Mindful Photography Courses

Courses

I offer bespoke courses that develop mindfulness through photography. Each course is designed to suit the needs of your staff, volunteer or participant group. The courses can be of any length, but all combine mindfulness, photography and self exploration. Take a look at a the standard 8 week course below.

Cost will be dependent upon delivery time and any associated costs (travel, accommodation)

Please contact me to arrange a time to discuss your requirements

Mindfulness is now recognised as practice that is supportive to all aspects of our lives and something that can enable us to respond positively to stress, rather than react habitually. It is for this reason that many corporations, public sector organisations, third sector providers and businesses provide mindfulness sessions. With this is mind I have developed a Mindful Photography courses that are suitable for employed staff, volunteers and an organisation’s participants.

What is Mindful Photography?

Mindful Photography is the development of mindfulness through photography. The sessions can make use of mobile phone cameras or staff can bring in their own cameras. Either way the experiences and activities will encourage an attention to the moment whilst also exploring skills that are relevant to work. These skills include: team work, self-confidence, responding positively to stress, communication, creative thinking and negotiation.

Mindfulness encourages us to pay attention to the moment. It is centred upon the idea that there are Four Foundations of Mindfulness that we can be aware of. These are

Our sensations: what we see, hear, touch, taste and smell
Our thoughts
Our feelings
The one thing that we are engaged with
If we can be aware of these foundations, pay attention to our experience, then we can be wholly immersed in the moment and our lives.

I use mindfulness practices developed from the MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) to develop and share photography activities. These practices all relate back to the Four Foundations of Mindfulness and each is designed to encourage an attention to our daily experience.

In a work environment this paying attention leads to many benefits for the individual, which also spill over into the rest of their lives. The benefits to the individual staff member then accrue for the organisation, as staff become more centred, less stressed and more supportive of one another. Using photography as the vehicle for mindfulness allows something familiar to be used as our way in to the practice and we also learn how to create more interesting personal photographs.

Mindful Photography Course

The course is best delivered over 8 weeks of 3 hour sessions, though the total hours (24) can be split up in other ways to suit the needs of the business. An outline of the sessions follows and I would be delighted to meet and discuss how it could meet your needs, and to expand upon my philosophy and the course detail. Each week includes Photography activities and practices that develop a mindful attitude and specific personal skills relevant to a harmonious life and work environment.

Week 1: Introduction to Mindfulness and Mindful Photography – Why Mindfulness? How can mindfulness support your life? Introductory Practices. Using photography to develop mindfulness. Photography practices and activities, including ‘Shooting from the Hip’

Week 2: Mindful Seeing – Using what we see as our anchor for mindfulness practice. Using the 4 Stage Seeing Practice. How we see vs How a camera sees. Photography practices and activities, including ‘Giving the mundane its beautiful due’

Week 3: Mindful Thinking – An exploration of how we can remain present with the one thing that we are doing when our mind is shooting about reliving the past and imagining our future. The application of this to photographic thinking. Photography practices and activities, including the ‘Camera Scan practice’

Week 4: Mindful Photomarathon  A pair challenge designed to practice and apply the mindful photography skills learnt to date and develop teamwork, negotiation, creative thinking and responding to stress rather than reacting. Photography practices and activities, including ‘Photo Scan practice’

Week 5: Mindful Reflection  A review of the Photomarathon experience. Mindful practices that support us in work. Photography practices and activities, including ‘A 50 foot space’

Week 6: Mindful Feeling – An exploration of our emotional world and how photography can be used to illustrate and understand this experience. Recognising our stress indicators. Developing positive responses to stress. Understanding our habitual reactions. Photography practices and activities, including ‘Equivalents’

Week 7: Mindful Emotions – Developing an understanding of our emotional world and how we can represent this through our photos: photography techniques vs an emotional response. Photography practices and activities, including ‘Right now’ and ‘It’s been emotional!’

Week 8: Mindful Living – Understanding our personal fears. Mindfulness practices that can support our acceptance of those fears. Exploring fear through photography. Review of the course and a celebration of our favourite photos. Photography practices and activities, including ‘I love Selfies’

The course will also produce many personal photographs from those taking part. All of the favourite photographs will be collated and shared with you, providing an opportunity to use some of the photos to illustrate the skills and experiences of your teams.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of this course or other similar ideas you have please contact me

Photomarathon

A Photomarathon is an intense, mindful, creative photography activity that is part of the full course, but can also be provided as a stand alone training day. It is an immersive, team building exercise and can be used to develop individual and team skills whilst exploring the local town/city or chosen environment.

A Photomarathon is a time bound activity that is best completed in pairs. At set times throughout the day topic titles are provided. Participant pairs have to create one photo for each topic, in the same order as the topics.

There is time limit for the whole activity: eg 8 topics 8 Photos 8 Hours. At the end of the day all the photos are collected and submitted for judging. A celebratory follow up session is provided within four weeks when awards and prizes are presented and all the photos are displayed.

This activity develops work skills that include: innovative thinking, time management, teamwork, creativity, communication, responding positively to stress and honing that competitive edge! It is also great fun. Each pair uses a digital camera or their mobile phone and we are on hand to support the process. The Photomarathon Day Workshop price includes all preparation and delivery of the experience, collation and judging of the photos, and a presentation event that includes a display of all the topic photos created, with topic and overall prizes.

The photos above and below were all created on a recent Photomarathon (using a disposable film camera) to illustrate the topics – Cacophony (above), Bicycle and Beauty in the Mundane.

Workshops

I deliver workshops that explore how mindfulness can be applied to and developed through photography. Current planned public workshops can be seen here. These are often based in South Wales, but I am willing and able to travel. I have delivered workshops in London and Bangor (North Wales) in the last couple of years and I am looking for new opportunities.

My workshops are suitable for people with an interest in mindfulness who have access to a digital camera. They can be delivered at a level suitable for all, at a specific level, or tailored to fit the photographic development needs of your group.

Mindful Photography workshops are also suitable for groups with specific needs and I have run successful photography workshops with people from Mental Health Services, Learning Disability Services and Traumatic Brain Injury Services.

Mindful Photography Workshop Themes

  • Introduction to Mindful Photography
  • Improving your Seeing
  • Technical and Compositional Photography Development
  • Exploring your feelings through Photography
  • Self exploration of your personal world through Photography

All workshops can be delivered at your venue, or I can organise this. Length of delivery time and the number of sessions is negotiable; half and full days are popular.