14.08.2020 The power of

Date: 14th August 2020
Location: Isle of Wight
Category: Foto Fridays

… reflection in photography

As photographers we often get caught up in learning and practicing the technicalities of our craft, in deciding what kit to buy, trying to be a better photographer and sometimes, we even get drawn into the competitive mindset that social media “gifts” us.

From my writings you will know that photography is more than that – it is an integral part of my life. It is a playful, intentional, mindful, well being practice for me, not one that do only when I have space / time / energy. I think about it every day, do it every day and mostly write about it every day.

I don’t want to set the whole world alight with my photography, I want to set my own world alight.

Apart from my daily Delight Diary entries and my weekly Delight Digest Newsletter, I want to find a way to capture the delights from my week – like a time capsule. And I’m starting this week. Read the post to find out why and then if you’re interested in joining me on this playful, intentional, mindful, well being adventure, scroll to the bottom of the post to join me.

A writing, reflection and photography story

I’ve written Morning Pages for 2 and a half years and the process of reflecting on my day, every day is “magic”. In the last few months of working weird shift patterns, I wasn’t able to do daily reflection, but I did manage weekly ones to keep me on track. 

For me, reflection is an integral part of learning – it brings awareness to the struggles, issues, progress and achievements. I couldn’t have written my doctoral thesis without my reflective journal which I wrote in every day for 4 years. In education and other practice-based professional learning it is called reflective (or reflexive) practice.

An important reason for engaging in reflective practice is that experience alone does not necessarily lead to learning; deliberate (in other words intentional) reflection on experience is essential. In my thesis I wrote that “the entries were invaluable when it came to remembering the stories, the personal learning process, the decisions I made and why and how aspects of the research evolved“. The habits of reflection and reflective practice were a powerful part of my own academic learning.

In a way, my Morning Pages have become my research journals for my healing and personal growth journey. 

How? By connecting the dots

If you write long enough, you have material to go back and re-read. By constantly reviewing my journey painstakingly documented in the Morning Pages (which is now on volume 17) and taking in the lay of the land so to speak, I can ask myself “have I moved forward?” “Am I still doing the same thing I was a year ago?” And so on. Connecting the dots.

As Steve Jobs said in his now famous commencement address at Stanford, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards”.

I’ve found that there is power in connecting the dots. In using the power of reflection to drive me forward. It motivates me to keep going even when I don’t feel like it. Reflecting on my lived and felt experiences allows me to engage in a process of continuous learning.

Paying attention to the details of my life experiences in this new way, leads me to new insights. From the reflections, I can see the parts that were significant for my recovery and growth.  I like looking for struggle, paradoxes, resistance and ambivalence. These are the interesting parts of the story.

Paying attention to photography

I dump everything into my Morning Pages, so it comes as no surprise to me that I make copious notes about photography too, sometimes daily, sometimes weekly – it depends on if the ideas are flowing or not! I note what I’ve done over the week, how I feel about it in that moment, what ideas I have for the week etc. I write about how my style or visual voice is developing, I write about why I do photography – everything, basically. 

So now I think about it, I am using also my Morning Pages to reflect on my photography journey and I see that reflection as a practice has a lot to do with my photography and wellbeing, as well as my learning. It’s all connected!

An announcement – ta da!

As I am bringing more of my photography practice into the light for others to see, I feel that it is time to share these photography reflections outside of the privacy of my Morning Pages and I’d like to start by doing this weekly, starting this Sunday (16th August 2020) on Instagram and here on this blog.

Why?

I’ll explore this more in the weeks to come but for now I’d say this:

I’m not doing this to become a better photographer, but to reflect more deeply on how my practice affects my broader life and well being, how it integrates into living a life of WHOLENESS.

Debbie Stott

As always, I’d love to hear of your own experiences and stories. Drop me a comment or follow me on social media.

JOIN ME?

If you’re a photographer and want to join in this fun, mindful practice please share in the comments or on your own blog / social media page(s) and tag me with your thoughts (@practicingeverydaydelights on social media).

Use the hashtags #ReflectivePhotographer, #ReflectivePhotographyPractice and #CollectingMoments.

It starts this Sunday.

The format for sharing each week is still in its infancy and I hope it will develop over time.

Not on social media?

If you aren’t the social media type, I can send you my weekly time capsule via email if you prefer. Sign up by clicking on this button – choose the option to just receive the weekly reflections.

PS: I was going to wait until I had a fully complete template, but that is just me trying to be a perfectionist and using that perfectionism as a form of procrastination. So, here’s to having a go and changing it as I go along! 

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