A North East photography studio is hoping to inspire the next generation with a lockdown-themed competition.
Camera A Photography, based in Darlington, is offering young photographers the chance to win a prize worth more than £500 – as well as a creative outlet to break up the boredom of isolation.
The team are asking primary school children to take a photograph of their favourite aspect of lockdown life and share it on the company’s Facebook page to take part.
Co-owner Jane Quaintrell said: “With many parents at home with little ones, trying their best to home school, it’s sometimes nice to have a bit of distraction – or even a purpose for going for the next ‘walk out’.
“Sometimes I feel we can all get a bit bogged down with the learning side and we forget that children learn through play.
“The skills involved in the competition enhance observations, and their appreciation for the world around them – it’s a ‘this is your life’ in the making.”
The competition is open to children aged 10 and under, and is split into three age categories: reception and years 1 and 2; years 3 and 4; and years 5 and 6. The winner in each category will win a VTech Kidizoom Digital Camera worth £42, with the overall winner receiving a £100 voucher from the Art Shop, in Darlington, for their class and a Camera A family photoshoot worth £320.
Jane hopes that by giving the challenge a lockdown theme, it will encourage children – and their parents – to see the positives of the situation.
She said: “I think that many of us hear the word and it fills us with dread and fear, when in fact it has given many of us the gift of time with our children, which under normal circumstances we would never have had.
“There is so much beauty and fun still in this world, sometimes we just need a little direction to see it.”
While Jane admits that the pandemic has had a major impact on the business, she said the all-female team had adapted well, working with Darlington Memorial Hospital to offer photoshoots for lockdown babies.
She said: “Overnight we literally lost all of our revenue from the wedding business for a full year, if not longer.
“However, we have been blessed to work with the maternity unit at the Memorial, and we’re still offering our free photoshoot and framed 10×8 photograph to any baby born there.
“It’s been such a hard time for everyone, we just want to give something back, and our photoshoots and the photography challenge are our way of doing just that.”
The closing date for the competition is Sunday, January 31st, with the winners being selected on Monday, February 1st.
For more information, visit Camera A’s Facebook page at Camera A Photography.