Picture Of Life Exhibition - REP Birmingham May 2017 by Adam Jacobs

I partnered with Manfrotto and BID (one of the UKs biggest charities to help the deaf community) to create the Picture of Life programme which was designed to help young deaf people who had experienced difficult situations and social exclusions. We wanted to use the power of photography to help participants learn a new skill set, improve their confidence and help get them into the workplace. I have taught many workshops but creating ones for the deaf community I thought would create some challenges. Notably, how I would be able to communicate concepts and theories and get the participants to really engage and enjoy photography. However, with the help of two fantastic signers (It's amazing how quickly these guys can interpret what you say), communication barriers were quickly broken. 

Indeed, the project has far exceeded our expectations and an exhibition of photography work created by the deaf talented participants has just launched in central Birmingham showing the exceptional work that they managed to produced. The exhibition will also show behind the scenes images to give some insight into the project, and the participants will be available to discuss their experience and answer any questions on the night. The project is one of the most rewarding I have done in my career and it was amazing to see how photography has the power to quite literally change lives. 

Below is a short video about the project that also shows some of the phenomenal photo results taken by participants as a result of he workshops. You have to bear in mind that when they started the course with very little confidence and marginilized from workplaces (ridiculous given that they are normal, people just like you and I), no one in the group knew how to hold a camera, put a battery in or insert a memory card. However, by the conclusion of the course, they were all taking professional quality results as well as blossoming as people and personalities in terms of their confidence; incredibly rewarding for myself as an educator and teacher. 

Below are also some of the press releases from the exhibition along with some behind the scenes images from in studio and on location around Birmingham:


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Making Dreams Come True With Rays of Sunshine by Adam Jacobs

I have been honoured to work closely with a charity Rays of Sunshine which grants wishes to terminally ill children and those with severe disabilities for a number of years. I recently helped on a wish with a charming young man named Lewis who had asked to be accompanied by a professional photographer to learn how to photograph wildlife, specifically his favourie animal giraffes. Despite the slightly cold temperatures, we therefore took him, with the wonderful staff from Keech House Hospice, to Whipsnade Wildlife Park just north of London which is a drive through safari and allows you to get very close to many different animals. 

To start the day and to Lewis' total surprise, we presented him with a DSLR camera. The look of surprise and joy on his face was priceless and it was extremely fulfilling seeing how happy the gift had made him.  I then preceded to show him how to use his new camera, demonstrating the various settings and explaining the fundamentals of digital photography before we set off to photograph some wildlife in the field. 

Of course, we headed straight to the giraffe enclosure (no surprises there!) where the surprises kept on coming. Lewis to his amazement was told that he had adopted one of the giraffes and presented with a certificate. We then spent a lot of time photographing that giraffe to his delight as I continued to help him make better pictures through talking him through framing and compositional techniques. We then continued around the park photographing everything from hippos to rhinos to lions before heading back to the cafe for a much needed warm up and to review the photographs taken and buy Lewis some gifts from the zoo store. 


It is Lewis' dream to one day produce an exhibition of his work. Indeed, who knows one day I could be there as the person who provided him with his first camera and contributed in some way to help his dream come true!