Whenever it comes to the differently-abled people, the society has a common perception that they won’t be able to do anything. Initiatives that aim at giving them a better life, or help them be independent, often end up making them do mechanical tasks like making candles, envelopes etc.

But, do they have a future beyond that? Can a person with a mental or a physical challenge be creative? Are they really superhuman?

1st May, 2015.

The Shaurya Centre, an institute that works for individuals with mental and physical challenges approached us. They strongly believed that their students could do great photography and invited the #weareoneride  team to teach and train their students.

We readily accepted the challenge. All we had at hand was 7 days to see what these students could do, and to prove the world wrong. We’ve come up with the term “Superhuman”, and now was the time to prove it.

Day 1 – Getting to know

With no fixed plans of what was to be taught, we just asked the students to show what they knew about camera already. In contrast to many of the so-called “Normal” people, these people hated talking and loved doing. So, we just handed them the camera and took a back seat.

The students knew the minimal basics and came up with pictures like the one below:

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This gave us a brief idea of where they stood in terms of understanding.

Day 2 –  De-glamourizing

We took the students in the sun where temperatures were touching 40 degrees plus. The idea was to teach them two things. Firstly, that photography is much more than glamour. It’s a lot of hard work, and facing the sun and dust and nature’s fury.

Secondly, we wanted to teach them how they can control the lighting and movement through shutter speed.

The results on this day stood something like this.

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Summer was taking a toll on our bodies, but the spirits soared high as we stepped into day 3.

Day 3 – Getting the focus right

This was a day to experiment with the shutter and aperture, on how to choose a focus point et al.

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The students picked up random objects and got started.

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Day 4 – Drawing with Light

We realized our students love their mobile phones. We turned off the lights and made them use their mobile phones as props.

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The students loved the idea of playing with the lights and just wouldn’t leave the camera.

Day 5 – Light Bending

We provided the students with some additional lights and lo and behold. We had some professional Light Bending experts.

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Day 6 – Photographer > poser > photographer

The individuals at Shaurya Centre had by now got an understanding of how a camera functions. On the second last day of the shoot, we taught them how to open lights, install soft-boxes and create a make-shift studio.

Day 6

Instructions were taken like computers, and they were indeed #superhuman in their way of working, as well as work abilities. The studio shoot was well received, as they clicked each other’s pictures and became the model and the photographer and vice-versa.

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Day 7 – Bikers turn clients

This was the final day of the shoot; the last day of the workshop and the day that would decide the fate of these very new photographers. Bikers from the Bikers for Good Motorcycle community rode to the Shaurya Centre.

This was the day, when we turned tables. Bikers became clients, the amateur photographers turned professionals.

We recreated a studio, shifted a bike inside and the shoot started. The shots that came next would make you just sit back and wish you were there.

The new photographers still have a long way to go, but we know it for a fact that success is now just a click away. You see? There’s a reason we call them “Superhuman!”