I have been writing a book on Mindful Photography for 5 years. I have had a version of it for that long and it has been through many, many edits. Finally, this month the first one of two (yes two!) eBooks will be published.
Why has it taken me this long? Probably the heart of it has been all about confidence about the topic and my writing. I just happened to choose a topic that, when I started, did not even much exist. Even now there are very few books on this subject, I know I Google it regularly! I was also exploring how far I could take the idea of developing mindfulness through photography, going beyond the idea of contemplative photography and looking at how photography could support our ability to live mindfully in all circumstances.
It was only in the last two years that some of this fell into place. I had already written plenty about applying mindfulness to the process of creating great photos: looking at clear seeing, developing technical and compositional skills and using abstract photography to communicate feelings and ideas – going beyond the existing books and ideas that are out there. It was only when I delivered Mindful Photography courses to Brain Injury survivors that I developed how it could support people living with difficulty.
I had already touched on this in early drafts of the book. But after working with people whose lives have been significantly changed, I realised that how I use photography to communicate my life adjustments to great change and loss could be useful for anyone in that position. And so I created an application of photography that allowed people to begin processing significant life change or loss through their photography.
Book 1 – Mindful Photography: How to use photography to develop mindfulness
The first of my two eBooks will be available very soon. Hopefully, this month. I am just tidying up the final conversion to eBook formats and then I will begin my wrestle with Amazon and other eBook purveyors. The book will share all that I know about applying mindfulness to the process of creating fabulous photographs.
This book takes you through the development of photographic skills that will enable you to understand how to create a great photo that says something about you, about your life, about how you feel and what is important to you. I call these the Foundation Skills and they include: An Introduction to Mindfulness and Meditation, an Introduction to Mindful Photography, Clear Seeing, Seeing Skills, Composition, Elements of Visual Design, Visual Metaphors and Symbols and Abstract Photography. Each of these is developed as a skill through experiential learning: this means that in addition to reading about it you will also practice the skill, through what I call a Mindful Photography Practice – a practical task or assignment.
To summarise, every Foundation Skill area includes a definition, examples, explanations, a personal interpretation and a Mindful Photography Practice that encourages understanding and skills development. Each practice is like an assignment, but they benefit from being done repeatedly, in fact I recommend that you do exactly that. Each time you follow one of the Mindful Photography Practices you hone the photographic skill that it is focused on and you develop mindfulness. It is a win win! Just to get you in the swing I will be sharing an example of a Mindful Photography Practice from the book tomorrow, so do drop back to collect it.
The second book in the series will be available in early Autumn 2019. Mindful Photography 2: How to use photography to explore your life – is where you can explore who you are and how you are living through photography. This calls upon the use and application of your developing Foundation Skills and supports this with an investigation into what happens when we desire to live authentically and experience ongoing difficulty, great loss or major life change; developing the understanding and skills to become more resilient, positive and accepting of how you are right now. More about that in future posts.
Right now you can download my free eBook that will give you a flavour of my writing and a couple of Mindful Photography Practices. More soon.