All but two of the photos in this post were taken with my iPhone and shared on Instagram. As my packs of Polaroid film have dwindled, and I gingerly experimented with the new Impossible Project film, it’s not surprising that most of this year’s images have been snapped with my phone. There are a lot of pro photographers out there who might sneer at this. I mean, how can I call myself a photographer if I never break out the big camera? It’s been over a year since I touched the Hasselblad, and my DSLR is practically a stranger to me. But here’s the thing: I consider myself a photographer because I have this compulsion to express myself in photographs. Because photography is my meditation. Photography and journalling are the two things that keep me sane, the familiar tools I have used all my life. So it doesn’t matter to me what camera I use to do that. I don’t need a zillion pixels because my images won’t be blown up to billboard size — the majority of them won’t be seen beyond my Instagram stream. I shoot for pleasure. To record the world around me. To remember. To relax. And I really do take photographs every single day — i just don’t share them all on Instagram because THAT would soon get annoying.
Speaking of… there’s been a lot of hand wringing over the new policies Instagram announced yesterday. I’m going to wait to see how it unfolds, because there’s always uproar when a social media site announces change — i’ve seen it happen so many times before, when the language used is misinterpreted and everyone is up in arms. Looking at the Instagram blog today it’s clear they are listening to feedback and clarifying what their intentions are. So i will wait and see. Because if my Instagram feed is full of advertsing i’d be less inclined to use it, obviously — I’d rather just pay to use the service and have no advertising at all — but it was clear to me that the language they used would cause confusion and it looks like they are addressing that. They still have time to make this right.
In the meantime, some photos from the first six months of this year…
Very excited to share this with you today — the Photo Meditations self-study course! I’ve been wanting to do this for ages as I know how frustrating it is to have to wait for registration days when you want to start a course NOW. With a self-study course you can sign up any time and dive straight into the magic of soulful photography from the comfort of your own inbox :)
The course is broken down into five key sessions (with 5 lessons per session) emailed to you one after the other — the self-study course runs for 27 consecutive days in total, starting the same day you sign up. Each session comprises two in-depth lessons, a narrated slideshow of 20-40 minutes (past students raved about these), a photography secret and an interview with a photographer I admire. Woven through the lessons are lots of suggestions for you to try and ideas for you to experiment with. Plus tons of visual inspiration, of course!
When I get back from the tour the plan is to start working on a brand new course to launch in the autumn (if you follow me on Facebook you already know what it’s going to be about :) so to do that I need to create some space. The communinty that forms in Unravelling and Blogging from the Heart is crucial to those courses, but I feel Photo Meditations is a really personal journey into your own photographic creativity, so I know it’s going to be perfect as a self-study course. Each day I take you deep into the processes of creating images that carry your heart, that express YOU through every element of the shot. It’s about photography but, really, it’s about so much more than that.
If you’re ready to infuse more soul into your photography and are hungry for a creative project this summer, Photo Meditations could be just the ticket — read all the deets over here.
ps. Lots of people have been asking me if I’m going to do an August Break this year, and the answer is a very definite YES! Last year’s was so much fun, plus I think we should have an Instagram twist too… Watch this space… x
pps. The Vancouver book event is now live!
Never in my wildest dreams did I think my first book would actually be books, plural. I look at my two piles of author’s copies currently living on my sideboard and wonder did i really make that happen? And did I get any sleep while doing it?! (Answer: not very much.)
I’ve got a few things planned for This I Know (which has its first reviews on Amazon!) but today I want to get a bit misty eyed about Instant Love, the love letter to Polaroid/instant photography I co-wrote with my friends Jen Altman and Amanda Gilligan. I don’t even remember when the three of us first connected, but connect we did, through admiring each other’s photos on Flickr and leaving the occasional blog comment. When Jen emailed asking if we’d consider collaborating on a book about Polaroids there was only one possible answer. We bashed out a proposal and a sample chapter and sent it over to Chronicle Books, where we had the very good fortune to work with Bridget Watson Payne, Art books editor and all-round delightful chica.
When we wrote the book the three of us had never actually met in person (Jen and Amanda had spent an afternoon in Vancouver, but that was it). In fact we had just one Skype call and about 50,000 emails; it wasn’t until we led our Polaroid retreat in Marrakesh back in February that we finally got to hug each other in person. So the book is truly a testament to collaboration, communication, hard work and three photographers whose styles work so beautifully together.
The book is now out in the world and last I heard it’s already gone to a second printing, which is amazing! I love the thought that so many of you out there are dusting off your old Polaroid cameras and giving this medium a whirl. It can be frustrating at times, and requires a lot of patience and practice, but it is SO WORTH IT.
Because the logistics of doing a book tour together made our brains ache, we made a trailer for our book baby instead. Filmed by the ridiculously talented Ryan Marshall, we hope it gives you a taster of what the book is all about (click here to view it BIG — and please do share it if you like it :) x