The truth is, you don’t create a photo with your camera, you create it with your eyes.
Our modern world is a visual world. We carry cameraphones everywhere we go, recording our lunches and our pets and our kids and our selves. But there’s quite a gap between a quick snapshot and making a photograph that reflects what we see and how we feel.
Your eyes, your heart and your state of mind all influence what you see through the lens.
I’m going to teach you how to capture what you feel and intentionally infuse it into every photo you take. We’ll unravel what makes a photograph work visually and explore the different ways we can layer more meaning through our images. We’ll study composition, light and shadow, colour theory and some of the more useful photographic rules (so we know when to break them). We’ll begin to develop our own photographic style, play with symbolism, dip our toes into portraiture and street photography, and find ways to take selfies that feel aligned with who we really are.
Photography is so much more than lenses and f-stops.
It’s about communicating ideas, evoking memories and creating pictures that make the viewer FEEL something. While we’ll be briefly looking at post-processing — and I’ll explain f-stops and depth of field in layman’s terms! — please note that this isn’t a technical photography class. The key to making images with soul is learning how to translate what you see and feel into a photograph. Your camera doesn’t do that, YOU do that. So I’ll be encouraging you to use your smartphone camera lots in this class to help you focus less on the distracting technical stuff and more on what and HOW you see the world.
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. We’ll explore line, shape and form and investigate the Rules of Thirds and Odds, negative and positive space, and why it’s necessary to break the rules once in a while!
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 explore colour, texture and pattern, and spend a whole lesson diving into the wonders of light — how to use it, capture it and be mindful of it when shooting. We’ll also look at how we can start to expand our visual vocabulary.
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 start nurturing the genesis of our own unique style. We’ll explore how to use details and symbolism in our images, and how to play with perspective, focus and scale.
WEEK 4 — THE SOUL: GOING WITHIN
In the fourth week we turn our cameras on ourselves, experimenting with self-portraiture as a way to create metaphors for how we feel. We’ll explore the healing benefits of putting ourselves in front of the camera, adding real emotion to our shots and taking back control of our own image. We’ll also explore how to take meaningful portraits of other people.
WEEK 5 — THE TALE: TELLING STORIES
In week five we’ll bring together everything we’ve learned so far as we explore the art of photographic story-telling. We’ll practice the four Ws and explore crazy-useful stuff like shot check-lists and how to put images together when editing. We’ll learn how to create beautiful still lives and “flat lays” and explore how to up our Instagram game!
WEEK 6 — THE ART: CLAIMING OUR VOICE
After the last week you’ll never have to ask yourself “What should I photograph?” again. We’ll dive into the creation of your own photographic projects and explore the creative potential of black & white photography and abstraction. We’ll also take a peek at contemplative photography and the different ways we can use our camera to free up our creativity.