Rebecca's Work and Words About Working With Me in Norway

You know us teens; we're bad at giving things a chance before deciding whether it's fun or boring, and I honestly thought it would be boring. But no, it was incredibly fun!

And not only was Di a good teacher, she is also one of those people who is easy to kind of connect with. And for me, that is very important. She taught us a lot more than just photography.

It was a great experience and I definitely have been inspired to photograph more.

A Little Bit of Me, Myself and I ... at work in Norway

I have finally had time to sit down and begin working on the photographs taken in Norway.

I was, once again, photographed while working with photographers ...  Ren Powell is responsible for two of the photographs in the montage below.  I couldn't resist taking the third.

I still need to get permission to post photographs of the lovely people I worked with while in Stavanger but ... I permitted myself to post these.

Our Clients Wrote of Our Workshop

What can I write ...

I feel so extraordinarily grateful to the three women Helen and I invited on our A New Way of Seeing workshop, in Genoa, Italy.

Since then Lisa, Leah, and Laura have written of working with us in ways that have filled my wee kiwi soul to overflowing.

Leah, from Help. I Live With My Italian Mother In Law, wrote of her experience with us in an English magazine

Laura, from Ciao Amalfi, wrote up her experience with us over on her blog. 

Today, I'm just in from reading Lisa's account of her time with us over on her blog.  That would be Lisa, from Renovating Italy ... the Lisa who had me laughing so hard that I could barely stay standing out there on Via Porta Soprana.  She has a talent for laughter but the weekend was full of laughter, of stories and photography too.

I borrowed one of Lisa's photographs from her post about it all.  I love this particular image, taken by Silvana, wife of Pino.  Pino is the man nestled in-between Lisa, myself, and Helen ... late on that laughter-filled evening in Genova.

Silvana and Pino own the very best pizzeria in the world and I adore them.  Their pizzas too. And so it seemed entirely appropriate to be photographed together.  Silvana, after a hot and exhausting evening, decided she would be the photographer ... and no begging her to join us would change her mind. 

I have to admit, I'm looking a little rumpled at this point in the day.  We were almost home after that first workshopping day.

I would work with any of these women in a heartbeat.  They were magnificent.  All of them. 

Huge grazie mille's to Laura and Lisa, Leah and Helen. 

It was a most magnificent weekend!

Magnificent Days ...

We are on Day 2 of this first A New Way of Seeing photography workshop and all I can say is that feels like both an extraordinary privilege to meet and work with these women but it is a huge amount fun too.

I almost fell over due to laughing so hard last night.  Lisa, the Australian, was responsible.  Trans-Tasman relations are at all time high.  Meanwhile I have a few million photographs to download and so many stories to tell but really lacking the time to do.  We're off to Lake Como tomorrow ... stories should follow.

Day One of the weekend workshop ended on a restaurant balcony located at the edge of the Ligurian Sea, out at Boccadasse, eating exquisite food and well, yes ... laughing often.

We are a small united nations, with the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and America involved. 

Now ... for Day Two.

A New Way of Seeing ...

The new website has launched ...

And we are on Twitter and Facebook.  Places are selling.  It's so exciting.

The newsletter is still coming, I had to wait for my fabulous graphic designer and the marketing guru to ride to the rescue, in terms of logo design and site building. 

More to follow on them in the weeks ahead, as they are superbSpeedy, efficient, inspired, talented ...

Come wandering in Genoa, Italy. 

Today ...

Today is all about creating ... text for the workshop descriptions, and more text for the Newsletter I'll be sending out soon. 

Then I want to process Federico's photographs from those days in Genova.  And I have a range of interviews almost ready to publish.  And some more to transcribe.

But that photography workshop last Sunday ... it's still making me smile.  Ellen sent this photograph she took of Anna.

Teaching Miss 9 To Take Photographs ...

I spent a few hours teaching Miss 9 about photography yesterday.  Just a slow introduction to the most basic ways of using an SLR.  We talked of composition, light and exposure.  We did a lot on focus.

And eventually, as per the story that follows, we went to photograph the  giraffes.  Once there I shared my passion for reflections. 

She took it on board but I love what she did.  So different to mine but that is the beauty of photography.  No one ever sees and captures the same thing.  It's always about your own individual way of seeing.

We ran this image through PicMonkey this morning, added a frame and cropped it a little.  The light and colour, the composition except for a small crop, it's all hers. It's how she saw ...

And I love it.

In These Days ...

I have 3 projects to work on and there's only one me ...

Can you hear the sigh in that sentence?  And I love all of the projects equally, so it's not about the one or two that are a nuisance.  It's about wanting to do all of them beautifully.

And then there's the house, and other events, and a pile of books that I'd love to read.  I caught one of those books as it slid off my desk when I sat down here this morning.  The pile is very precariously stacked.  Interwoven with papers and notes, covered in ideas of things I'd like to remember to do.

But anyway ... I made the 2.5 hour train trip to Ieper (Ypres) on Monday and met a family of 6, with 4 of the most beautifully behaved children I've ever met ... without any exaggeration.  I went allowing for the chaos that can be a family portrait session and came away stunned by those kidlets. 

Rolling across Belgium in a train has to one of my favourite things.  I love the fact I'm in the world but out of it.  If I find the right seat, then it's the perfect place to finish a book and/or nap.  I did both, passing out in the 30 celsius+ heat after the photo-shoot. 

You meet interesting people too.  I met a young guy who was studying journalism and we talked for a while.  I had been lost in my book and he heard me asking the conductor where we might be.  I was quietly worried I had missed my train-changing stop.  So I asked him about his studies and it was interesting to hear the state of journalism today, as told to him by his professors. He talked of the book he is planning.  I love that about trains, well ... and planes too, the conversations you get to have with people you've never met before.

In other news, I'm back in France in a few days.  Photographing a wedding that promises to be exquisite.  Then over to Italy for the 5-day workshop where I get to work with some lovely women in a dreamlike setting

September finds me back in Genova.  Anna, at Beautiful Liguria, is working with me on a project that is so close to my heart.   Perhaps that one will take me right through the winter.

And I have an editor for my book and an exhibition space for my photography and so ... work must be done.  Perhaps if I stop for a moment and simply organise the books and papers piled up on my desk, then my day can go forward in the best kind of way. 


Anyway, I called the image below 'painting with light'.  Sometimes, for me, it's all about the attempt to capture light where I find it ...


Your Beautiful Truth Retreat, Italy

Planning and developing has kept me quiet here, as well as playing tag with exhaustion and flu the rest of the time.

And so to announce, with much pleasure, the first Your Beautiful Truth Retreat, in partnership with the extremely talented and inspirational Diana Baur.

Come take a peek  ...

Roberto Panizzi - the Pesto Guy, Genova

Roberto Panizzi is the president of the World Pesto Championships here in Genova and he was kind enough to allow our workshop group to photograph him making pesto.  Grazie mille to Anna, of Beautiful Liguria, for setting that up.

There Robert was, surrounded by 5 women as he demonstrated the pesto-making process, talking and inspiring us while calmly bearing the quiet storm of flashes along with the knowledge that Hanna's was also filming him.

Here he is, having photographed us, busy sending the resulting images out to all his twitter followers.

We adored him.

The Autumn Photography Workshop That Was - Antwerp

We had a most delightful day wandering this Flemish city of mine with our cameras …

We were 4, as they might say here. I loved the international flavour of us. We came from Italy, Belgium, Finland and New Zealand, meeting at my house, over lunch and pdf workbooks.

My photography e-course book is included in each photography workshop, as is Hanna’s video e-book in video workshops. I had previously asked Francesca and Bouchra what elements of photography they were most interested in and, after lunch, set them practical exercises focusing on their areas of interest.

That done we were ready to wander out into the beautifully warm autumn day Antwerp was offering. The city was good to us and shop-owners welcomed our interest in their decor and products. The autumn leaves glowed in the exquisite golden light on offer and we played … cameras in hand, 4 women together, out and enjoying the freedom to experiment and learn.

These workshops are as much about offering a safe and supportive environment for learning just how to use your camera … as they are about slipping in through the backdoor and visiting the lives of the people who live here. And it’s about any camera … whatever you have. And just as important is the realisation that your way of seeing is valid. That perhaps photography is about knowing the rules but then it’s bending them to your style, to exploring them and pushing them to their limits, about playing.

The goal? Well, it’s about coming away knowing that your way of seeing is exactly that … it’s your way. An expression or extension of you. In the same way the artist chooses their medium, the writer their genre …

I truly enjoyed the time we spent together on Tuesday. A huge thank you to Francesca, Bouchra and Hanna for being so much fun to go wandering with … and for being so willing to experiment with photography.

Photo credit goes to Francesca Puccio.