My St Pauls Community Photography Project 2018 - 19

Between June 2018 and March 2019 four local community groups who would not normally have access to photography tuition and black and white darkroom facilities came and worked with us at St Pauls Darkrooms - they were:

  • Over 50's

  • Refugees and Asylum Seekers,

  • DHI (Developing Health and Independence)

  • Young Asylum Seekers. 

We led a 5 week course in black and white photography for each group, kicking off with a fun taster session where participants experimented with pinhole cameras, then took simple disposable cameras to take photos, and over the subsequent weeks developed film and made prints for exhibition. This project was funded by Bristol City Council Originators grant.

Schools Workshops 2018 - 20

Local schools such as Dolphin Primary School (pictured) have had the opportunity to explore the magic of image making in the Darkroom, pinhole photography, and Camera Obscuras in workshops led by Real Photography Company staff who are DBS checked, qualified and experienced teachers.


In Autumn 2018 to Spring 2019 with a grant from the Ogden Trust we ran pinhole photography, solargraph camera and Camera Obscura workshops with 4 local Primary schools; Cabot, Evergreen, Easton, and Glenfrome, followed by a celebratory event where we displayed their work.

Starting in Jan 2020 we are now leading 10 further workshops funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry, concentrating on chemical processes in the darkroom and cyanotypes, working with local schools, Cabot, Evergreen, Glenfrome, St Werburghs and St Barnabus.


Photo-Social 2018 - 20

This project aims to bring photographers together with an inspiring and informative programme of talks, exhibitions and workshops from Autumn 2018 to Spring 2019 including:

  • A series of free Lunchtime Lectures at Bristol Central Library including Kurdish Iraqi photojournalist Bnar Sardar presenting her work, (pictured) - for forthcoming lectures see our Events and Courses section.

  • My Bristol, exhibition of photos by Refugees and Asylum Seekers was part of Bristol Refugee Festival in summer 2019.

  • Participation in Bristol Open Doors with 3 days of free cyanotype, photogram, and pinhole photography workshops at the Darkrooms,

  • Exhibition of Garfield McKenzie's portraits, The Pioneers; the Windrush Generation in Bristol, for Black History Month 2019,

  • New Tricks with Old Cameras - a pilot workshop experimenting with vintage and antique cameras,

  • Forthcoming exhibition of photography by Darkroom members, users, and course participants, for more details see our our Events and Courses section.

Photo-Social is supported by the Big Lottery Community Fund.


Over 50's Inner City Photographers

The Inner City Photographers group formed in Feb 2019 to apply for funding to set up a new creative photography programme for Over 50's in Bristol, as a direct result of interest generated working with older people during our My St Pauls project.


We kicked off with workshops over summer 2019 in the Wet Plate Collodion process and Pinhole Photography for Summer Solstice, then we invited participants to a free 5-week black and white photography course at the Darkrooms, followed by 2 Supported Darkroom Sessions.


The Inner City Photographers are now working towards a photographic exhibition in Spring 2020 at St Pauls Learning Centre, with a special Exhibition Printing Workshop, see details on our Events and Courses page.

This initiative is supported by Bristol Ageing Better.




St Pauls Learning Centre, 94 Grosvenor Rd, Bristol BS2 8XJ 0117 914 5470 (see on map)


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