a degree of flexibility as I often spot an opportunity whilst moving round the school.
Liz was very keen to guide me round the school before and during the shoot to illustrate her vision.
After signing in, I had a coffee with Liz then she showed me round before the children arrived.
For example, I photographed children doing maths and english with chalk on the ground outside.
One example was a member of teacher who came in voluntarily on her day off, just for the shoot. She’s developed an outdoor area of the school and in the pictures below is showing the children the rather elusive (and just out of frame) frogs! I found the environment truly inspiring, inclusive and full of energy.
NATURAL SCHOOL WEBSITE PHOTOGRAPHY – ADDING VALUE
Liz Kearney, the headteacher spent the whole day with me and it was clear that she knows her school inside out. From activities during breakfast club to outdoor painting, she was keen to show the variety of learning styles the school has to offer. After the shoot we had a debrief over coffee. I was really interested in her story of how her vision had come together.
For more information about how I work and planning your school photography shoot, click here.