This new series is all about using photography as a tool for self-awareness, self-discovery and embracing our lives. I've used photography in this way for a number of years and I'm very passionate about it and want to share some of my own practice, tips and musings...
I love to take 'purposeful' photos of my family and loved ones (you'll know if you've taken my ecourses Embrace and Delight) but I also come back time and time again to nature (and other subject matter that I'll discuss in the future).
Most mornings I take our little dog Mia out for her walk after having dropped our boys at school and enjoy a few favourite walks. I'm usually on my own and I delight in this time as my way of connecting to not only the land but God as well.
Part of the great enjoyment for me is the noticing of the seasons passing and another beginning. All the subtleties that take place blow my mind with wonder. I mean, all this happens (for the most part) without us having to do much of anything - how amazing! (Thank you Lord).
Often the photos I take are not for the 'glory' shot (interesting post here by Richard Wong on self-discovery and photography) but rather for the sheer simple pleasure of both observing and capturing the subject. But it even goes deeper than that...
I love to use photography as a way to dig deep at what's 'under the surface' (or screaming out at me!) in my life. Most often what I choose to take photos of, have a definite relevance to my life ie. where I'm going, how I'm feeling or not facing.
For instance, with these photos, I was really drawn to taking a closer look and marveling at the unfurling of life that takes place in Spring.
The photo below shows a tree bud that has totally opened up and there it is in all it's unabashed beauty. So, I turn to my life and I wonder: How could I feel if I didn't hold back? What would that look like for me and you? What am I afraid of?
Suggestions on how YOU can make this a practice
* Well, of course you need a camera. I mainly use my iPhone (for ease and convenience) but just use what you have.
* Follow your instincts. Don't think about capturing a fantastic 'selling' photo - go with what moves you but try not to over-analyse it.
* Be curious. Look at your subject from different angles, light, times of day etc.
* Don't think too much - snap away. You can always delete what doesn't resonate with you later.
* Shake things up occasionally. Try printing off a couple and perhaps writing a poem. Sketch out what you've snapped or create an art journal page around your chosen image
* Write in your journal what the image represents to you without censoring.
* Keep it simple. Don't get bogged down with the details.
Lastly, two thoughts - if you would like to feel supported, learn, feel inspired and connect with like-minded women, I'd be delighted if you joined my free Creativity Circle and my new Facebook Group.
Take care and by all means leave a comment if you have any thoughts or tips on the subject of photography for self-discovery.