Nature Photography Workshops
The goal of our work with children and young adults is to nurture their love for Nature. The strength of this love and deepening of connections to our physical world improves their mental wellbeing, fosters increased awareness for the environment, builds compassion, and manifests as kaitiakitanga.
We pursue these aspirations by giving students the opportunity to spend time in Nature, exploring and experimenting with mindful nature photography. The students learn digital photography skills, expand their creative writing, and enhance their ability to see the wonders of the natural world all around them. They love seeing their photographs printed, enjoy writing captions and are thrilled when they see their work published in an inspirational book at the end of the workshop series.
We believe that by forming deep connections and love for our natural environment, we are happier, more compassionate, conserve what we love, and live sustainably. This fuels our passion to work with diverse communities, ages, and schools, so we can contribute to fostering a more sustainable society and planet for us all.
IMAgEN8 is a registered charity. All donations and earned income fund future workshops.
Offered at schools, reserves and parks in the Auckland region for students aged 8-14 years. Workshop duration is one to two hours, with 5-10 students per session.
Aligns with digital learning, visual arts, well being and ecological sustainability areas in the NZ curriculum, and helps develop students’ language, symbols and texts competency. Workshops give them the opportunity to be creators of content with nature as the context.
Students receive prints of their pictures, and are published in a Nature Photography book and the Compassionate Nature digital magazine.
Cost of workshops is $300/workshop including prints. IMAgEN8 is a registered charity. Koha, donations and income help carry the work forward.
Tushar Sharma () is IMAgEN8’s Director and Principal Educator.
We are currently working with three schools in Auckland - Epsom Normal Primary, Remuera Intermediate and Roscommon School, and the Scouts St. Chads group. Our nature photography workshops have enhanced students' mental wellbeing, given them the opportunity to experience the wonders of nature through their own photographs, and provided them an avenue to be creative in thought and expression. We've run these workshops on school grounds and nearby nature reserves. The students' work has been published in form of books that are available in the school libraries and made available to the participating students.
The workshops connect students with nature via photography, develop mental wellbeing through time mindfully observing and capturing nature, and build their photography and creative skills, while encouraging place-based education through development of love for their local area. These programs align with digital learning, visual arts, well being and ecological sustainability areas in the NZ curriculum, and help develop their 'using language, symbols and texts' competency. It gives them the opportunity to be creators of content with nature as the context.
New Zealand, like the rest of the world, is facing conservation, climate change and sustainability challenges. We want to increase awareness and inspire action, and a critical step is to connect people with nature.
"Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better."
- Albert Einstein
Mental wellbeing is a growing concern. Pace of life, academic stress, over-structured time and technology addiction are major factors.
Time in Nature is essential for mental wellbeing. This wisdom has been part of world cultures for thousands of years and there is now a large body of scientific evidence behind this.
"Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life."
- Rachel Carson