Belfast Exposed Photography Academy

Belfast Exposed Photography Academy

The Belfast Exposed Photography Academy will harness the culture and potential of photography in Northern Ireland through the creation of young emerging photographers. Annually, through the development of the Belfast Exposed Community Programme, it will offer a minimum of 40 marginalised young people the opportunity to embark on either a photographic artistic career through access to university/further education or become a professional photographer. The programme will develop a network of emerging photographers by encouraging educational and employment opportunities.

Who is it for?

The Belfast Exposed Photography Academy has been developed to support young people who want an artistic and/or professional career in photography. The project is aimed at improving creative education, enhancing capacity-building skills and providing a pathway to future career and employment prospects of 40 young people annually who live in some of the most deprived areas across Northern Ireland.

What is it?

Belfast Exposed will engage young people by offering skills training in a non-formal educational programme and offer bespoke photographic, artistic and professional development. This will equip participants with an OCN Level II in Digital Photography, equivalent to 3 GCSE’S Grade B as well as an opportunity for tailored workshops that can provide skills for career development or open access to higher education (HND, degree programmes).

Belfast Exposed will provide community groups the option to work directly in the heart of the community as well as in-house in our photography centre in Belfast City Centre. This will immediately break down barriers to access. Belfast Exposed’s highly skilled staff has a vast amount of experience of using photography in community development. We have specifically worked in areas of social and economic deprivation and engaged with young people not in education or training (NEETS).

Belfast Exposed will use creativity in photographic arts to open access, enhance self-esteem and build skills and confidence, leading to greater health and well-being which will enable participants to reach their creative potential.

What will you learn?

Level 1 – Teaching Basic Skills

Participants will undertake 10 x 2hr facilitated workshops on a weekly basis,  2 x full-day workshops and 15hrs of self-directed assignment

  • Technical
    • How to use a Camera
    • Software Techniques
    • Studio Lighting
    • Health and Safety
    • Archive
  • Creative
    • Composition
    • Videoing
    • Animation
    • Project Planning
    • Darkroom Use

Level 2 – Enhancement of Skills

Participants will undertake 10 x 2hr facilitated workshops on a weekly basis,  2 x full-day workshops and 15hrs of self-directed assignment

  • Technical
    • Studio Portraiture
    • Printing Photographs
    • Health and Safety
    • Darkroom Use
  • Creative
    • Landscape Photography
    • Street Photography
    • Animation
    • Zine Creation

Level 3 – Career Path Development

Participants will undertake 8 x 2hr facilitated workshops on a weekly basis,  1 x full-day workshop and 15hrs of self-directed assignment

  • Facilitation Project
    • Working with experts in community arts. Learning how to become a facilitator, which will enable them to deliver workshops in photography.
  • Portfolio Project
    • Design and develop a photographic project aiming to achieve excellence in chosen field and develop a professional portfolio of work
  • Career Seminars Project
    • Work with 8 professional photographers in Studio, Journalism, Fashion, Film, Commercial, Advertising, Wedding and Animation

Booking Information

If you are interested in booking or would like more information about the programme, please contact

Ben Malcolmson

Case Study

Emerging artist, Ben Malcolmson from the Shankill area of Belfast (a significant area of social deprivation), has worked with Belfast Exposed and participated in various programmes since the age of 10, including workshops, summer schemes, Young Futures programme, volunteering in the gallery and facilitating recent programmes for younger people. Nominated by Belfast Exposed, Ben was the NI representative for Making Marks in 2019, with the Arab British Centre, funded by the British Council Kuwait. Making Marks explored the impact of working internationally on emerging artists. Ben’s residency to Kuwait was one stage in the Making Marks project. Over several months, Ben worked with Belfast Exposed on a body of work titled Murmur, which was exhibited at Belfast Exposed in 2020 as his first solo show.

Ben is a recent graduate from Ulster University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, graduating with a First Class Honours in Bachelor’s of Photography with Video. His previous studies include undertaking his Erasmus studies (2019/2020) at The Royal Academy of Art, The Hague in Bachelor’s of Photography.

Previous Volunteer Led Projects