Activities for groups

Here are some ideas for photography projects and themes. Also see Naff Ideas which gives a rather alternative view.

Go with your group on a day trip and choose a topic to photograph. If you live near the sea this could be A Day On The Beach or Donkeys. Try to convey the atmosphere of the topic and how you feel about it in your pictures. For instance, if you like the seaside, you might take pictures of people enjoying themselves. If you don't like the seaside, you might take pictures of exhausted, sticky children, or of people behaving badly, etc. Have a look at The Last Resort by Martin Parr (i) for inspiration if this appeals to you.

cartoon: camera on the beach

Make cards and calendars - a popular seasonal project.

Try printing photographs onto a variety of surfaces, china, glass, eggshell, or wood by coating the surface with a paint-on liquid photo emulsion available on-line or from shops which specialise in photographic materials.

cartoon: a man painting photographic emulsion on himself

Organise a programme of talks, seminars and trips to find out more about the background and history of photography. Someone from your local school or college may be willing to come and talk about the history and development of photography. Go with your group on a trip to a photography gallery or exhibition \0xD0 see reveal learning resource for a list of galleries in the UK which host photography shows on a regular basis.

Find out more about photographic businesses by visiting local photography studios, processing labs, newspapers, or the photography department at a local college.

Go around your area and ask people to take their own portraits. This can be done by setting up a camera on a tripod and using a long cable release triggered by the subject. Print up the photos, and get participants further involved by exhibiting the results locally.

cartoon: man taking self-portrait, unaware of an approaching stampede of cows

A local newspaper may be interested in publishing an article researched, written and illustrated with photographs taken by your group.

Combine images with text or poetry for an exhibition. You may work with a local poet or writer.

Cut and paste the old fashioned way, to make a montage with photos, scissors and glue. Images produced this way can be humourous, satirical, or just absurd. This method has been used to good effect by political artists such as John Heartfield (ii) and Peter Kennard (iii).

Have an exhibition. Local community based venues may be willing to host an exhibition of photographs about local people, concerns or issues. Try community centres, cafes and libraries. You may be able to get help with the expenses involved in framing the work, alternatively if work is attractively framed you may be able to sell it in order to cover costs.


  1. Martin Parr
  2. John Heartfield
  3. Peter Kennard