Home / Blog / Reflection on Photography // The Power of Perspective

 

This week, we welcome Angela Popplewell, co-founder of 100cameras to the blog.

I am a founder of 100cameras, an organization that teaches kids that their perspectives are important, that their voices matter — & teaches them how to share their perspectives through the beautiful vehicle of photography. We then sell their images to empower these kids to fund their own lifeline, educational, or medical supplies for themselves and other community members, teaching them that they can create change as kids today, and as adults tomorrow.

Together with the help of the talented and passionate folks behind JPTP, we have written a custom storytelling curriculum to teach kids how to compose images through the technical and artistic skills of photography and how to embrace their stories through exercises that utilize photographs, expression, and emotions to help empower kids to process their past, present, and future. 

I must share that our students have taught me just as much about the power of perspective and how much the process of working through the realities of life is not only important, but necessary. And I cannot help but to share them with you: 

1. We are in control of choosing our perspective. No matter the circumstance. 

Our students have survived some of the darkest experiences I could have never even imagined a young soul experiencing, and yet they show us over and over again that what happens to us doesn’t actually have the power to shape us — but more so, how we choose to interpret, respond, and act is what shapes us. The posture of our perspective is what directs our future paths. 

Our students across the world have not only taught me that we can choose the perspective no matter the circumstance, but that in doing so, we can choose one of light, hope, and joy. 

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2. We must recognize that not all circumstances make it EASY to choose the most productive or positive perspective. 

We must acknowledge and accept that IF we choose a hopeful perspective — it will most likely not be easy to do so, and especially in the context of hard circumstances.

The strength of our students has challenged me to realize that it’s our responsibility to rearrange our perspectives on a daily basis — however or whatever it takes for us each to do so — to choose the positive, productive, effective, future changing perspective of HOPE.  

Choosing hope does not mean I never allow myself to hurt or mourn or cry. Instead, I can choose to mourn those realities, release them from my inner expectation that I discreetly carry that life should be perfect & easy for me, & then readjust my perspective to find the hope in it. I can instead do something about those circumstances that try to take away my hopeful perspective. I can lean into the possibility for change. 

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3) We have the unique ability to engage our minds and align our hearts to reframe our perspective in the little things, which will reshape and redefine our future for the big things. 

The little instances and choices are what have accumulated over the years & present us with our current self. And more importantly! The little instances are what will continue to accumulate over the years to come, and what will present us with our future self. And this is the self that we have the power to create. 

The past is the past. We can and must learn from it, but to reframe our perspective, we must make amends with what we need to, & then we must shift our gaze, and we must look forward.

I will forever be thankful to these students and all they continually teach me about the true meaning and power of perspective.

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At the end of this month, Angela, Lydia, JP, and two other 100cameras teammates will be traveling to Iraq to teach photography and storytelling to kids who have been displaced by ISIS. You can participate in the project by donating HERE.
Many Thanks.

 
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