Most of us take photos without even thinking about it these days.
Whether it be some cooking we feel especially proud of, a pretty view that has caught our eye or any number of selfies, we’re often fumbling for our phones to capture the moment.
But what if you were only able to sum up your life in 27 pictures?
That’s the question photographer Bethany Galley is asking in her Tedx talk at Aberdeen Arts Centre today.
She was inspired to develop the speech after travelling to Brazil for a university project.
While there, she armed 50 under-privileged children with disposable cameras and asked them to sum up their lives in the 27 snaps available on the devices.
Without the luxury of deleting any unwanted images, never mind adding filters or cropping the frame to achieve perfection, they were forced to really think about what they committed to film.
Caught in the crossfire as bullets flew
The Gray’s art school graduate became fascinated with Brazil when she travelled there to teach children English, art and maths in 2016.
The Bridge of Don native decided to return for her final year project – entitled “through the lens” – in March 2019.
She focused on the favelas – South American shanty towns typically considered to be slums riddled with crime and violence.
The audience today will be in for some surprises, with bright flashes of light and loud crashes representing the gunfire she experienced one night in a shoot-out between police and a drug cartel.
Bethany realised that the children in these places had never been given the opportunity to show their perspective of life in the favela, so that’s what she set out to do.
The 23-year-old said: “I was determined to prove that even in the darkest of places, there can be light.
“I wanted to show that by tapping into the power of photography.
“I thought the best way to do that was handing out disposable cameras to kids… They all had 27 photos to sum up their life. No more, no less.
“They had to think about taking a photo, as these were to share their life.”
At this stage Bethany will ask the 100 people dotted around the King Street theatre to “think to themselves” about how they would go about that challenge.
She suggests that most people would focus on the positive things – births, marriages, graduations.
And it is through that lens that she wants people to look at life in general.
“We are all photographers and we all have the choice of what lens we see life through.
“We make the decision to see it in a negative manner or in a way purely full of beauty and hope.”
Speakers primed ahead of big day
Rehearsals for the first Tedx Aberdeen event began last week and the final run-through took place yesterday.
Ted is a non-profit organisation devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short but powerful talks.
The initiative began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged.
Today’s event has been organised by volunteers from the Granite City’s Vanguard movement.