For as long as I can remember, photography has been like meditation for me.
After losing my partner in 2005 I found my way back to my self with a camera in my hands and a notebook by my side. For me a camera is a meditative tool, an extension of my own eyes that provides a way to observe and record my world and the moments I want to cherish. In this five-week e-course I’ll share everything I know about creating images that carry an imprint of your heart. And that doesn’t mean you need an expensive fancy camera to do that — I shoot with Polaroid cameras, big digital cameras, compacts and my iphone, but what they all have in common is my eye and my way of seeing.
I’m going to teach you how to see the world through your eyes and your heart, and how to translate that into a photograph.
‘Watching the slideshow, with your narration, just touched me so deeply. To be unearthing the how of seeing for its emotional impact, to hear another artist deciphering the beauty in images that move them, is a generous slice of heaven that you are sharing with your photo girls. From my perspective, the simplicity of your voice beneath the pictures is as magical as radio – it feels so personal, and yet like community. I can already tell that i will be reaping rich rewards from this experience for a very long time to come.’
‘I am really enjoying the course! Your course and guidance has been wonderful. I have always been happy with my photos, but this has broadened my vocabulary and shown me new ways to consider what I shoot and how. I love that your course has been a combination of emotion and technical. Cheers to you!’ ~ Sue
Week by week
Week 1. The Bones: Cultivating awareness
In the first week we look at the bones of a photograph, the compositional elements that form the foundation of an image, and explore how to cultivate more awareness as we use our cameras to filter the world around us.
Week 2. The Flesh: Lightness of being
In the second week we examine the flesh of a photograph, the layers of information that give an image more depth and resonance. We’ll also begin looking at ways to weave more of ourselves into our images.
Week 3. The Heart: Shooting from the heart
In the third week we figure out how we can layer more emotion through our shots, diving into different ways to capture our loved ones and record the memories as they happen.
Week 4. The Soul: Going within
In the fourth week we turn our cameras on ourselves, experimenting with self-portraiture as a way to translate our inner world and create metaphors for how we feel.
Week 5. The Tale: Telling stories
In the last week we bring together everything we’ve learned over the previous four weeks as we explore the art of photographic story-telling.
Please note that while I will be briefly touching on post-processing your shots this isn’t a technical photography class. I prefer to use my intuition when taking photographs so this is what I will be teaching too – it’s important to know the basics, and we’ll be looking at the important ones like composition and light, but this course will be a mix of inspiration, tips and essential know-how.
I won’t be teaching you how to use your camera ‒ I will be teaching you how to use your eyes!
What sort of camera should I use?
Any camera! Your favourite camera! DSLRs, point ‘n’ shoots, iPhones, Polaroids, Instax. All cameras are perfect for this class.
I don’t have much technical knowledge – can I still take this class?
Yes! As long as you can switch on your camera (or load it with film :) and click the shutter button, you’re good to go!
Can we share our photos with other people taking the course?
Absolutely! We'll be sharing our photos with each other in the private Flickr group.
Flickr.com is an online photo-sharing website that’s free to join. With an account you can upload photos to your own galleries, share photos with other users or keep your photos private if you prefer. I'll give you instructions on how to open an account when the course starts.
The course fees are in British pounds – do you accept payment in dollars/euros?
Yes! Payment is made via Paypal, which automatically converts currency for you. To check the current exchange rate, visit this useful online currency converter. If you don't have a Paypal account use can still pay using a credt card (Paypal will provide instructions when you check out).
What will I get out of the course?
It's my hope that Photo Meditations will truly open your eyes. Photography is so much more than cameras and f-stops. It's a beautiful way to connect with the world around you, to express emotion and, of course, to record memories. In the course I'll share my tips and tricks for adding more of YOU into your shots. By the end of the class you'll have a better idea of how to make images that mean something to you -- and don't be surprised if you start taking your camera with you every time you leave the house!
Do I have to be in class at certain times?
No, there are no set times when you have to be in class. The lessons are posted to the private course blog and emailed to you on set days, but this is a self-paced course, so you can fit it in whenever is best for you. Expect to spend about an hour or two on the course each week.
What do I need?
Access to a computer + the internet. A camera. A notebook and pen.
You were running Photo Meditations as a 'self-study' course before --- what's the difference between the self-study and the live version?
The content of the self-study course and the live course are exactly the same, but the difference is in the live version we have a private Flickr group where everyone can share their photos and chat on the discussion board. In the self-study version you do the work on your own -- there's no group element at all. Sharing your photos and getting to know your fellow classmates definitely adds something special to the course, which is why I wanted to run a live version for summer!