Real Heroes do not fly or lift up buildings. Real Heroes are people we look up to, admire and try to emulate. The pandemic has given many of us a chance to reflect on life, our communities and the people residing in them and with this young people are more aware of everyday heroes as they have seen heroes walk among us every day.
Heroes is a project created by Dan Scudamore featuring young people and their everyday heroes. Scroll down to view Dan’s project and notes on the inspiration for HEROES.
Ella Merry (above)
“David Attenborough is my hero because he has taught me about the many species from different parts of the world. Also, he has helped me understand climate change and how it affects animals and how to help stop climate change. David Attenborough is very knowledgeable and wise. I think everyone should listen to him.”
“Marcus Rashford is my hero because he isn’t just a star at football, but he is also a star with regards to helping Charities. He has helped people so much in the UK. So, thank you Marcus Rashford.”
“Rosa Parks is my hero because she stood up for what she believed in. She made a stand to help break down the segregation laws by rebelling against unfair rules against black people. She helped make a change and she wasn’t worried about what would happen to her. I think that’s really brave.
Rosa Parks is my hero because, without even knowing me, she was a huge part of shaping my future. I have the opportunities I do now because she helped bring equality. I hope to be as strong and inspirational as her when I grow up.”
“I like David Walliams because he creates really funny stories. Some of his stories come to life in films. I also enjoy watching him on Britain’s Got Talent. My favourite stories are Ratburger and Mr Stink. I would like to write funny stories like he does one day.”
Images & books courtesy of Harper Collins Publishers. Thanks to David Walliams, Sir Quentin Blake and Tony Ross.
“I’m Heath and my hero is Andy Warhol because I love being creative and his work inspired me to get an art scholarship. I created a block self-portrait using lots of different techniques just like he had. I like working in bold colours. I’m dyslexic so art gives me lots of confidence and helps me express myself.”
“My superhero is my Grandad Len. My Grandad broke his back in a motorbike accident before I was born, even before my Mummy, Auntie and Uncle were born, but it never stopped my Grandad from doing anything even though he’s in a wheelchair.
My Grandad Len is always happy, always smiling and is always positive. He reminds me to always be grateful for what I have and to never let a disability define me or others. These are some of the reasons my Grandad is my superhero.”
“Steph Curry is my hero because he is the best three-point shooter of all time. When he shoots it’s like it always goes in. It’s my dream to be a pro basketball player and glide like Curry does through all the defenders. I like the fact that he uses his fame for getting help for others because he supports a lot of charities all over the world.”
Inspiration for Heroes – By Dan Scudamore.
Heroes have always been important to culture throughout time. People need heroes to look up to, to emulate. However, those heroes for many seem to be fictional super-powered ones. Every other cinematic release is a superhero movie, and TV channels and streaming services are churning out hero shows desperate to outdo the last. For me, these are not truly inspirational heroes who inspire achievable and worthwhile goals.
In the last year, many of us have had time to reflect on life and our attention has turned to REAL HEROES! The pandemic has made young people more aware of heroes and they have seen heroes walk among us every day. These Heroes do not need to fly or lift up buildings. These are Heroes that can take care of us, deliver our food, collect our rubbish – they are bus drivers, nurses, carers, factory workers, doctors, lorry drivers, porters and so many more. They are people whose jobs ultimately help others or look to better humanity as a whole, and without them, our society would crumble.
I was inspired by this and wanted to create a project around this and give young people an opportunity to share why they admire their heroes. I put a call out and asked as many kids as I could who their heroes were. Now I’m not going to lie, there were quite a few Spider-men still, but there were so many amazingly diverse responses too. I couldn’t shoot all of them, (as much as I would have liked to), so I whittled it down to seven by selecting the children I would include in the project on the choice of hero and the reasons they gave that I found to be the most inspiring.
I wanted to create a project that was not the standard ‘dress up as my hero’ shoot and I have always had an idea of using a projector in a shoot someway, but I had not yet had the right idea for this to work. ‘Heroes’ seemed to be a great opportunity to experiment with this idea. I used a combination of just the projector, or a mix of projector and lights to make the pictures. I didn’t want the images always to be too obvious, so I tried to think of ways to suggest their hero without being too overt.
Shooting with the digital projector was a fantastic experience as it allowed me to move and edit the images in real-time and it allowed me to play around with lighting and the projector so that I could create more interesting images for this project. Shifting pages around to compose Samuel’s shot, or smoothing out skin texture on the elephant so as to see Ella’s face clearer, it was great to be able to do this in real-time. It was really cool to be able to see your ideas come to life in front of your very eyes then and for me not to have to rely on any planned retouching, post-shoot. Despite a few limitations, I feel inspired to use this medium again for upcoming projects.
The shoot days were great, and the kids were all fantastic. They travelled from far and wide to come for their pictures and I cannot thank them and their parents enough for giving up their time to help me create this story. I also need to thank Vicki Hillman for helping me plan the shoot and all the styling. Jon Rose from DigiBoutique was invaluable for helping me with the technical aspects before the shoot and the digital and lighting all weekend. Also, Bethan Owens did a great job with the kids grooming and making them feel at ease too. I was lucky and extremely grateful to have had such a great team. This great team have to create a created a really worthwhile and inspiring project.
Heroes Crew Credits:
Photographer: Dan Scudamore
Stylist: Vicki Hillman
HMUA: Bethan Owens
Digital & Lighting: Jon Rose
Location: Shoreditch Studios
Thank you to Urban Angels Modelling Agency for organising the kids search and casting.
Heroes Clothing Credits:
Image 1 – Ella Merry wears Gap Shirt & Chinos, Zara Headscarf. Image 2 – First Direct football Shirt. Image 3 – Zara Dress, Polo neck and Shoes. Image 4 – Bennetton Top, Next Jeans. Image 5 – Weekday Polo Neck and Jeans, Next Boots. Image 6 – Len – Jack Jones Shirt, Farah Trousers. Tia – Next Shirt, Levis Jeans. Image 7 – Nike Shorts and Vest. Image 8 – Zara Top and Scarf
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Heroes Photography by Dan Scudamore – All rights reserved.
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