News / Winnipeg

Children capture vibrant North End from behind the lens

A local photography collective and the Indigenous Family Centre paired kids with cameras to illustrate their own perspectives on the North End.

Rayne Phillips, 7, shows off one of the framed photos she took for a youth photo exhibit at the Indigenous Family Centre.

Jessica Botelho-Urbanski / Metro

Rayne Phillips, 7, shows off one of the framed photos she took for a youth photo exhibit at the Indigenous Family Centre.

If conventional wisdom holds true, then kids are more forthright than their adult counterparts.

So for an honest look at the North End, look no further than a collection of photos shot by children and teens this summer.

A Winnipeg photography collective – From Here & Away – and the Indigenous Family Centre paired kids ages five to 18 with disposable cameras last July. Then the group went on a photo walk to capture the intricacies of their home neighbourhood.

Rayne Phillips, 7, focused on snapping photos of an ice cream truck, gardens and "one of those things where you go in when it's raining and you're waiting for a bus."

On Tuesday, she showed her framed artwork to Metro, including a landscape shot of a friend whose face didn’t quite fit the frame.

"I like the peace sign and I like flowers and Karolena is nice to me. She's one of the people that works here," Phillips said, explaining why she took the picture at the Indigenous Family Centre.

“I didn’t try to influence the way they took the photos, in terms of composition and stuff. I just taught them ‘this is the button you click,’” said Joseph Visser, the creator of From Here & Away. “Kids were asking me what they should be taking photos of and I just said, ‘whatever is interesting to you.’ It doesn’t matter if it’s interesting to anybody else, or if it makes sense to anybody else, whatever catches your eye is a good photo to take.”

Visser said it was intriguing exploring the kids’ photos afterward and seeing their personalities shine. Some of the youth were obviously drawn to certain colours, while others obsessed over taking photos of cars.

“What we ended up coming away with, I think, is this amazing, diverse, positive, vibrant picture of the North End that I think wasn’t dictated by any sort of agenda or anything — it was just what these kids saw,” he said.

Forty-two photos were framed and displayed for one day in late September at the Indigenous Family Centre, but now they're looking for a permanent home, Visser said. Anyone interested in displaying the artwork can call the Indigenous Family Centre at 204-586-8393.

As for Rayne, she's getting ready to hang her photos in her bedroom, she said, and will continue practising her shooting while taking selfies with her brothers.

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