Polly Braden and David Campany live in North London with their daughters Echo (6) and Vita (4) – Polly is a photographer and David is a Photography Expert (author, curator, critic, lecturer). The couple shares a passion for photography and art. They also prize family time, and seek to maintain a good balance between culture and nature.
What does education mean to you, as parents of two young girls?
Education is a way of life, part of everything we do as a family. We try no to separate education from fun, or stimulation from leisure, or physical life from mental life. It all needs to feel like part of the same thing. Modern life is compartmentalized enough already!
What are the skills and qualities that you encourage?
Independence, initiative, empathy.
What values do you strongly believe in and that you want to pass to your kids?
Careful reasoning, the questioning of everything, humility and a sense of irony.
What’s your ideal weekend with them?
Music, making things, reading, movies and anything involving muddy shoes on Hampstead Heath.
Your favourite places in London when it comes to a mix of culture and fun?
Hackney Picture House for great movies and great food. The English National Opera for Christmas time. The top deck of a London bus for figuring out the geography of the city.
Your favourite films or children’s moviesto watch with the whole family ?
Four favourites are Singin’ in the Rain – a great musical directed at the pace of a cartoon, The Red Balloon – a melancholy short film at the pace of a funeral, Despicable Me – hilarious, Para Norman – scary and funny at the time.
Private school or public school?
Private, unfortunately. State school provision in the UK is criminally uneven and a complete lottery for children and parents. It’s one of the great scandals of recent decades.
About David Campany
David saved himself from a tedious adolescence in Essex by taking up photography and going to the movies. This led to a degree in Film, Video and Photographic Arts at the Polytechnic of Central London and later an MA in Photographic Studies at the University of Westminster.
Today nothing much has changed. Photography and cinema still fascinate and provide the basis for his work as a writer, photographer, curator and lecturer. In the 1990s he taught histories of art and graphic design at Winchester School of Art. From 2000 to 2004 he taught photographic theory and practice at Surrey Institute of Art and Design. He became a Reader in Photography at the University of Westminster in 2004.
David’s books list include “Photography And Cinema“, “Jeff Walls Speaks With David Campany“, “Walker Evans, The Magazine Work” and more recently “Gasoline“.
About Polly Braden
Polly is the third child in a family of four, who spent all their winter holidays on skis in France, and travelled the world with their parents. Adventure and holiday time definitely stayed in Polly’s veins. She’s now renowned for her exploration of the relationship between daily life, work and leisure. She lived in China, explored Canada, Italy, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Morocco, Kenya, and across the Middle East for newspapers such as The Guardian, The Saturday Telegraph, The Financial Times. Her work appears in magazines (Portfolio, ICON, Photoworks or Frieze) and books (Street Photography Now, London Street Photography, City of Collision: Jerusalem and the Principles of Conflict Urbanism). In 2012 she published the book China Between, a groundbreaking study of the everyday life of China’s new urban middle classes.