Working on the image

May 4, 2021

It all started with Timoti. He wanted to learn to take photographs and his dream expanded to include nine other people and a course with a professional photographer.

Timoti Schweizer-Marunui, who is keen on videography, says he spent most of his time filming “everything” and “everybody” on his tablet.

The six sessions in Hawke’s Bay in February and March were run by Shayne Jeffares of Foto iwi, a non-profit organisation offering photography workshops. Shayne says Foto iwi encourages people to be storytellers through photographs and video. The course was funded by Hastings District Council.

The 10 participants all live in IDEA Services residences and they brought their own devices, including cameras, smart phones and tablets. The first workshop at the Harker vocational base in Hastings covered the basics, such as how to hold the camera and to compose the shot.

Then the photographers headed outdoors to some of Hawke’s Bay’s beautiful spaces – Hastings’ Frimley Park Rose Garden and Cornwall Park and Napier’s Marine Parade, Soundshell and pier. They aimed big, with landscape shots. They aimed small, with close-ups, always looking for a subject that grabbed them.

Jenny Plummer liked taking photographs of the flowers in Cornwall Park. “It was all the colours and that.” Her close-up of the purple and pink blooms was selected by Shayne as one of the best.

On the one wet day, when the rain kept them inside, Shayne staged a scavenger hunt at the Harker base. The photographers had to locate 20 items on a list and find an innovative way to photograph them. Shayne says he was a bit surprised at how quickly they found everything.

He says the best part of the course for him was building a team to work together. “The biggest highlight was forming that connection with each of them,” he says. “I found that the group has a lot of care for each other.”

Shayne doesn’t want the photography to stop with the end of the course. “My encouragement is for them to keep doing what they are doing, because they are all extremely talented photographers.

“It would be really cool for those who take them on their outings to say, ‘Don’t forget to bring your camera. Don’t forget your batteries. Make sure there is room on your SD card’.”

The course finished up with a ‘show and tell’ at the Harker base to display the best work.

Ali Shapland, a Service Manager for IDEA Services in Hastings, paid tribute to Support Workers Annette Tipu and Justine Grant who helped make the course happen. She says 16 people had wanted to join the photo sessions, which had only room for 10, so she and her team are now looking at ways to fund another course for the ones who missed out and others who now want to join in. She and Shayne are also talking about the possibility of an advanced course for the first group.

Caption: Mark King, Patrick Donnelly and Timoti Schweizer-Marunui line up a great shot at Cornwall Park in Hastings.