Hello and thank you for calling in...

My name is Helen and I am a Photographer living in England. I started this Blog on the day that my Grandma died, three months after my Father died and several weeks before a third funeral. Initially it was a very personal way to stay connected to the people I'd lost and it helped, it really did. But writing and taking pictures everyday has opened back up a creative side that I had lost during the everyday. A big thank you to my followers, to those who take the time to comment and to new visitors, I hope we will become Blog friends too...

Sunday, 18 September 2011

to teach or not to teach.......

a project on product photography,

taken with a spotlight behind a purple scalf and the 'product' placed in frontI'm linking in with Faith and her Photography Challenge : Still Life

She mentioned in her gorgeous pears photography that she has some with her purple scalf and I found that very inspiring.

Sooo... following on from the previous post, turns out I know a lot more about cameras and photography than I realised. Actually stopping to think about it, the knowledge and experience has crept up on me without me even realising and it definitely hasn't been a chore!

Through the classes that I have attended, the photography group I run fortnightly, blogs I read and just day after day getting out with my camera I have built up a solid foundation and it feels pretty good!

Sorry - I'm NOT blowing my own trumpet/showing off, honestly! Its just nice to share with people who will understand, its the sudden realisation that I've achieved something that I value, that I'm proud of and its a lovely feeling.
The questioning began when I was asked to teach a photography class at the Art Gallery I run. Panic was my first response as I didn't think I had the knowledge, a view backed up by my partner when i mentioned it to him!

But last weekend I attended a class on portrait photography and the teacher began by saying "this is not a class on how to use a camera, this class assumes you already know how to use your camera, this is a class on how to take a good portrait"

I can do that! I can teach a photography class about seeing the shot, the best angle, about composition, what to put in, what to leave out, about light and shade, colours. I'm already doing that with my Art Classes so I can do that, yeh!

And then I slam on the brakes - do I really want to teach photography or do I just want to stay lost in my own world of creation and production.

The Art classes I have run 'Art For The Soul' have been a lot of work, the photography club I run in the Gallery takes a lot of planning and organising, not to mention the setting up of projects and topics on the day. But oh the thrill of watching the members of the group trying to capture their shots (I try them out first before hand and then make suggestions on the night of how to get the shot) They're buzzing with excitement and its wonderful to be creating that atmosphere, to be part of it and of course we're all learning off each other whilst we try each new exercise. I realise that I'm already doing it, a few tweaks and it can be turned into a class, very exciting stuff!

dropping an apple into a bucket of water project,

tricky to capture, very messy and lots and lots of fun!


  1. Love that apple picture!

    Yes, that's the trouble with teaching -it's so rewarding it makes you want to do it, but you have to put so much time and effort into it (if you're doing it right) that you sometimes wonder if it's worth it. And of course, it takes you away from actually doing your own thing.

    I was nervous too when I started teaching workshops, thinking maybe I didn't know enough, but I soon realised I knew a whole lot more than I thought I did. As you say, just reading a lot, using your camera, and generally immersing yourself in the subject all build up a solid foundation of knowledge. I love the sound of your classes - they seem as if they'd be really good fun. I'm sure your students must really enjoy themselves, and learn a lot too.

  2. totally love the apple picture!

  3. thank you! we had the most hilarious time trying to capture the 'splash' moment, lots and lots of pictures of apples in mid air and a very soggy tabletop but huge fun!

  4. How awesome that you;re teaching a class in person. I've been thinking about doing that... at some point. It must be thrilling!!

  5. Its more of a collaboration honestly! I don't know whos learning more...

    Helen :o)