Bestun is one of our most serious & enthusiastic students (who also plays the role of class joker). Some of my favourite times in this workshop were spent with Bestun, huddled over the screen on the back of his camera, reviewing his work before he handed the camera back at the end of a session.

A handful of favourites

Workshop weeks always pass in a blur, and I’m as surprised as ever that the first week of this workshop is finished. I’ve included below a handful of favourites from the past week by Yousf, Gmo and Kewan*. We love what are students are making… *normally, every photo you see here is published straight out […]

Well, that didn’t exactly go as planned…

It’s never been an easy thing to plan and run workshops with folks on the margins. But this year has been the most challenging to date. Our original partners here in Kurdistan have had to keep their students busy with tutors. Many failed their end-of-school year government exams, and they hope to improve their grades […]

Santiago 2-2013: Line, Shape + Form

  After each lesson, we head outside with our students to put the teaching into practice. The kids work independently for the most part, and we wander between them, to see if they really understood the class.  But it isn’t until we download their photos that we get a crystal clear picture of their grasp […]

Santiago 1-2013: A Look At Light

  It’s been a rough week out there. No matter what corner of the world has captured your heart, there has been hard news to take in this week.  Seems like a good moment to pause, to look at the world through the eyes of a handful of kids, and think about light.  In case […]

One class in, and I’m already calling it…

  Elizabeth is an artist.  She’s a painter, and does amazing paper collages that you’d swear are paintings. Yesterday afternoon, Elizabeth hung some of her artwork for an art event at her church.  She and another painter had just finished getting everything on the walls, when some kids wandered in.  And they said something like […]

Breaking the Fast

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For the handful of students participating in our “summer school”, we had a special assignment for them over the last couple weeks. They were able to keep a camera for 10 days, while they experienced the end of Ramadan. Our students were challenged to photograph the end of Ramadan… what it looked like and felt […]

2012 Workshops: The Closing Ceremony

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Wow! I can’t believe it’s over! By the time we’d cleaned up from the closing ceremony last Saturday, tired and so very proud, we knew that this year’s workshops were a success. How could we be so sure? The proof was in an amazing exhibit of our students’ work, and the pride on their faces […]

2012 Workshop: Day 15


“If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive.” —Barry Lopez, in Crow and Weasel I told this quote to the boys this afternoon, before going over their stories from yesterday. It speaks so […]

2012 Workshop: Day 13

By: Elsbeth Pijnappels Lucky number 13 that is, as I’m writing this post my kids are actually on a nice 2-day trip around the city. This means that in the last week of One-Shot I won’t see them again until Thursday, for the final day and it’s making me sad already! In the past few […]

2012 Workshop: Day 12

We structure every class to make sure our students have an opportunity to make photographs. It’s important that a photographer who makes portraits knows what it feels like to be photographed. A little empathy for your subject goes a long way! It also gives a lot of insight for directing your subject. Today, we made […]

2012 Workshop: Day 11


By: Agnes O’Hanlon When Heber announced that the boys could take their cameras home for the weekend, their faces immediately lit up and the room was suddenly transformed by their dynamic energies. Each of us is a creator of our own story, and it was so beautiful for us to see the excitement that the […]

2012 Workshop: Day 10

By Elsbeth Pijnappels It’s such a cliché expression but sometimes a picture says more than a thousand words. You can tell from the picture above that I had a great time today. And because today’s class was all about emotions, body language and facial expression, I won’t do any in depth analysis but let the […]

2012 Workshop: Day 9

The learning curve is rarely a steep, consistent incline. When we learn a new skill, it’s perfectly normal to have bumps along the way. My level 2 class experienced a day of bumps yesterday. Rather than scale back today’s lesson, we dove into more of the technical aspects of their cameras. I’d hoped that having […]

2012 Workshop: Day 8

By: Agnes O’Hanlon As a photographer, you are always put in the role of observer. Carefully observing the details is critical in photography, because those details are used to visually communicate a story or an idea to the viewer by transporting them there. This week, the kids at the Bazaar were taught how to step […]

2012 Workshop: Day 7

  By: Elsbeth Pijnappels “With a good composition you can even make the most uninteresting things look interesting” I told the kids today. In previous classes we talked about framing, perspective and point of view, colour and light. Things that all come together when you talk about composition. The photographer decides what we see, where […]

2012 Workshop: Day 6

One of the real privileges of teaching the Level 2 class is being able to tackle some fun techniques we weren’t able to cover with our set of point and shoots. Having DSLRs available has meant we could explore motion. We took advantage of a busy nearby street, and a little shade to stand in. […]

2012 Workshop: Day 5

By: Agnes O’Hanlon It’s interesting what you find when you view things from another angle. Day 5 of the workshop couldn’t have turned out any better. The boys at the bazaar came in equipped to learn, create, share, and take in beautiful things through the art of photography. Today was all about Macro Photography – […]

2012 Workshop: Day 4


By Elsbeth Pijnappels Day four of the first week at the ONE-SHOT Project and so far all the teachers are proud and smiling behind their laptops every evening when downloading and looking at the pictures the kids have taken. We show off the results from the kids to each other all the time! It’s really […]

2012 Workshop: Day 3


We are currently running three workshop classes, including an early afternoon class at a drop-in center in the city’s bazaar. The center, run by the organization STEP, is for children as young as 6 years old, who work in the bazaar. Some work along side their families. Some are sent by their families to work. […]

2012 Workshop: Day 2


If you were the pessimistic type, it would have been easy to be discouraged at the start of today’s class. I’m teaching our Level 2 students… which is a class designed as a continuation for the students we had last year. Except the class of 15 we expected has shrunk to a class of 6. […]

2012 Workshop: Day 1

© The ONE-SHOT Project | Iraq 2012

By: Elsbeth Pijnappels   So on this first day the ‘Dutch Connection’ is checkin’ in for a little report! I arrived in Sulaymaniyah just a few days ago, in the wee hours of the morning, with a bag full of donated cameras. Luckily I had some time to get used weather–for the Dutch means immense […]

2011 Workshop: Day 15


Day 15: the final class for our first workshop. Wow! While putting together all the details for the wrap-up event we’re holding for our students, we’ve looked back through their images… and it’s really remarkable to see the progress. I’m going to say it again: we’ve got amazing students!! Coming up in the next few […]

Preview: 2011 Workshop Day 15

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We mixed it up a bit in today’s class, and we couldn’t wait to show you a preview of how things went. We’ve had a few generous donors give DSLRs to ONE-SHOT. Some of our students are ready to move up from the point-and-shoot cameras. But we have many more students than cameras. How to […]