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Friday, 7 October 2022

Meet Abi, Future Makers Photographer

If you’ve been following our social media closely you might recognise some of the images below. We’ve been keen to get some pictures of our Future Makers theatre workshops in action, but there’s rarely time to think about the finer points of lighting and framing in between facilitating the activity. So we were lucky to bring Abi Ward on as Residential Photographer for the sessions in Spring. The photographs are of such quality and quantity, we’ve been using them for all kinds of posts!
Abi’s headed of to university soon, so we wanted to invite her to share her experiences before moving on…

Jon Fry, Projects & Communications Co-ordinator 

Hiya, I’m Abi, a Sheffield based photographer, and I was the Residential Photographer for Future Makers. 

Working with the Future Makers project has been such an enjoyable and lovely experience! When I first started coming to the sessions I was still at college and quite new to the photography industry. Previously I had been Social Media Manager for Sculpt Community, volunteered for FURD, and done photography for weddings, headshots, and local gyms.

A family gathered outside with a young performer dressed in camouflaged clothes

I have always been a creative person and enjoy being part of anything creative, so I think that is what first attracted me to being part of Future Makers. I first found out about Future Makers from a family member who got me in touch with Stacey. I then came along to a session in March where I got to meet everyone and they were all so welcoming. Usually when I am at an event or session like this almost everyone becomes super aware of the camera and I notice people trying to subtly pose, or they seem to stare a lot and watch for the camera coming in their direction. However, the kids at the session were unfazed which I enjoyed seeing as it allowed me to capture candid photos of the kids and session leaders interacting with each other. 

This is probably what I enjoy most about photography, being able to capture those natural moments we often miss or don’t notice. From there I was asked to come back for more sessions till the end of the project which I was very thankful for. Although I wasn’t there for every session, I still got to see how the kids changed and grew as they developed their work. I enjoy being on the sidelines and being able to capture those special moments and the journeys that people go through.

5 young people sat on a climbing wall, laughing at something in the distance

Previously, I hadn’t really had any jobs like this. Mainly I had experience in more editorial photography and sports. This was quite different as I found myself having to look at the wider picture as well as the small details. There was often a lot going on in the sessions and capturing this was always fun, but also quite different as it meant having to get all that was going on in one shot. Working as Residential Photographer for these sessions has really taught me a lot technically but has also helped me expand my experiences, as before I had only really worked with adults or people my age. This wasn’t that much different but definitely gave me a new perspective when taking photos as I wanted to capture the kids’ personalities the best I could. 

11 young people sat and stood against a wall of graffiti, the logo for "Future Makers S7" at the centre

In the past I have really enjoyed working with community projects and being able to capture the amazing work that they do and it was great to be able to do this for the Future Makers project - which makes me sad to go! Although I have a long way to go on my photography journey as I leave for university, the Future Makers project has really helped me develop my passion for this type of work and working in my local community.

There's lots more information about making and touring Third Angel projects 2008-2017 on our original blog, and 2017-2023 on the blog on this site.