It was a cold foggy day as I walked over to the CAIA Center, one would imagine that such weather was unpleasant, however the light layer of fog added softness and a calm to the London morning. Had I seen it several hours later, I could have captured it. Thanks to a wonderful session with photographer Vahagn Gulakian, I can now record and remember such beautiful moments. The session, which concentrated on the basic photographic formula of (Exposure=Aperture +Shutter Speed+ISO) provided an in depth, clearly explained breakdown of how each aspect of the formula affected the quality and effect of the photograph. The class was filled with raised eyebrows of confusion, followed by the immediate smiles of understanding as Vahagn individually helped the participants understand and explore the workings of their camera. The session aimed at helping volunteers gain the skills and knowledge which could be used to photograph documentary shoots, recording the memories and stories of people whose families have been affected by WW1.

Quick tips:

Composition is key! Place your subject on the right or left corner of the frame, allowing space for their surrounding and a notion of a continuous story.

Keep the camera settings at a low F # (around 3.5) this will create greater focus on the portrait and the person who is the subject of the interview.

AV= Aperture Priority (Still images, portraits, landscapes, events)

TV= Time Priority (High speed events, moving objects)

Keep your Shutter speed at 1/60 for good quality if possible.

Keep your ISO between 400-800 for good quality if possible.

Low F # is for one focal point- High F # is to focus all subjects in the frame (Depth of Field)

Documentary photography is our way of recording history, sharing emotional knowledge and insight and offering inspiration for change.

To see more of Vahagn Gulakian’s work visit his website:

 To see more information on documentary photography visit these links:

The post was written by one of the UK Armenians & WW1 project volunteers 

Coronavirus Notice


Our charity is working hard to respond to the changing situation around Coronavirus (COVID-19) related issues. We do our best to continue to provide our services for our members and the Armenian community at large and ask for your patience during this challenging time.

Our staff and volunteers are working hard to continue supporting you in the best way that we can, whilst also staying on top of reducing risk of spreading infection and supporting our colleague who may be more at risk.

However, due to the current situation and in the best interest of all of us, we had to make some changes to our normal services. Starting from Monday 16 March 2020, all our services including the face-to-face advice work, the Parents & Toddlers Group, the English classes, Library, the elders lunch club and the youth club are suspended until further notice.

We ask that anyone experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or having to self-isolate due to being exposed to someone with coronavirus, does not attend Hayashen until further notice and call NHS 111 for advice.

However, as we wish to support you as best as we can, our advice work continues by telephone, email and online. You may contact us on 020 89924621 or use our website ( to leave an enquiry or email us on

Please let us know what other forms of communication are available to you, such as Whatsapp, Viber, Messenger etc.

You can also follow us on social media

The main symptoms of Coronavirus are high fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, loss of or changes in your normal sense of smell or taste, but for full details, including Government guidelines and precautions you should take, please search for “Coronavirus” on the following Government and NHS websites.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you.

Misak Ohanian (CEO) & CAIA Board of Directors.           20 June 2020