Youth culture and its active participation is a vital ingredient to the success of Auckland Photo Day. A number of schools over the Auckland region have used this event as a class project, an initiative which has produced inspiring results. For school groups wanting to take part read the experience of Wesley below.
Anyone can pick up a camera and take photographs. Young people without the limitations of conventions are eager to shoot the world around them. Student groups, introduced to the art form of photography via Auckland Photo Day impressed the festival with their entries.
Whether the students regarded photography as an art form or a way to record daily lives and identity depended on the individual. What was more significant was the acquired confidence that developed from these projects and the resulting comprehension of visual language and the media.
In 2004 respected Auckland photographers Wayne Wilson and Amos Chapple showed their work to the students of Wesley School - talking about composition and 'filling the frame' - and gave students feedback on their photographs. Prepared and confident the students set out on June 12 2004, taking more than 500 digital images as they walked around Auckland and visited FESTIVAL photography exhibitions.
This resulted in three of the student's photographs making the overall competitions top 30, two were short-listed in the top six, and one was judged the winner. Of 35 images the students entered in the Photo Day competition, Wesley Tumai's picture of students by the Aotea Centre fountain, won top prize - ahead of 400 other entries!
The students' success prompted Wesley Primary to buy three digital cameras for students and teachers, motivated by the success of the project, to use.