CHARITIES find very diverse ways of raising money for their causes but one of the most original – and effective – has recently been demonstrated by the good people associated with the River Thames Boat Project, which was set up to help make the Thames more accessible to a wide range of people.
Louise Sibley and Paul Boyd are two of the volunteers who have helped to make this excellent charity work and they have recently done a bit of lateral thinking to find a new way to raise money for the project – by offering a day’s training in digital photography on the project’s converted barge, Richmond Venturer.
My wife, Julie, has always been a keen photographer and decided to go along for the inaugural trip to find out just what was on offer – and had a truly marvellous.
Julie said: “There were just nine people on the course along with two professional photographers, John Frye and Marcus Perkins, so there was plenty of one-to-one coaching to be had.
“We joined the boat at its dock in Kingston and after a general introduction and a cup of coffee, we were sent off to take some pictures of the area around the dock. When we got back the two professionals downloaded our pictures and then cast a critical eye over what we’d taken and made helpful comments about composition and lighting – it was great.”
The Venturer then headed off downriver and moored up at Teddington Lock where the intrepid snappers were let loose again and told to take more pictures.
After lunch, the boat headed through the lock and down to Richmond before making the return journey with the photographers taking pictures on the move which were, again, critiqued by the professionals.
Julie summed up the day by saying: “It was well-organised with everybody getting on really well. The atmosphere was very relaxed and we were encouraged to ask questions. The food was good too. But most importantly we got a lot of really useful tips about taking better pictures which was, after all, the object of the exercise.”
Louise Sibley, who organised the day, said she was delighted with the response.
She added: “We had one very disabled person on the course – Lazo – who was confined to a wheelchair and since part of the whole idea behind the Thames Boat Project was to encourage disabled people to enjoy the river, we were delighted that he had such a good time.
“We are planning to offer a second photography day – on April 1 2010 and after that we may offer a similar day aimed at people with digital video cameras. One of our volunteers is a television cameraman who we are hoping to persuade to run that course,” she added.
The main object is to raise money for the Thames Boat Project itself and judging from the care and attention to detail that went into Venturer Photography’s first course, they are going to be very successful.
For more information, visit the website at www.venturerphotography.com or the Thames Boat project site at www.thamesboatproject.org.
If you’d like to book a place on the next photography course email Louise at louise [at] venturerphotography.com.