Today I delivered a Mindful Photography Workshop to participants of Swansea Carers. We were fortunate that the morning was bright and dry, which allowed everyone to get out and about the SA1 area of Swansea – a great venue for a photography workshop.
My main intention of the session was to slow people down and root them in the visual opportunities available. Mindful Photography uses the visual feast before us as our anchor: just as meditation uses the breath. After an introduction to the idea and a little meditation I set the group their first task – ‘Shooting from the Hip’.
If you would like a Mindful Photography Workshop for your organisation or workplace then take a look at what I offer here
Shooting from the Hip
Before we started this activity I introduced the idea of the 4 Stage Seeing Practice, this simple practice describes how we can use what we see as our anchor, the thing we return to whenever we notice thoughts and feelings rising in our mind. The activity encourages us to slow down and to imagine what it is that our camera receives. We cover up or turn off our viewing screen and take a set number of photos in a defined time. These limitations are chosen to support a connection to the moment through the visual stimulation available.
Each photographer chose a small area to practice the activity and they had to create each photograph holding the camera at their hip. This meant they had to imagine the view that the camera could see and then press the shutter. Of course, they also could not see how many photographs they had created, so they had to keep count.
After the time was up each of us chose one photograph to share and discuss, and here they are
I am Great / Right Now
The second activity imposed different limitations. This time we all had only two photographs to create, but there was a catch. We were not allowed to look at the photograph created, nor were we allowed to delete. This turns our camera back into a film camera and encourages us to slow down and pay attention to the process of creating a photo.
Everyone was also given two themes; one for each photo. They were ‘I am Great’ and ‘Right Now’ and a time limit for the whole activity was agreed. I have separated the photos below into the two topics.
I am Great