My Photography Manifesto


There’s a camera out there for everyone. And, like babies, all cameras are beautiful!

The more you practice the more your eye will improve. Fact.

We can be inspired by others and imitate their style as we learn, but it’s our own style that will give us the most satisfaction. Give it time and you will find it.

Slow down. Take a breath. Look again.

Pay attention to the in-between moments.

Remember to lie on the floor and stand on chairs once in a while.

Play with digital and film. iPhones and Hasselblads. Canon and Nikon. Try everything to decide which translates your eye best.

Learn a few rules so you know how to break them.

Take a photograph everyday, even if it’s just your lunch. Especially if it’s your lunch. Shoot it every day for a month and see what happens.

The camera is only a tool; it’s your eye that really matters.

* * * * *

Tomorrow is the last day of the first session of Photo Meditations and I am sitting here feeling really rather in love with my course. And it’s making me laugh — I never thought I could ever create a course that I’d love more than Unravelling, but this five week foray into heart-centered photography has me all a-fluster :) I’ve loved pouring myself into this course every day for the last month and I don’t want to stop (I’m not kidding — i’m currently sketching out a sequel). It’s a photography course but, holy cats, it is so much more than that. It’s about connecting with the world, cultivating mindfulness, and being brave. It’s about tapping into the artist inside and giving her a voice through your images. It’s about shooting from the heart. I’ve just updated the course page with a slideshow, a week-by-week outline and some testimonials from peeps in the autumn class, so if you’re considering signing up for the January class (registration opens this Sunday) do check it out.

Okay, that last paragraph is more gushy than I would normal write here but I just ate my dinner and it was the first food I have been able to taste in over SIX DAYS, so i’m on a getting-better high. Happy December, everyone! x

15 responses
  1. Meg Manion Silliker

    the in-between moments are my very favorite! i loved your photo meditations course (probably should have waited until my busy season ended) but i have picked my camera up more for me and that makes my heart happy – your words, encouragement, and inspiration are truly amazing. thank you. xoxo

  2. Catherine

    I’m tempted. I notice that you call it the “winter” course – will the material be oriented towards winter photo shoots? It will be the height of summer here!

    HI Catherine! winter just refers to when the course runs — the actual course materials work for any time of year :)

  3. Catherine Just

    yes – the in-between moments are what make my heart sing the LOUDEST. That’s why i love long exposures. Capturing the things you cannot see with your own eyes.

    Love this. Thank you. So glad you are feeling better darling!

  4. Nina

    I like this post very much! And I’m pretty sure it applies to any medium (I’m reading “ear” for “eye”). Simple, wise words, Susannah – thanks.

  5. Mariella

    Finally your photography course Susannah! Although busy with a newborn, I would love to take this course, I was very much looking forward to it, …hope I can make it to register on time!

  6. Rhianne

    I think the gushing is justified, I felt exactly the same way about it :) I’m excited for everyone who’s going to be taking the next class and eagerly awaiting the sequel!

  7. Esther

    Love your manifesto!
    Will you be offering Photo Meditations in the spring again? I want to take it so badly but I need more time to save up.

  8. Angela

    I really wish that I could afford to. I would ask for the course as a Christmas present, but my Dad could barely afford to buy my mother a birthday present this week.

    I’m using my Canon Powershot 12mp, and trying not to wish I had a DSLR. :) I received this for Christmas last year, and love the video, and the pictures, but don’t get out enough to take new photos. I just seem to have lost my creative self, and barely accomplish anything anymore, and I’m getting on people’s nerves with my saying things like that, but I’m totally lost, and it’s getting to *me*.

    I hope to be able to join in at some point. I have a polaroid camera, somewhere, from my childhood, but I don’t think it works anymore.

  9. Hannah

    I REALLY needed this post today! I’ve been suffering from lack of inspiration and just parts of life have been slipping in getting in the way of photography. Must try to not let that happen so much :)

  10. Cecilia

    love your insight, as always. i have been lacking confidence (sounds so cheesy, but i don’t know how else to describe it) in my indoor photos, but am realizing that the only way to improve is to take more and more photos, try new things.

  11. michelle gd

    love the manifesto!

  12. Eadaoin

    Seeing Rhianne’s photo posts as she made her way through your new course has been very inspiring, I love how she is stunned with her own growth and how she fell in love with her own talent as a photographer. You, and the course you created, encouraged and enabled that growth in her, it must be a wonderful feeling as a teacher :) I’m very tempted to give the course a try myself now!

  13. Magali

    I love what you said about cameras, it’s so true that it’s just a tool. I will definitely take a course of yours sometime in the future, I’m sure it will help my blogging as well. (:

  14. Laura Simms

    “Learn a few rules so you know how to break them.” Necessary in any medium. Thanks :)

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