Your object, your story!

Untold Heritage is your chance to explore your heritage through photography, to tell the stories that get left out of the history books, and to help us discover alternative narratives of our history.


Check out these brilliant photography resources created by artists Annis Joslin and Alejandra Carles-Tolra to help you take part in Untold Heritage. The work looks professional but it’s all created with a smartphone and objects collected from around the house.

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An object that has a special significance and is treasured or handed down through a family across generations is known as an heirloom. This could be an item of value like jewelry or a painting but it can also be a memento such as a letter or photograph. Anything that is important to someone could become an heirloom, even a stone.

  • What are the everyday things you use, wear or play with that will define your generation in the future?
  • Has anything been left to you?
  • Are there treasures in your family home? Pots, recipes, hats, books? 
  • What do you always carry with you?
  • What story does it tell?
  • Imagine you had to leave your house never to return and had only two minutes to do it. Which five objects would you take?
  • Have you got treasured objects from family or friends that you often find yourself looking at?

PHOTO CHALLENGE ONE: Make a photographic still life using the treasured objects that represent you.


PHOTO CHALLENGE TWO: Put yourself in the frame. Interact with your treasured objects.  Take a photo!



PHOTO CHALLENGE THREE: Turn your objects into a sculpture, balance it, photograph it!


PHOTO CHALLENGE FOUR: Take your camera on a walk through your home and capture readymade compositions of potential heirloom objects.

Top Tips

  • Spend time selecting your objects of significance
  • Be playful and experiment
  • Try out different ideas and poses
  • Pay attention to background, lighting and composition
  • Set up unusual compositions
  • Decide whats in and what’s outside the frame.
  • Make use of natural light and shadow. Or add more light using torches or lamps.


Inspiring Artists


English Heritage Links

Apsley House

London home of the Duke of Wellington. In 1838 the Duke of Wellington made provision for his exceptional works of art to be treated as heirlooms. 

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Walmer Castle

Official residence of the Duke of Wellington, inventor of wellington boots, treasured by Wellington himself.

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Audley End House

43 year old cook Ava Crocombe had a treasured, handwritten recipe book that was passed down through generations of cooks at this stately home.

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Photoworks is partnering with English Heritage Shout Out Loud to deliver the England’s New Lenses ‘Untold Heritage’ project.

Aged 13-18 and want to take part in a workshop? Learn more below.

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