Introducing Photo Meditations!

Photo Meditataions, photography ecourse

When everything seems to be going wrong…
When hormones are beating me over the head…
When i need an injection of inspiration…
When I’m some place new…
When I’m with the people I love…

… I take photographs.

I first fell in love with photography at art college in 1992. I remember developing my first roll of film and looking breathlessly at the contact sheet as I realised I’d found the way to transcribe what I saw in my head onto paper. I studied photography for the next three years, practically living in the studio and darkroom, totally committed to my art. The second time I fell in love with photography was in Seattle in 2006. It was my first time in the States and I was still grieving the death of my love the year before. I’d brought a borrowed digital compact with me to record the week and taking shots of a new city not only brought me out of my grief for a while but also reignited my photographer’s heart.

And now here I am, more obsessed than ever, with a house filled with cameras and two books under my belt.

Photography is truly one of the great loves of my life, and when I say it is like meditation for me, I mean that quite literally. Taking photos calms me and connects me into the moment more than anything else. I never go anywhere without a camera or two and I know that I will be lying on my death bed with a camera in my hands, croaking ‘just one more shot!’ to the nurses. Seriously.

[Amusing sidenote: I have the honour of being included in Jenny Doh’s new book, Art Saves. When I received my copy last week it tickled me to discover a typo in my interview on page 29. It reads: “Photography is like a form of medication for me.” You know what? That’s not far off the mark either ;) ]

Photo Meditations: Infusing Your Images with Soul is the sort of course I would like to take myself. It’s going to be a delicious five weeks of the inspirational and the practical, including:

  • Weekly photo theory lessons
  • Weekly assignments
  • Photo slideshows to inspire you
  • In-depth posts detailing how I shoot
  • Group connecting in the private Flickr group
  • Interviews with soulful intuitive photographers
  • A comprehensive resources section
  • A beautiful PDF of the entire course for you to download and refer to again and again

Topics covered include:

  • Composition theory and application
  • Embracing the light
  • Portraits & self-portraits
  • Shooting for your blog
  • Story-telling with photos
  • My top tips for getting soulful shots
  • My photography manifesto
  • All my secrets :)

I’m going to share everything I know about photography in this class, so if you’re wanting to sink deeper into your photography and create images that carry more of your heart, please do join me in November! I should mention right now that I’m not a very technical kind of photographer — I’m going to be sharing some basics with you in the first week, but i am not concerned with histograms and what have you. What excites me, and what i hope to pass on to my students, is a passion for creating pictures that tell stories. That move the viewer. That convey what I feel. That hold layers of meaning. That delight the eye. That’s what we’ll be exploring in Photo Meditations.

Registration opens on Saturday October 15th and class starts Monday October 31st.

Click over to read more about the course and check out the FAQ.

* * * * *

* Some Unravellers have asked if it’s okay to take Photo Meditations and Unravelling at the same time — it’s okay, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s much better to do one class at a time to get the most out of your Unravelling journey. If the Photo Meditations course does well — meaning everyone enjoys it and gets lots out of it — then I will run another session in the new year, so if you’re Unravelling with me this autumn you’ll be able to sign up for that class.

* I’ve also been asked if Blogging From the Heart will still be available. It will! I’ve just had to put it to one side for now as I realised I am all written out after writing the book and needed a wee break. Once my inspiration cups have been refilled I’ll be diving back into that project :)

Get your om on

Thank you so much for all your lovely comments and emails after my last post. I really wasn’t expecting that and it’s helped to buoy my mood. Because, you see, I’ve been feeling a bit blue… hormones and a cancelled holiday will do that to you. What was getting me down the most was not being able to teach my class at the Teahouse Studios. It’s quite a big deal for me to teach in person because, despite appearances, i’m really quite shy. I have to gather all my introverted wiles and just launch myself into teaching. So I’d been building myself up to the challenge, and was really looking foward to stretching my teacherly wings.

And then two days ago i had a why-didn’t-i-think-of-that-before moment.

While putting the class together I’d found there was a lot of material i had to leave out — there was no way I could cover everything i wanted in a one-day workshop, so i distilled the juiciest bits down into a few exercises we would do together on the day. Meanwhile, I have been working on my Blogging From the Heart guidebook, and while the writing section has flowed like a dream, the photography part has proven more tricky. Because there’s so much I want to share, and much of it needs to be experiential — assignments and lessons, rather than chapters you read.

And that’s when it hit me — I’ve been trying to fit the teaching into the format *I* decide, but actually, it’s got its own thoughts about that. It’s not a workshop or a chapter, it’s a freakin’ course!

I’ve always been a bit reluctant to teach a photography class as there are a bajillion photography classes and ecourses out there, so really, do we need another one? But you guys, I am so excited about Photo Meditations! Now I’ve given mysef permission to make it bigger, my head is spinning with ideas. The last time I was this inspired I was creating Unravelling back in 2008 :)

So before I share more, i wanted to see if anyone would be interested in doing a (probably 5-week) photography course with me in November? It’s called Photo Meditations: Infusing Your Images With Soul.


Right this moment

ps. what are you doing on September 18th? Would you like to spend the day with me in Berkeley, CA? I’m heading back to the Bay Area and will be teaching a one-day workshop at the lovely Teahouse Studios! The workshop is called Photo Meditations: Infusing Your Images with Depth & Soul:

In this peaceful and nurturing one-day workshop we’ll explore how we can infuse greater depth and soul into our photographs by using our camera as a meditative tool. To do this we’ll practice the art of paying attention, starting with a series of exercises in the studio before we head out on a photo safari after lunch. Photography has a wonderful way of bringing our focus back into the present moment and we’ll be exploring this as we literally focus our lenses on the world around us.

pps. A little birdie tells me that Ms Hula herself, Andrea Jenkins, will be teaching a Polaroid workshop the day before, so if you sign up for both it’ll be a photography weekend bonanza — keep an eye on the Teahouse website for more details… x


New film, new possibilities

This week I took some time out to test the latest colour film from the Impossible Project, and as you can see, it’s not too shabby! Their PX680 film is designed for 600 and 680 cameras, but I tested it in my SX-70 and it responded very much like the original Polaroid 600 film. The guys at TIP say the white speckles will be gone in the final version of the film, although i personally find them rather charming. The colours are SO MUCH better than the previous films they’ve produced. The team have made such incredible progress in just a year, it makes me excited to see where they’ll be in 2012 when our Polaroid book comes out — can you imagine it? You’ll be able to buy the book AND invest in a couple of packs of really fantastic TIP film to practice with! Jen, Amanda and I have been toying with the idea of leading a Polaroid retreat next year — would anyone be interested in joining us for that? We’d hold it somewhere lovely (thinking USA or Morocco) and we’d share how we take our shots and practice the art of Polaroid photography — it’ll be like the book coming to life before your very eyes. ;)