The Inner Path of Photography

We yearn for the taste of the sacred…and through our cameras discover it, the world, and ourselves.

Tag: inner path

Special of the Week: Muse/Mentor Inner Path Photography Sessions

Here’s a “taste teaser.” I want you to experience how having a personal muse can really move your creative work along, and make you happier and more fulfilled in your art and life.

So I’ve come up with an introductory special:

MUSE/MENTOR Inner Path Photography Sessions

$25.00 for 25 minutes
One week only, August 23 – August 30, 2010
Contact or 1.713.521.1676 to schedule.

Wouldn’t it be fun to have your own personal muse? If you’ve been yearning to express yourself more fully, I encourage you to try this. We’ll have fun and you’ll leave inspired and already creating at a whole new level. Treat yourself!  (Or give a session to a friend…)

Here’s how it works:

Send me up to 10 of your images. Pick 10 favorites OR 5 that you like and 5 that you’re unhappy with. We’ll talk about what you’re trying to express through your photos, and why it’s working or not working. During your session with me, your personal muse and mentor, you’ll have the opportunity to:

1)        Discover at a deeper level why you’re drawn to photography
2)        Clarify what you personally want to share through your work
3)        Receive specific feedback on how your images impact me, the viewer
4)        Learn techniques, both inner and technical, for how to improve your images so they’re more in alignment with your intention as an artist
5)        Become re-inspired if you’ve been feeling discouraged or stuck in your creativity (or have a camera that just never seems to make it off the shelf).
6)        Enjoy even more greatly the experience of magic and joy that results when you’re photographing and are able to create your unique expression of life.

(Of course we can’t do all of this in depth in 25 minutes, so you choose what’s most important for you!)

Sessions are fluid and customized to your need. Feel free to bring:

* The questions/challenges that you experience while shooting,
* Thoughts about what gives you joy or disappointment when reviewing your images;
* Blocks, issues, and areas of interest that come up for you as an overall part of your curiosity and exploration of being a photographer.

The Format:

Sessions will be held through Skype, phone, or e-mail exchange.
$25.00 for 25 minutes
In person sessions $35.00/25 minutes (I’ll be in Houston that week, working out of a Montrose cafe).
*If you prefer more than 25 minutes, additional time can be scheduled at the same rate, in 10 minute increments.*

A limited number of spaces will be held for this special.
This special price is only good for the week starting Monday, August 23, ending Monday, August 30.

Please schedule early in order to reserve a date and time. Day and evening times are available, although evenings book quickly, so plan accordingly. I will make my schedule accommodate those of you who are out of the United States; International clients encouraged!

Contact or 1.713.521.1676 to schedule.

NOTE: These personal muse sessions are for both “amateurs” and “professionals.” I’ve found that sometimes people hesitate to call themselves a “photographer,” thinking there is some elevated criteria that must be met in order to hold that definition.

I’m interested in helping people to express their inner essence, to be creative, to share how they see the world with others, and to live in the world in alignment with their essence. I want you to see how having a creative coach can really move your work along, and make you happier and more fulfilled in your art/life.

So call yourself whatever you want…and lighten up and let yourself be free. I’m looking forward to seeing your images and assisting you in the Inner Path of Photography, “Honoring Inner. Creating Outer.”

Inner Path of Photography classes are here!

Hi, I’ve finally put together the schedule for the latest Inner Path classes for the months of June and July, 2010!

I invite you to Houston, Texas to join me in:

1.     “The Inner Path of Photography”
Bring the magic back to your shooting, and learn something about yourself in the process.
There’s a Saturday class, an evening 3 night class, and even a 3-session morning class!

2.     “Photo Project Coaching – Group”
Do you have a photography project or goal that you keep on intending to reach, but you’re having trouble moving it along? Over three meetings with a group of kindred spirits, I’ll help you start or move your project along. 3 evening sessions, with an option to continue.

3.     “I’m Finally Doing Something With These Pictures!”
How long have you been intending to organize your photos into something tangible, instead of having them hanging in your computer folders, or on a photo website? It will be a fun Saturday afternoon…

4.     “Personal Muse and Project Coach”
Let me meet with you and help inspire you in your creative project. I have special expertise in the art of being a muse! and can lift whatever it is that’s keeping you stuck and send you on your way…I’m also available for project feedback and help in how to sequence, edit, choose your direction. (Will share muse secrets…)

Interested? I hope so! Would love to see you here.

Click here for more detailed description, dates, and registration information…

Inner Path of Photography class dates coming soon…

Remember to go to my Heidi Straube Photography website if you want to be on the mailing list…

How You Define Yourself: Do You Limit Your Creativity? Your Life?

Taos Mountain, snowstorm break

I’ve recently been musing about the changes I’ve gone through in my photography practice over the last few years.

From seeing myself primarily as a “black and white, natural light, fine art portrait photographer,” I’ve transformed into the woman who photographs fog at the beach…to one who’s addicted to capturing the subtleties of the ocean at its stillness and turbulence…to one who drops everything to run out and take pictures of the blizzard coming from over the mountain.

It surprises me a bit. Years back I had little interest in “landscape photography.” After all, with a psychotherapist background, it was natural for me to be interested in people. And the fascination of translating a person’s spirit into a visual image was compelling.

I’m still well along in my addiction to black and white photography and portrait taking. I continue to do it, both professionally and personally…and I’m still fascinated.

But I don’t define myself by it anymore.

I don’t limit my creative focus to only people and black and white photography, which at one point photographically was my one and only love.

And I’m happy with what has happened since.

By stretching and shooting what’s been in front of me, and being open to resonance with all kinds of subjects and circumstances, I’ve had unique experiences and captured images I never dreamt of. I look back at the body of work I’ve created so far, and I’m grateful and a bit awed by the magic and the beauty it represents.

But not defining oneself in the usual way can have its challenges.

I have to admit that when someone asks, “What kind of photographer are you?” it throws me off a bit. I don’t have the neat, tidy answer that I used to have: a phrase that was simple for me to say, and was easily understood and imagined by others.

And on a bad day, that question can also trigger my own insecurity.

“Good question,” I might immediately think. “What in the world kind of photographer am I?” For a moment I buy into the whole assumption that I should be able to define myself and my work in clear, simple language that anyone can grasp in a 5 second sound bite.

And my mind goes blank…for how can anyone really express their whole inner and outer work in one simple phrase?

The challenge of how we define ourselves is not unique to photographers, of course.
It happens to all of us in our daily lives.

People ask “What do you do?”

To answer truthfully, the person who has any interests or lifestyle other than going to one job with a definable title and then coming home and doing nothing else is in trouble. They have to scan all the things that they “do” and then, on the spot, make a choice of which interest they want to be defined by.

OK, practically speaking, I know that when someone asks, “What kind of photographer are you?” (or any other work or life defining question), they’re usually just trying to find a starting place for connection, have to check a box on an application, or have a host of other practical reasons for boggling your mind.

But I believe that many of us unconsciously take the question literally…and anxiously scramble for a “good” (reflecting that we are smart, together, worthy of having our work on your walls) answer.

Because deep down inside we believe that we should be able to label ourselves and our work.

Wow. Danger here. We’ve now stepped into the realm of shutting ourselves into boxes without even realizing it. I can hear the lids snapping shut now.

When we hold too rigid of a definition of ourselves, or try to fit, without reflection, into a specific category of photography, work or life, already labeled and described, we run the risk of shutting out creative possibilities. We leave no room for the unknown, which is where much of our inspiration springs from.

By focusing and working only in the usual, known framework, we may miss the opportunity to discover other, unexplored aspects of our being, and the amazing experiences (and images) that come along with those discoveries.

What if I had insisted on doing only portrait photography?

I wouldn’t have experienced the magic of trying to capture the beauty and stillness of fog. I would have missed the peace and satisfaction I feel when I look at those mystical images.

What if I had accepted the traditional way of being a psychotherapist, and not allowed myself to combine both interests of photography and counseling?

I wouldn’t have the inner knowing that comes from working more deeply in the “Honoring Inner, Creating Outer” aspects that I’m so drawn to. I wouldn’t have experienced the creative satisfaction and challenge of designing my Inner Path of Photography services, nor felt the joy of seeing my students’ eyes light up as they, too,  discover new ways to explore and express their innermost vision.

Some of my clients, when faced with a new way of shooting photographs, an unusual feeling, or different idea of living, exclaim, “I don’t do that. I’m not that kind of person!”

And my response to them is, “Are you going to define yourself the same way for the rest of your life? Is there no room for change?”

What different way of seeing yourself or your work have you been resisting that, if invited in, could possibly change the course of your photography? (Or at least re-inspire and make it more interesting!)

What new definition of who you are and who you can be, could enliven and enhance your life?

When we relax our self-definition and expand the way we see ourselves, we honor the complexity and mystery of life.

We celebrate the unseen and unknown wonders that wait for us around every corner.

In your photographic practice, dropping the label, tapping into the resonance you feel, and going with it creatively leads to experiences and images you cannot plan for.

In your life practice, being more open to change and letting go of out-dated self-definitions brings you the gift of an unforeseen richer reality.

Don’t limit your creative spirit. Don’t keep your life in a box.

Yes, the challenges are there. The fear of the unknown is real.
But what else do you have to do with your art?
How else do you want to live your life?

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