Monday, April 14, 2014

Channeling Your Inner Creativity Workshop for Teens

This is some of the student work from a teen workshop I did a few weeks ago at the ISB Cultural Center in Boston for Deen14. This was the first time I taught a workshop of any kind so I was a bit nervous. Thankfully my passion for photography as a tool for self-expression and coping with things like depression/stress far surpasses my resistance to public speaking. I was also speaking to teens who are still discovering and experimenting with their own voices so that made it exciting for me.

I went into it not expecting much. I wasn't sure if they would be completely bored or enthusiastic (you never know with teens). I'm happy to say that they completely surpassed my expectations.

I started out by talking about how photography can help you be present by being in the moment while taking an image. I also talked about using photography as a way to express and channel emotions into something productive, creating a piece of art. I projected some of my own work as examples of my own self-expression.

I then sent them off into a park close by to tell stories of their own. The only rule was that they had to tell a story in three images and could only take up to fifteen. I made sure they understood it wasn't about continuously clicking, that they had to spend at least 30 seconds looking at the subject, seeing it from different angles, and capturing their own unique vision of it. (Something I learned from my own mentor Banafsheh during our many photo outings.) These were all taken with phones or point and shoot cameras so the day was all about "channeling their creativity" and less about the tool they were using. I also wanted them to feel like they could go home and use this outlet for creativity at any time.

Here are a few pics I took of them taking pictures also taken with my iphone (edited with vscocam app). I gave them about 15 minutes to take these and some of them were still taking pictures after the fifteen minutes! I was happy they were focusing and getting into the art.

When we went back in we were able to project them onto the screen so we could review them as a group. The thing that sort of took me by surprise was the deeper meanings they related with their images. They told stories of hope, friendship, their dreams and goals, and overall reflections on life. I really felt the discussions we had were the highlight of the day. I left feeling that I had gained much more from them than they did from me. For that I was thankful and grateful. :)

Much love,


  1. I applaud you, my beautiful friend! What you did for these kids will remain with them for the rest of their life. But I think you know it. And yes, they teach us so much more than we can ever teach them. You are beautiful and brilliant!

    1. Thank you Natalia. That is so sweet of you to say :) They really did. It was one of those experiences I will always cherish. <3

  2. Very well done on holding the workshop! <3

  3. The more you give the more you have, at least with what really counts. I loved seeing the collage at the top of the screen, and then seeing the students working. I can imagine it was fascinating. I know I would've loved it! I wonder how many of them will be inspired now to continue?


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