Category: Series News

5 tips for being good at photography – and everything else

Of course, there are way more than five tips for being good at photography.

But, I’m focusing on these five for now because they seem to be such a surprise to the students that come to my photography workshops.

Technology isn’t the point

I spend very little time on F-stops, shutter speed, and types of lenses. That would be like telling a learner driver that a car has a steering wheel, a brake, and an engine. F-stops and other technical details can be learned in one lesson and the more you use your camera the better you will get at them.

They’re not what make a good photographer. In the same way, having a convection oven doesn’t make you a good cook and having a Lamborghini doesn’t make you a good driver.

Technology and technical learning, like most other regurgitated learning, do not make anyone a good anything.

To succeed in any individual department of life, you need to be good at life as a whole. And that means being aware, awake, and alive. Machinery can’t do that for you.

It’s a journey

That said, becoming aware is a journey. We are often so conditioned by society and our upbringing that we can’t see beyond the conventional. So, here are some tips about how to start waking up to life.

  1. Let go of your mind. Its endless monkey chatter and insistence on judging things as good or bad will block your instinctive sense of what works. Instead of thinking, listen – with your attention, not your ears. (Your attention is actually your soul.)
  2. Remember, it’s not the camera that takes the photo. It’s you. All of you. Not just your physical eyes. When the whole of you is attuned to the whole of what you’re photographing, the image that results will be remarkable. (The same applies to everything in life. If you bring your entire attention to bear on whatever you are doing right now, you’ll have the best outcome.)
  3. Be aware of essence, energy, spirit. In everything you do. Everything is energy. Frequencies differ, which is why a chair looks different from a dog. But, at its core, in its essence, everything emits and absorbs energy. If you allow yourself to tune into the energy, you will be able to capture it – via your camera and in the way you express your life.
  4. Reject fear in favour of love. Fear is the mind’s favourite tool for distracting you from what matters in life. Fear arises from our regrets and anguish about the past and projects itself into anxieties about the future. Photos taken in a state of fear will fail. Love, on the other hand, is not some vague, sentimental concept. It’s the result of being in the present moment, noticing with full awareness and without judging what is happening right now. That calm, soft, accepting mindfulness makes whatever you see meaningful. It therefore makes whatever you capture meaningful. What you capture carries your mindfulness.
  5. Let what you’re photographing come to you. Let it show itself. Which comes back to listening, paying attention. If you’re being ever so busy choosing the subject according to your mind’s dictates and you’re moving around to get the ‘right’ angle, you’ll miss what is whispering that it needs to be shown to the world. Stop. Listen. Be aware. Make the photograph about something other than yourself and the ego that wants to be praised for being the best photographer in the world. Be a servant of what needs to be shown.

For more details and explanation about how to be a good photographer – and good at life – click the ‘buy’ button on this page or go to to download my video series.

Capturing What People Don’t Talk About – a strange title for a video series

It is indeed a strange title, not just for a video series in general but for one that uses photography as an example of what people don’t talk about.

So, why did we choose this title? Several reasons.

The first is that when you photograph something, you ‘capture’ it. In my case, everything I photograph captures more than an image. It captures an essence. The essence of the subject. The intrinsic energy of the subject.

As I point out in the series, everything has energy. Everything, even an old chair or a broken jug, emits an energy. And, that energy or essence has a message for the person who becomes aware of it.

The message is usually: “You share this essence. In our innermost selves, we are all the same. We are connected. My broken edges, says the jug, feel like your broken edges. I have compassion for your broken edges, as you do for mine.”

My ability to tune in to and capture essence is what makes people buy my photographs. They feel a connection from themselves to the essence of the subject. The image reminds them of something they have lost along the way. Usually a self awareness, an understanding of their own essence.

And that’s what we don’t talk about. Essence. Whether in ourselves or others. The topics of emotions, energy (in the sense of spirit), and spiritual journeys are more or less taboo in modern society.

Sure, you can find them on Google if you are determined enough.

But, they’re not part of our everyday conversations or our daily lives. They’re not taught at school. We’re not taught about our innermost selves along with reading, writing, biology, history, and geography.

There is no school subject called ‘energy’. Certainly not as energy relates to our spiritual existence. There is no place in our lives for that most important part of ourselves – our Self, our spirit, our emotions, our personal energy.

And that’s why I have created this video series. Because, inch by inch, slowly, slowly, we wither away across our lifetime, parched and dried out for lack of attention to our spiritual selves.

About 14 years ago, I was forced to rediscover my own spiritual essence, my need for emotional expression, and recognition of the fact that energy lies at the heart of all existence. I was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness and, in search of healing for that, I realised that I had drifted too far from my Self. I was not connected to anything real or meaningful. I had the degrees, the travel, the job. I thought I had everything. In fact, I had nothing.

In my search, I was stripped down to the fundamental nature of my being. That’s why the first episode of my series is called “Then there was just me”. When there was just me, I had no where to look but inside.

I found some wonderful answers to the question of ‘why me’. The answers to ‘who am I’ and ‘what am I doing here’ followed over the next few years, with my body healing as I became aware of the significance of the answers to my ability to live a relevant, useful life that benefits other people, too.

I reconnected with Life.

In the video series, I pass on what I’ve learned, so that other people can reconnect to themselves and to life, too.

I worked with many tools (books, videos, CDs) and a range of specialists in healing and essence. Each one taught me something additional. But nowhere did I find the whole story in one place.

It’s an enormous topic, of course. It’s also incredibly simple, when one gets to, dare I use the word, the essence!

So, in the video series, I try to capture what people don’t talk about in a simple format that triggers deep change in the viewer at a pace that is comfortable and non-threatening.

As I say in the series, everything recalibrates us all the time. We are not the same person now as we were this morning. Experiences change us.

The video series is a recalibration for anyone who watches it. But each person changes in the way that is most meaningful to them and at a pace that they can manage. Which is why most people watch each episode several times. Every viewing brings new insights.

If you would like to stream or download an episode – or the whole series, please click on the buy button on this page.

I would be delighted to hear your comments on the video.

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