‘Portraits in Spaces’ is a free two day project, where key stage 3 and 4 students create photographic portraits in contrasting architectural environments.

In 2016, working alongside Artist Photographer Tanya Harris, students learnt how to interpret documentary and fine art photography. They developed their artistic knowledge, skills and techniques and created photographic artwork for their portfolios.

Students responded to Hertford House, the home of the Wallace Collection, to develop a personal dialogue with the objects on display. A week later, using what they learnt, they explored their school environment to create portraits in their spaces.

In 2016 three Secondary Schools participated in Portraits in Spaces: Friern Barnet School, Kingsford Community School and Salvatorian College.


During ‘Portraits in Spaces’ students learn how to interpret historical and contemporary fine art and social documentary photography. They analyse the intentions of the photographer and consider which approaches they would like to use. Applying their learning, students work in pairs to a brief, constructing a narrative within chosen locations and performing to camera. In turns they are the artistic director and subject which gives them the experience of two important roles in portrait photography.

Everyone participates in a series of group critiques of their artwork, discussing improvements over the course of each day. They are given revised briefs by Tanya Harris based on their artistic intentions and the results of their work so far. Students learn the importance of editing their photographs effectively and have training on how to develop strong portfolios.

Following on from 'Portraits in Spaces'
In addition to the photographs showcased on this website, selected images from this ongoing project have been used for Wallace Collection publicity. After completing the project some students have entered their photographs in photography competitions and all GCSE students plan to include their artwork as part of their coursework.

Contact the Wallace Collection by clicking the link below if you would like to take part in this or any other free schools workshop.