SNAPSHOT PROJECT: ISTANBUL, TURKEY

100cameras is proud to announce our second beta Snapshot project, led by Snapshot leader Beatrice Schachenmayr in Istanbul, Turkey. We sat down with Beatrice to ask her all about her journey. Learn more about the project HERE, and read the story in her own words below.

"This photograph was taken on the Galata Bridge. It connects the old city of Sultanahmet to the new city, both considered to be on the “European side” of Istanbul. This was the class’ third trip outside and I noticed how they were sharing the cameras and their ideas. In the few months we’d been together, they’d grown more curious and comfortable exploring behind the lens." -- SPL Beatrice Schachenmayr

"This photograph was taken on the Galata Bridge. It connects the old city of Sultanahmet to the new city, both considered to be on the “European side” of Istanbul. This was the class’ third trip outside and I noticed how they were sharing the cameras and their ideas. In the few months we’d been together, they’d grown more curious and comfortable exploring behind the lens." -- SPL Beatrice Schachenmayr

Forty Syrian boys and girls attend my two classes”, Beatrice says. “Each week we talk about the meaning of taking pictures, we learn helpful camera techniques, and review photography vocab.

"Last class", she goes on, "I handed out the colorful pictures they’d taken of themselves and each other when they first used the blue cameras. They were filled with excitement and soon reached for scissors, glue sticks, and colored pencils as they began to collage in their journals. The week after next they will complete their portraits with words expressing their ambitions, feelings, and ideas."

In this photo, Beatrice is sitting with Ravan, age 13 and her younger sister Cuud, age 12. Both of these sweet girls can speak a little English, more than other students in the class. This was Beatrice's last outing with the kids and a nice time to really connect, braid hair, and relax at Emirgan Park.

In this photo, Beatrice is sitting with Ravan, age 13 and her younger sister Cuud, age 12. Both of these sweet girls can speak a little English, more than other students in the class. This was Beatrice's last outing with the kids and a nice time to really connect, braid hair, and relax at Emirgan Park.

One after the other they raise their hands and talk about their dreams: professional athlete, artist, blacksmith, lawyer, to name a few. These children are very excited about their future.

We sat down with Snapshot leader Beatrice to talk about her story, her motivation for undertaking this project of this magnitude, and the ups and downs of her incredible journey.

100cameras: How did you hear about 100cameras?

Beatrice: I first heard about 100cameras in 2012 while searching photography missions that would allow me to work with disadvantaged children. I had been interested in their volunteer opportunities and was becoming more and more interested in teaching photography skills to children out in the world but lacked the experience.

100cameras: Why are you drawn to teaching?

I was not always drawn to teaching; as a child I dreamt of becoming an artist. It wasn’t too long before I began spending my high school weekends instructing ski lessons and reading to kindergarteners at a local private school during the week. Once I entered college I began tutoring primary school students and after I graduated I spent six months teaching English in Thailand and volunteer teaching Indonesia. I realized my real passion for teaching when I connected well with students; creating a space where kids could enjoy learning really inspired me. It was then that I desired a way to combine my love of photography and literacy. 

100cameras: What is the most noteworthy part of this experience for you?

Beatrice: I just completed my first post on my project’s blog, http://frameyourstory.tumblr.com/. I wrote about my experiences with the refugee children so far in Istanbul. I also highlighted the fact that no matter how well you prepare yourself for a mission, whether it’s an exam or your life’s work, there will always obstacles to overcome. Every day has taught me how to make adjustments when plans change and that’s great practice for life. 

100cameras: What do you hope to accomplish with your Snapshot project?

Beatrice: To name a few, I hope that my Snapshot project - Frame Your Story will empower children to share their stories whether through photography or other forms of expression. I would love to see the kids set goals for themselves when thinking about their future. Maybe one day they will look back on this experience and it will bring them self-confidence and a smile.

100cameras: Why did you choose the organization/community you've been working with?

Beatrice: As a student abroad in Istanbul, Turkey in 2012, I had a life changing opportunity to work with ASAM, the Association for Solidarity with Asylum-Seekers and Migrants, a non-profit organization that focuses on “developing solutions to the challenges that refugees and asylum seekers encounter in Turkey and to support them in meeting their basic and social needs.” It was this opportunity that really opened my eyes to the harsh daily struggles that refugee youth face all over the world. Now, three years later I’m interested in learning more about how this multi-cultural city is changing and I’d like to use my talents to help alleviate some of the suffering refugee children are facing. I think photography is a wonderful way of doing that.

100cameras: Do you have any recommendations, comments, or advice for future Snapshot leaders?

Beatrice: Be ready to put your whole heart into it. Also, accept that your project will probably not go as planned and that’s okay because you’ll learn how to adjust your outline, lessons and your daily routine. Good luck!

Stay tuned as we open Snapshot applications in the coming week. We look forward to hearing where you're most passionate about!

Snapshot Project: Istanbul, Turkey 2016

Snapshot Project: Istanbul, Turkey 2016