The jet lag is kicking my behind today, manifesting as a plod through soup as i go about my day, s l o w l y. It’s amazing how you can pack so much into a fortnight’s holiday, yet sitting at my desk today it’s as if i’ve never been away. So i sink into my photos, and remember the places i have been, starting with my four days beside Squam Lake.

It was my first time leading a full day’s workshop – Unravelling started as an evening class, so i’d only taught in two-hour chunks before – and I was feeling a bit nervous, as you’d expect. But as i spent time putting the class together i felt more and more passionate about my topic – photographic composition, something i discovered I could talk about for hours.

With a slideshow and talk in the morning and a photo safari around the lake after lunch, I tried to share as much as I could in the time we had.  Each group had a different energy, meaning i learned twice as much in my two days of teaching; it probably wasn’t the most polished workshop at SAW, but i hope i made up for that with enthusiasm, humour and the occasional f-bomb, just to keep it real ;) By the end of the second day there were tears from me as i looked through my students’ photos – i was so blown away by their images and how their eyes had developed over an afternoon of shooting; it was a truly humbling experience.

This session of Squam Art Workshops was very different from last year, as I experienced it from the other side of the fence, as a teacher. I found that each night I wanted nothing more than a roaring fire and a quiet night in my cabin, as the day’s activities left me high but drained (it didn’t help that YET AGAIN i had a cold. And YET AGAIN i lost my voice – by day two i was practically barking at people, just to get the words out. At points I was whispering. I kid you not.) This year I knew I was there to give and nurture, rather than learn and take; this year I also had the honour of meeting so many Unravellers, and getting feedback from them, in person, in the sunshine as we walked around a beautiful lake was simply magical. I am so grateful to be doing this work. I had a moment of true peace on the last night, knowing that despite the cold in my bones, and the cold running out of my nose (lovely), this is the way forward for me. Sharing, teaching, learning, photographing, writing. Connecting. It suddenly all made sense, as i shuffled over to throw another log on the fire.

Thank you Grace, Sandra, Diane, Joan, Melissa, Tanya, Lisa, Carrie, Stacee, Alice, Tammy, Kerry, Meghan, Kelley, Jayne, Beth, Jennifer, Alison, Sarah, Heidi, Karen, Lily, Nicola and Donna for trusting me with a day of your Squam experience. Each of you truly rocked my world!