Facilitator notes:
In this photo marathon, workshop participants have the opportunity to learn how to express themselves through the photographic lens. They explore how to tell a story with a single frame and then display and share their photo stories at a local event.

The date and venue for the event should be decided as soon as possible to enable necessary planning and advertisement. The aim of the workshop is to encourage creativity, self-expression, promote self-esteem and confidence and teach storytelling skills through photography.

The number of participants should not exceed ten, as each participant is likely to need quite a lot of attention and guidance from the facilitator(s).

To make the photo marathon more challenging, set rules about some technical aspect of photography or select a particular theme that everyone has to represent in a photo.

Introduction to the photo marathon

1. Welcome the participants and thank them for coming. Explain that they are going to take part in a photo marathon, where they will have a set amount of time to take one good photo.

2. Ask the participants what they think is a ‘good photo’? List the things they say on the whiteboard or chalkboard.

3. Let participants practise a little with their cameras in the venue where you are, giving them opportunity to ask any questions on technical issues. Make sure everyone knows how to save the digital photos.

4. Now explain that the participants have the next 24 hours to take lots of photos. Tell the group that when they come back tomorrow, they will have to choose one single photo.

They will then show the photo to the group, and will be asked to share:

   •   Who or what is on the image?
   •   What story does this photo tell?
   •   Where was it taken?
   •   Why did they choose this particular photo?
   •   What does the photo mean to the photographer?

5. OPTIONAL: Before letting the participants go off to start taking photos, ask them what themes and rules they would like to set for the photo marathon. Examples of themes are ‘your favourite spot,’ something or someone you love, only men, only women, etc. Examples of rules are taking black and white shots, night shots, only portraits, no flash, etc. Agree on a theme and at least one rule that everyone has to follow.

Photo marathon – 24 hours

Facilitator notes:
Make yourself available for support and consultation during the 24 hours that the participants will be taking photos.


Facilitator notes:
When the 24 hours are up, arrange to meet with the participants in a venue where they can view and edit their photos on a computer.

1. Welcome participants back after their photo marathon. Give them two hours to look through their photos and choose the one that they want to display. They should also prepare a short presentation about the photo.

2. Give the participants access to a computer with a photo-editing programme. Provide technical support as needed.

3. When ready, print the chosen photo in colour for each participant.

Photo display and sharing

1. Ask the participants to either sit in a circle or around a big table. Give each participant the opportunity to display the photograph they have chosen and present it to the group.

2. As each participants displays their photo, ask them the following questions:

   •   Who or what is on the image?
   •   What story does this photo tell?
   •   Where was it taken?
   •   Why did you choose this particular photo?
   •   What does the photo mean to you?

3. When everyone has had a chance to share their photos, explain that you now need to plan the exhibition. Photography exhibitions often have an official opening where friends, relatives and other community members are invited to come. If this is appropriate, plan an exhibition opening and agree the time frame for the exhibition.

4. Some of the issues you could discuss are listed below. There may be others relevant to your context:

   •   Where will the exhibition be?
   •   Will it be open for a period of time or just on one evening or day?
   •   When will it be?
   •   Will there be an official exhibition opening?
   •   Will there be refreshments available at the exhibition opening?
   •   Who will be invited? How many people should the venue be able to host?
   •   Will all the photographers be at the exhibition all the time?
   •   How will the photographs be displayed? For example, on the walls or on stands or on the floor?

5. Make a list of all the tasks for the exhibition and who is responsible for them. Make sure all participants understand what they are tasked to do, and how they will do it. List all the resources needed and make sure they are available.

Exhibition set-up

Facilitator notes:
Make sure the venue and resources needed are available for the exhibition. Ask the participants to be there a few hours before the exhibition is due to open to help set-up and make sure everything is ready.

Exhibition hosting

Facilitator notes:
If you host an official exhibition opening, it is preferable that all the photographers are there so they can present their photos. If the exhibition will be open over a longer period of time, for example for a week, ask the participants to take turns in being at the venue.

Closure and final reflection meeting

Facilitator notes:
When the exhibition is over, call a final meeting with participants to end the photo marathon and allow for a final reflection on the entire process.

1. Welcome the participants and ask them to sit in a circle.

2. Congratulate them on a successful exhibition, and ask them to share what they experienced at the exhibition.

3. Explain that you would like to end the photo marathon by reflecting on the entire process, from when they first met to talk about photography, to taking the photos, and then finally exhibiting and sharing them with others.

4. Go round the group and give every participant the opportunity to share his or her reflections on the photo marathon. You can ask some of the following questions to guide the reflections:

   •   How has this photo marathon been for you?
   •   What have you found challenging?
   •   What have you liked the most?
   •   What did it feel like to display your photograph in public?
   •   What have you learnt about yourself through this entire process?
   •   What could be done to improve this photo marathon in the future?

5. End the photo marathon by thanking the participants for all their hard work and congratulating them again on their photographs.