Amina Mohamed, founded Cameras For Girls to change the lives of girls and women in Uganda, through the power of photography.
On our last photography training in June 2019 with Cameras For Girls, we taught photography to 15 females in Uganda. We were working out of the capital of Kampala, where most of the girls reside. These young ladies have either graduated from a Mass Communication and Journalism program or are in their last year of studies or have graduated and cannot find work simply because they don’t own a camera and don’t know how to use one. We were fortunate to be working with Youth Arts Movement Uganda out of their facility in Kampala.
Over the three days, we covered many photography concepts, such as the exposure triangle, which we then broke down into the various concepts of aperture priority, shutter priority and ISO. We also practiced storytelling or photojournalism practices, as they are journalists in training, and it’s vital to know how to tell stories using the camera as a tool.
Students during their practice session in Kampala, Uganda 2019
PRACTICE DOING TO LEARN BETTER
The students especially appreciated getting to put into practice the concepts we were covering. Hence, we would have daily photo walks in the local community. For instance, if we covered “shutter priority,” they would get an hour to practise taking pictures using shutter priority. We would then download the photos and review them with the entire class to improve and learn as they take photos. By practicing and doing, they were able to understand better and grasp each aspect of photography.
These practice sessions are geared to the beginner level; however, after 3-days together; I was thoroughly impressed by the images they were creating, primarily because most of them had never held a camera before.
Girl with tire taken by student Gloria Nabirye in 2019 workshop
CHILDHOOD INNOCENCE AND ITS BEAUTY AND SPLENDOUR
During our daily photo walks, one of my favourite memories was this image of childhood innocence and its beauty and splendour. It was a lovely reminder that childhood, no matter where you are, doesn’t last forever, and nowhere is it more apparent than Uganda, as these children are forced to grow up faster than they would like.
These girls played games with the skipping rope, and our girls got lots of practice taking photos. Look to the left, and you will see some of the students taking pictures while the girls played unhindered with our cameras.
Kids being kids in the slums of Kampala @Amina Mohamed Photography
I previously wrote about how children in Uganda go out and make their toys out of found objects. For instance, this was a skipping rope made from telephone cable located on the ground. It is a good reminder for us in the developed world to not always look for new and shiny things and be innovative and use what we have. You never know how that will feed your creativity while saving you money at the same time.
THE YEAR-LONG TRAINING HELPS THESE YOUNG WOMEN BECOME PHOTOJOURNALISTS
After the initial 3-day workshop, the training continues for an entire year using zoom, Whatsapp, a private Facebook group, bi-weekly videos I record for the students and monthly assignments.
Our goal with this training is to equip our students with photography and business skills and empower them to get full-time paid work as journalists and photojournalists.
Elizabeth discussing her images during the 2019 Cameras For Girls workshop in Kampala, Uganda
We are well on our way and just waiting to return to Uganda to roll out our 3rd photography training. Keep up to date by following us on our Instagram channel @camerasforgirls.