"I've been to two amazing photography days out with Fiona.
Fiona has been brillant at combining photography with other creative methods. For instance we were asked to bring a piece of writing that we liked and we read these to each other and wrote some of our own stuff. This helped to create a really special, intimate and inspiring atmosphere that is quite difficult to achieve with a group of people who don't know each other. Since these groups I have been using photography in a new way and writing more. Fiona and her encouragement and openess has really helped me to see myself as a creative person.
Thank you Fiona - it's reminded how great it was and remembering the snow at country park and how amazing it was being with you all. It got me writing poetry after that day. Good luck with it all and if you do do a retreat let me know!"
"A group of us had got involved with Fiona’s coastal project to build beach sculptures with flotsam and jetsam and watch how the waves affected them as the tide came in.
Fiona encouraged us to trawl the beach for ‘interesting items’ and display them in ways that would enable us to experiment with exposure, shutter speed and depth of field but I found it was also about finding something different to do with our photography by seeing ordinary objects like coke cans, pieces of wood, plastic and rocks in a whole new way. The objects became sources of colour, texture, detail, intricacy and interest, more closely examined for why they were interesting and unique and why we had taken our photographs in a particular way.
Fiona has the ability to encourage more adventurous thinking in an environment designed to make you feel comfortable with a like minded group and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The beach where Fiona held the session offered space and peace and was both calming and inspirational and I look forward to other events like this in the future." Caroline
"I think you're good at appreciating people's individuality - their unique vision, and how you are able to see positives in people's work. I've always found you to be approachable and friendly and a good listener. The pace of group facilitation is 'just right'. Delivery of workshops is always friendly and informal, very inclusive of people from various backgrounds and cultures. Throughout taking part in Wilberforce Women, Perspectives, Women into Media and Outlook, I really enjoyed the opportunity to engage in an environment, which is supportive, encouraging and appreciating of individual efforts and contributions."
"I had a great time being taught a better way to take photographs, also the health issue walking the town with you/Paul, makes you enjoy the exercise, please consider me for any future classes, regards tony"
"I have known Fiona for a few years, through a couple of local photography projects. Fiona's warm and friendly approach encouraged me to get involved with more photography related events. I'll be happy to participate more in the future. I'm sure they will be as exciting as always!"
I just want to say how much I like what everybody has done towards the MSOS Project. It was lovely to see you and everybody and the way you have arranged it all. Hope everything goes well with the rest of your Exhibition. Thank you once again. I am not a very confident person and will always be at the back of a group and listen rather than put my views forward, but seeing my work up on a wall in an exhibition made me very proud and pleased to be part of. It would be good to have another project to do, if my ego can take it, and I will definitely be taking all of my family and friends.
Thank you once again.
I'd just like to add, thank you very much for what you did for me this year you helped me a lot personally. I hope you have a very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year and that we meet again."
Thank you once again for all your help guidance and support with the work that we created and submitted to the project, it was a lovely and inspiring experience to see our pictures and words presented in such a professional way, it gave me a great buzz to see my work presented to the public for the first time and I'm sure all the others who now have their work on public display in this lovely exhibition feel the way I do! You are an inspirational and dedicated teacher and we all admire your photographic art, so once again thank you for using the funding in such a kind and community centered way."
"Everyone has a story to tell and the best person to tell it is yourself.
I am proud of my roots - gowing-up on Hessle Road among the unique deep-sea fishing community.
If grandparents do not tell their family and the local community or record their story then that heritage will be lost for ever. We live in an ever changing society / world.
I really enjoyed the oppotunity to tell part of my story. I want to go on and do more.
Fiona was an ideal leader, full of inspiration, enthusiasm, ideas and guidance.
The three things I particulaly liked about the exhibition in the local charity/community centre was:-
1 It was more than a photographic exhibition - there was photographs and passages of text linked together.
2 The layout - each set of photographs were printed on A3 and the text on A4.
3 I have been interested in photography over 50 years and now I am retired this was an opportunity for me (Joe Public) to display some of my work publicly and to tell part of my story.
I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to take part in this project.
I hope there will be a similar opportunity at least in "Hull the 2017 City of Culture" .
Fiona, I hope this is not too long. It is important that the "funders" get some feedback. Its all thanks to you again."
Before I received your email, i had already begun writing the above poem about my feelings regarding the MSOS exhibition. I felt as a photographer, I was back! It had been the first time I'd had any photography up in a show in three years, so personally it meant a lot to me. My confidence was shattered regarding my own work and style in which I do it. I was glad that I did what I'd always done instinctively and that it was okay and even celebrated. This project allowed us to celebrate and accept our identities and parts of our personal histories and specialist interests in our home city.
I was scared of doing another personal project again, and even expressed my frustrations in The Workshop poem. I was also surprised at how I was able to write a poem to a brief, kind of, because the subject keeps choosing me. It was good to write about something positive for the Food is a Work of Art poem. This was only the second time I'd chosen the subject I wanted to write about and managed to work around it."
Loved the exhibition, main thoughts are: Great to see everyone’s work and how meaningful the pieces were them. You could feel real emotion in the words and pictures. Lovely to think of people taking time to read and look at the work and maybe start some conversations they never would have had. A bright space to display the exhibition, made the pictures stand out. And thank you again for the opportunities you have given me to display my work – it is very much appreciated."
All the very best
"Hi Fiona, Thank you for all the hard work you have put in organising the group and putting on the exhibition. I felt really proud of myself and of everyone else who contributed. Looking around the exhibition I was fascinated to see what a wide range of subjects there was. I enjoyed meeting the all the other members of the group, our meetings on a Monday night and going out on the field trips that you organised for us during the summer. I hope I will remember the tips you gave us and that my photography will continue to improve. I hope I can be involved in further projects as I really enjoyed this one. Good luck with any future bids for funding."
Had verbal/ text feedback from Sharon, Chris and Julie too. All positive."