The Everyday Genius of Your Artist’s Voice: Part 4, Cameras & Gear

Today’s episode of “The Everyday Genius of Your Artistic Voice” gets into the shark infested waters of cameras and gear. But with a light touch! It’s really ALL about getting priorities straight: voice and vision first, the gear to best do the job second. Always.

Continue reading “The Everyday Genius of Your Artist’s Voice: Part 4, Cameras & Gear”

The Everyday Genius of Your Artistic Voice: Q&A

The Everyday Genius of Your Artistic Voice: Q&A

Every week in our fun 8-part series, I throw out the invitation to ask questions, make comments and share thoughts. THANK YOU one and all for doing so! As part of the awesome shares, a question was raised I thought warranted its own post. Thanks to Elizabeth for posing it!  Continue reading “The Everyday Genius of Your Artistic Voice: Q&A”

My New York (inner) Journey

I just got back from New York. What a trip. It was as much about the inner journey as it was the outer one.

Let me start by saying 2016 was a packed year. Full of surprises, breakthroughs, a few frustrations, lots of growth and new experiences. And now… lots to think about, feel into and make decisions about.

And I’ll admit it, I took a blog break. Just a little one. Even I need to step awayyyyy and take a breath now and again. Y’know, get a new perspective. So I did.

The Value of A Personal Trip (for art’s sake)

New York was a personal trip. I made it with my friend Valerie Jardin. We thought it would be fun to just take a trip and not have an agenda (which turned out to be challenging for both of us!)… and just see what came our way.

Now, I love NYC, but personally I find it challenging. It’s alot; alot of energy, alot of distractions, alot of input on so many levels. Artistically and photographically, I find it harder to find my balance, focus and voice there than almost anywhere in the world. And that’s always bugged me.

So this time, I decided to “embrace the horror” (as a friend of mine refers to his approach to almost any challenging situation).. and let myself be uncomfortable. Dwell in possibility, not expectation. Allow things to happen in a new way. Ask to be shown the way. NOT KNOW. It all sounds so noble on paper… but it’s incredibly uncomfortable when you’re in the middle of a process like that. Days when you delete everything on your camera. Times when you feel like you suck at this and should just take up knitting. Moments of doubt and agitation on a level that have you questioning everything including your sanity.

Not that I speak from personal experience or anything.

Embracing The Horror Leads to New Perspective

So. New York.
Like I say, it was challenging for me. But I chose to embrace the horror, take no shortcuts – and was rewarded with a renewed (refreshed and deepened) perspective… which honestly, I can’t entirely put into words yet. It’s still unpacking into my being. I do see it in my photographs though. From subject matter to post-processing, I wiped the slate clean and did my best to follow the quieter voice on the inside. The one that never fails me. Tried new lenses, new approaches.

As an artist it’s how we expand and deepen our art.
As a human, it’s how we create a life we truly love.

It’s also how we survive in times that push us to our limits. We have to walk past the outer clamor and chaos, past the inner mind chatter and continue on till we find our stillpoint. Easier said that done. And even when you think you know how to do that… you have to then be willing to take it further than you ever dreamed possible.

So… this was my journey. Make of it what you will.

Comments, questions – as always, welcomed.

 

 




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The Artist’s Voice: An Accounting of Miracles

I have an announcement to make and a story to tell, complete with an accounting of personal miracles. (I loves me some good miracles, no matter how big or small.)

First the announcement: “The Artist’s Voice” photography retreat I’ve had scheduled for this October at La Pitchoune is now happening in a new format and a brand NEW location. We’ve moved down to the beautiful town of Cannes, right on the Mediterranean. There are 3 spaces left!

Click the image to learn more… then come back for the rest of the story. Or just read on…

blog badge cannes retreat Continue reading “The Artist’s Voice: An Accounting of Miracles”

My New eBook!

My new eBook

Happy March 1!
My big news this week: a brand new eBook!  It’s called “10 Steps To Finding Your Voice.” You can get it here.

Here’s a screen shot of the cover and a couple of pages:

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 1.51.27 AM Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 12.00.27 PM Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 1.28.29 PM

Finding Your Voice

I’m super excited about it! There really is no feeling quite delivering 1. a gorgeous custom print to a client… or 2. seeing your book in its finished form. Seriously. Delicious.

The book is based upon the 10-day series I did here on the blog recently. You may have seen it. But we added some extras and put it in a format you can easily gaze upon anytime, anywhere on any device… plus we added some extras goodies! And it’s just so purty in this form. 😀

This is the beginning of… what? I ask myself that. I ask because it feels like the tip of the iceberg. For me, finding your voice (which is SUCH an over-used term… I want a snappier way of saying it) is deep. It’s the beginning. It’s your North Star. It’s the place you always return to. It’s the light that guides you.

Taken that way.. it applies EVERYWHERE! The genius thing about it. If you can figure out where real voice lives inside of you… you’ll always be able to find you way, come up with your best expression, find your TRUTH in everything you do, say, create. It’s kind of a superpower that way. And it can free your soul.

It’s time for some souls to be set free, wouldn’t you say?

The Price:

$5.25. Wanna know why?

In numbers, 5 equates to Grace… 25 is Grace intensified.
If there was ever a topic that calls upon both of those… it’s finding your true voice, which is a glorious experience. After all these years of experiencing – and watching  – what happens when someones’ true voice shines through, I can honestly say it gives me goosebumps everytime. And it just feels like Grace. So that’s what I wanted the number to be. Affordable. Graceful.

Thank you

To Tanya Wallis for putting this puppy together! She of mighty art and design chops pulled it all together in record time. We used Canva.com, for those who are curious. It made the whole experience a piece of cake.

IMHO, finding your voice is ALSO about discovering the tools and technologies that help you get your creations out there in the most graceful way… and with ease. Now that we’ve discovered how simple it is to do eBooks in Canva… watch out! The roadblocks are gone… more are on their way!

GET THE EBOOK HERE.. or click “store” in the navigation at the top of this page!

And for the FULL experience… 

On May 5-8, I’ll be holding The Artist’s Voice” Photo Retreat at Julia Child’s former home in Provence, France. What better place to sink into “Life as Art” than in the place that treasures life and art above all?

The eBook is the start of this conversation… the retreat is the full monty!  FIND OUT MORE BY CLICKING HERE. 

Mak and Me

Makenna Johnston and I were on a special episode of MGAPXL with Ollie Dale of the The Arcanum last week. It was just us… talking about finding your photographic voice, what happens when you buy Julia Child’s house in Provence and answered a TON of great questions that everyone in the chat had for us… it was a so much fun!

Big thanks to Ollie for having us on board! Here ’tis… hope you enjoy!

Finding Your Voice: Day 10. Story.

We made it! This is Part 10 of: “Finding Your Voice… 10 Days, 10 Concepts To Help You Find Your Photographic Voice.”  Our final day! Wow, what a journey it’s been… and I feel like it’s only just begun. There’s SO much more to talk about! As a final wrap up to this round, I leave you with some thoughts on voice… story… and you.

IMAGES TELL THE STORY OF YOU

At the end of the day… or 10, 20, 30 or 70 years from now… your images will tell your story. What do you want them to say? Do you want to look at each one with fond remembrance and say “Ahhhh, I loved that day”, warmed by the care you took to include your favorite things into each one in your clearest voice? Or be sad and think” Dammit! Why didn’t I take a moment before I pressed the shutter?” (worse yet: “What was I THINKING??”).

As humans, we’re hardwired for stories. Thousands of years of  cave paintings prove that, if nothing else does. Each of us is living our own story, guided by our preferences, our loves, our aversions, our faith, so many things. Every moment is its own story, woven into the giant story-tapestry of time that contain all the moments that came before – and all that come after.

Santa Cruz, CA
Schooner of Aha Continue reading “Finding Your Voice: Day 10. Story.”

Finding Your Voice: Day 9. The View.

Can you believe we’re almost done? Today is Day 9 in: “Finding Your Voice… 10 Days, 10 Concepts To Help You Find Your Photographic Voice.”  And now…

The View: Wide or Macro?

Today’s exploration asks how you love to see the world. The wide view? Close up, contained and focused? Or somewhere in between?

If you’re like me, you love it all! I wanted to admit that right off the bat, in case you thought I was gonna say “Choose amongst them!”  No… if you love all view, go for it!

Where you DO have to choose is in your composition. You have to, in a sense, justify what goes in the frame of whatever view you’ve chosen. For this series, that means make strong choices about that based upon what you love. The story you want to tell. The message, point of view or perspective you want to share… which has to all come back to what you love most.

The Life Cycle of a Wheel Continue reading “Finding Your Voice: Day 9. The View.”

Finding Your Voice: Day 8. Shapes & Patterns.

Oh boy! It’s Day 8 in: “Finding Your Voice… 10 Days, 10 Concepts To Help You Find Your Photographic Voice.” 

Today, we’re going to wrap ourselves around…

Shapes and Patterns

A world without shapes or patterns is pretty much a blob. Ditto bones. 😉

Shapes and patterns are definitely important elements to watch for – and potentially build compositions around. But when it comes to your artist’s voice, you have to take it deeper. What shapes and patterns do you just go nuts over? Any and all? Organic ones? Geometric ones? Shapes and patterns in nature? Architecture? All of the above?

After you work that out – then the even bigger question to ask is why? How do those particular patterns make you feel? What kind of story/statement does that shape make? These answers are important to know, because they’ll tell you how to compose your shot, whether to wait for warm light, pink light or low light. Is the statement stronger in black and white? To know the answer,  you have to know what the statement IS in the first place. And that is all about you and your point of view…  your voice.

My favorite shape or pattern is ________.

Continue reading “Finding Your Voice: Day 8. Shapes & Patterns.”

Finding Your Voice: Day 7. Movement

Welcome to Day 7 in our series: “Finding Your Voice… 10 Days, 10 Concepts To Help You Find Your Photographic Voice.”

Movement

Today we get into an area that might seem a little more abstract to you, but I’ll give it my best shot at explaining how I see this one.

Here’s the fill-in:  My favorite type of movement is_____________.

My own background shapes the way I see in perhaps a different way than a typical photographer: I was a dancer, a figure skater and a rider/horse trainer. Each moved in different ways, but each shaped my feeling for timing, rhythm, composition and story in photography. Continue reading “Finding Your Voice: Day 7. Movement”

Finding Your Voice: Day 6. Color.

Welcome to Day 6 in: “Finding Your Voice… 10 Days, 10 Concepts To Help You Find Your Photographic Voice.” 

Today, it’s all about…

Color!!

Oh I do loves me some color! This is yet another deep topic with many facets to it. And once again, we’re approaching it from YOUR preferences. What you, your heart, spirit and soul all love in the way of color.

So the blank to fill in:

My favorite color palette is__________ Continue reading “Finding Your Voice: Day 6. Color.”

Finding Your Voice: Day 5. Element.

Welcome to Day 5 of our fun series: “Finding Your Voice… 10 Days, 10 Concepts To Help You Find Your Photographic Voice”

My Favorite Element is _______.

Let’s talk elements. I don’t ONLY mean the natural elements of wind, earth, fire and water. I mean MANY other elements that might be part of what you’re drawn to – that all contribute to finding your Artist’s Voice.

Moods Like This Continue reading “Finding Your Voice: Day 5. Element.”

Finding Your Voice: Day 3. Light.

Welcome to Day 3 of our fun 10-day series: “Finding Your Voice: 10 Days, 10 Concepts To Help You Find Your Photographic Voice.

My friends, it may seem elementary, but fill in the blank on this:

My favorite light is_____.

In an interview recently, violinist Lindsey Stirling put it this way: “When I’m onstage, I feel like I’m exploding with light. I think when you’re doing what you love you actually glow.” Continue reading “Finding Your Voice: Day 3. Light.”

Finding Your Voice: Day 1. Feeling.

Awhile back, I wrote my most personal blog post ever. It was about a huge “AHA!” I had about experiencing my life’s work unfold before my eyes. And it continues! So many cool things in the works right now. I can’t wait to share them! They all relate to what we’re embarking upon right now.

Today, I’m beginning a 10-day series of blog posts about “Finding Your Voice”, something near and dear to my heart and soul. Whether we refer to a photographic voice, your artist’s voice, your actual/physical voice, your writer’s voice… being able to make yourself seen and heard in the way your soul wants to is life-changing. It’s life-affirming. It sets a wave in motion that creates its own gravitational force; drawing to you the things, people and experiences that make your spirit soar and make you so DAMN glad you came to this Earth.  I can’t always explain how it works… only that it does. It’s been a theme throughout my life. It wove itself into the very fabric of everything I’ve ever done… in particular,  teaching for 40 years.

I’ve been asked when I’m going to start teaching again. Well… how about now?

Slipstill Continue reading “Finding Your Voice: Day 1. Feeling.”