Photo Meditations: the self-study course!

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!

Blogging from the heart

An email arrived in my inbox this morning that made my heart burst open. As I’m opening registration for the summer session of Blogging from the Heart this Saturday I thought some of you might like to know more about the course and what to expect, so here’s what Gina had to say about the spring session (reproduced, unedited, with her permission :)

Hello Susannah

Thank you for my experience of Blogging from the Heart. There are a lot of reasons I didn’t start, and then, didn’t continue, blogging ages and ages ago. Through the course, I’ve started accepting that it’s completely fine that I’m not a magic foodie blogger or fashion blogger or make-stuff-out-of-wire blogger. I’m just me, and my online space should be a celebration of exactly that. Besides, sometimes I love clothes AND food, so, you know, WHATEVER!

Looking back through the lessons, some of which shrieked at me immediately and some of which I put aside for later, I’m struck by how neatly you mentioned so many different aspects of blogging – the spirit, the techniques, the content. There’s more than enough in there to get started and going, whether one is a newbie or just a scaredie :)

But two things in particular really stood out. The first was your gentle presence through the course. You came across as a facilitator and big sister and friend rather than as Master Guru And Expert. You’re so far from being intimidating or condescending or hand-holding and I’m sure it is this that draws people to your courses and what encourages us to share and learn and make our own discoveries. Somehow, you strike a great balance between being there, and letting the class hold each other without too much interference.

The second, and I know others have already commented on this, is the community you helped create among the class members. Let’s not kid, no matter how much we may tell ourselves that we’re blogging just for us and don’t need or want another soul to read our words, often we actually do. It’s lonely, very lonely, starting out. And so being part of a group of strangers who willingly take the time to visit our little spaces, and read our words and leave thoughtful comments, is so valuable. It’s warming and encouraging and humbling.

If all that was long and rambling, here’s the essence – I loved it, can’t think of any constructive changes, do it again. And again. On that last point, I’m a little jealous I won’t be able to see all the great blogs your new class members have!

Gina x

Proud writer at

The gift of community

The internet is so bloody brilliant. I know there’s a lot of crap floating around out there on the interwebs — a LOT of crap — but there is also so much GOOD. I’m so grateful to be alive now, in this era. I’m sure in 50 years there’ll be stuff happening that will blow my mind, and I’ll be an 89-year-old auntie marvelling at what my great-niece or -nephew can do with… god, with what? The power of their eyeballs? The power of their thoughts? Can you imagine?!

I’m feeling the love today because we’re nearly at the end of week two in my newest course, and so far it’s been amazing. And it’s not just the content of the course (which I’m very proud of) or the blog posts that are being born — it’s also the way the participants rally round each other in support and shared learning. We’re using a private Facebook group to connect but I see this happening in the Flickr groups we use in my other courses too. When I started blogging I connected with people slowly, leaving comments here and there and participating in a few group projects (Sunday Scribblings is still going!) but I’d have loved to participate in online classes if they’d been around back then. It’s like finding an instant community of like-minded folk. It’s like finding your tribe. Which is why I love doing this work — you teach what you need to learn, and in turn find what you were seeking.

I don’t often talk about the courses here, just because it would get boring if I was constantly banging on about them, but today I just wanted to let you know that if you were looking for community, and had your eye on any of my virtual babies, registration for Unravelling and Photo Meditations opens on Saturday. After this run I won’t be offering the courses again till the autumn as I need to keep the summer free for the book tour* (<—– still tickles me to write that) so come join us for some springtime connection and community! xo

* re the tour, lovely Lucinda mentioned on Facebook yesterday that my book signings could also be like informal Unravelling meet-ups, which is exactly how I’d like them to be. And obviously you don’t have to have taken the class to come along — just think of it as an opportunity to meet like-minded folk. With a few books lying around. And possibly cupcakes. As soon as I have the dates I’ll share them here — the tour will be completely self-funded so I can’t go to too many places, but it’s looking like the cities will be:

Portland, OR
LA or Santa Barbara (maybe both)
San Francisco

I really hope to see you there!

The sea, the sea (& a giveaway)

In my head I keep saying next year. Next year I’m doing this, next year I’m doing that. But it’s THIS year. This is the year of travel and connection (and book tours and dating). Three days in and I’m moving slowly, making juices and trying to get early nights (only to toss and turn and have bad dreams — must be clearing stuff outta my head.) This morning my new (old and bought for a song) bookshelves were delivered, so I’ve been clearing out books and rearranging what’s left. I’m starting to feel the urge to spring clean, aren’t you? Time to take the decorations down and make space for all the new that’s coming. Yes.

One slice of new this year will be my trip to North Carolina in October. I’m teaching a live one-day version of Photo meditations at Squam by the Sea and I’m so looking forward to being by the ocean, nestled into the community that Elizabeth brings together. Have you met Elizabeth? She’s one of those truly soulful women who shines so brightly you can’t help but be drawn to her. This is the fifth year she’s run her brilliant Squam Art Workshops and I’m so proud to be a small part of the fun. Teaching in New Hampshire in 2010 was a wonderful experience and I have no doubt NC will be just as good — do join us if you can!

To celebrate the launch of the new SAW site Elizabeth has very generously offered a sweet lil giveaway to you guys. The site has a new shop page where they’ll be offering one exclusive item for sale each month — for January it’s these adorable porcelain cups from Gleena. Up for grabs is a “m is for magic” cup — so cute, right? :) If you’d like to win this cup simply leave a comment on this post telling me one magical thing about YOU. In case you need some inspiration, I’ll start…

One magical thing about me is this: I always manage to make people laugh, usually by saying something silly… or naughty :)

What about you? I’ll draw the winner’s name on Friday xo