Featured image on homepage courtesy of @nellie_mh.
Featured image on homepage courtesy of @nellie_mh.
We seek the slightest bit of light to hold, a sliver giving us that ability to capture and express who we are and allowing us to come together and share. The light we find fills our work and ourselves with hope and allows us, like a flower, to grow.
The light that we see and reflect is a place that although is created by many, becomes even stronger as one. It’s in that illuminated space that we can come together and express ourselves. We carry light within us and we use it with every image we take.
With that, we would like to share a couple of offerings/causes that we feel are particularly illuminating.
The Light For Light initiative is a wonderful way to use our photographic passion and talent for the greater good. On behalf of the One Campaign and the Electrify Africa Act, we want to invite you show your support by tagging your images with their hashtag #lightforlight.
Also, Henry is offering an incredible eCourse, Wide Open, a 10 day course starting Monday, July 6th. While light on technique, Henry will be focusing more on our own transparency, expression and that often illusive space of vulnerability. Please click here to sign up.
We invite you to share this month in the essays the images, the stories that explore our collective light. As always we’re grateful for you tagging your photos with our monthly theme tag #ourcollectivelight as well as #ourcollective #shuttersisters, #thecameramen. We also ask that if you are eager to have your image(s) featured in a future issue, use the #xoffering tag which will give us your permission to use it and as always, if you are so inspired to share your story, please consider submitting an essay .
Next month we will be starting something special, in the name of community and collaboration so keep your suggestions coming! We’re loving what you’re sending. Thank you for continuing to be our inspiration and our light.
Our friends at the One Campaign are doing something pretty special this month and we we’re so honored that they invited us to be a part of it. For the month of July they are asking all of us to show our support for the Electrify Africa Act.
Last year, the House and the Senate both introduced bills that would help bring electricity to 50 million people in Africa for the very first time. Unfortunately, they didn’t pass.The good news is that we have another chance this year!
Please join us as we make sure Congress knows how important this bill is by taking action to urge Congress to #ElectrifyAfrica! It’s easy to do. Visit One for more info and be sure to sign the petition. Then start tagging your light-filled images with the campaign tags #lightforlight & #electrifyafrica so we can do what we do best; make a difference using our visual images.
We could think of no better way to kick off this important initiative by sharing some of the illuminating images from our community that captured our attention in this light filled, collaborative photo essay. Photography is all about light, after all and we just couldn’t imagine a world without it! Thanks to all of the photographers who shared their inspiring images and are helping us shine the light.
Like we mentioned, the entire month of July is being dedicated to #lightforlight and helping to #electrifyafrica. Each day of the month will be hosted by a different blogger. Visit our friend and Shutter Sister Karen Walrond as she kicked off the campaign on her blog Chookooloonks, check out our own Tracey Clark’s blog for her take on #Lightforlight and keep the relay going by visiting the amazingly talented Rebecca Woolfe at Girls Gone Child on July 8th to read more. More good friends will be posting this month too…we’ll keep you posted.
And please, share your own images, using the tags on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to help us amplify this great cause. Thank you so much for your support! And speaking of, don’t forget to lend your voice by signing the petition.
I take joy in simple pleasures… a good strong cup of coffee, fresh warm bread, fragrant old books, a crackling fire, the wind rustling through trees.
All these small gifts are true gems, interwoven and sparkling in the tapestry of my life.
These little treasures bring me great happiness, but what fills me with absolute delight and pure joy is being in nature, completely absorbed in the world around me, all senses tuned in and turned on, documenting the details… this makes my spirit soar.
I feel most alive when I am outside, revived by the fresh air and warm sun, inspired by the vivid colors and patterns, humbled by the majesty and mystery of our planet’s wondrous creations in the animal and plant kingdoms.
Soaking in my surroundings and transmitting my experiences through creative expression is like alchemy; an enchantment that captures each moment, freezing time in a frame, as a magical transformation of vision.
Whether it’s an ornamental garden, forest trail, ocean shore, mountain path, or even just my own backyard with my daughter and our pets… inspiration abounds in the natural world all around.
When I heed the call and devote myself to documenting life with reverence, miracles happen. Beauty unfolds, creative juices flow, heartfelt connections form, and my passions and talents grow even stronger.
My connection with the natural world is like a fire burning deep in my being, and in my heart I feel that archiving life through the lens is my true calling… this is my bliss.
“If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. If you are following your bliss you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time. Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid; the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.” —Joseph Campbell
I hate feeling vulnerable, I do. I pause every time I process and post a photograph. But, I still do it each time. Why? I do it because my photos, my expression and my life depend upon it.
After getting sober six years ago, I needed a safe space to process my shit, coming to terms with who I now was and wanted to be. Through photography, it wasn’t easy, but I found a place that was both true to my own necessary boundaries and to the boundaries of those around me. Photography and that which I capture gave me the moments to start putting together a life. I have no real answers, but these years have taught me that without staying on that edge of my own vulnerability and a willingness to be transparent, I have little chance to grow or to feel whole.
Each photo that I take is about what I’m processing, what I’m feeling, what I’m being. If you can concede to this notion and completely believe that each photo you take is about your own personal journey, what’s in you, then anything you see becomes a photo worth taking, a feeling worth expressing.
This 10 day course, Wide Open, will lead you, push you and I hope change you. I will walk you through the steps with daily information and prompts, encouraging you to own your voice. While light on technique, we will be concentrating more on transparency, expression and that often ellusive space of vulnerability. We’ll come together on Instagram and share through the hashtag #wideopencourse—which will give us a togetherness and support. I’ll be there as well to provide supportive feedback—I’m in it with you.
Through photography and the photos I take—that quiet place that allows me needed pause in connection, I’ve had time to heal and to know that there’s not a moment in my life when embracing my frailties and all the thoughts that linger in those deep recesses do not bring me closer to whole. Through the vulnerability I’ve learned the ability to love the imperfections in all I see and most of all, in my own self.
If you are ready to engage with your vulnerable edge, if you are passionate about using photography to delve into yourself, if you want to learn how to capture the journey from lost to found, register and join me in my Wide Open eCourse. For ten days I will be sharing the inside story of my own photographic journey, there will be a new photo prompt every day, we’ll encourage and build as a community, and growth, so much growth, for just $49. It all starts July 6th. I sincerely hope you come along.
Featured image on homepage courtesy of @melody_sanders.
Henry Miller said “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” As photographers, we certainly couldn’t agree more. When reflecting on the journey, how we experience the trip itself can be merely a matter of perspective. And the longer and farther we travel, the more we recognize how things shift, evolve and change in the most unexpected and often beautiful ways.
We might not know where our life’s journey might lead but being in it together can certainly make the adventure all the sweeter. After all, taking the journey as a community, cameras in hand, has got to be the best way to travel.
Lift your lens with us this month as we capture the bits and pieces of #OurCollectiveJourney. And while we’re on the subject, we’re inviting you to bring to light any creative community or photo collaboration that you would like to see featured in next months issue of X. Read all about where our heads and hearts are at here.
Since its very inception, Shutter Sisters has been about community. The very idea was born from my own personal “ah ha moment” back in 2007 when I realized that all I really wanted was a place in the photography world where I could connect with others and feel that I belonged. An integral part of that was having the ability to safely share stories, insights, inspirations and my photography with other women. I had yet to find what I was looking for anywhere else and as it turned out, neither had all the other women that gathered at Shutter Sisters and through it, a wonderful sisterhood soon developed.
Over the years we’ve shared our passions, our joys, our sorrows, our triumphs and our struggles. We’ve talked about photography, expressed ideas, encouraged each other, challenged ourselves, taken classes together, improved our skills, inspired one another, gathered at events, collaborated, forged friendships, and through it all, strengthened our connection through mutual respect, support and love.
The landscape of the web has expanded…or perhaps better said, exploded over the past 7 years. Photography has never been more accessible. The number of creative communities and collaborations is multiplying daily. Inspiration is everywhere! As we, at Shutter Sisters, widened our circle by joining forces with Camera Men here at Our Collective, we, more than ever, believe in the power of togetherness. And what better way to continue to honor the spirit of community than by sharing and showcasing some of the communities and collaborations that inspire us most? And by us I mean me, and all of you…
So, let’ do this. Let’s bring to light people doing amazing things. Let’s talk about photo projects and photo classes, creative collaborations and compelling gatherings, cool communities and inspiring ideas. Our plan is to celebrate as many as we can next month at Shutter Sisters, Camera Men and Our Collective. Email us at shuttersisters at gmail dot com or leave a comment. We can’t wait to hear where you find your collective inspiration!