Soulful Photography: Observing Nature

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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.

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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... IMG_4486

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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

* If you use a particular app I would suggest Instagram, Pixlr, Pixlromatic and LiveDOF.

* 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.

Jane xo