Don't take pictures in mid-day sun if possible. This creates harsh angles. Best times of day are within a few hours after sunrise and a few hours before sunset, which photographers call the magic hour. The sun is at a very favorable angle and this gives a warmth and glow to photographs. Open shade, like the shade under a tree, can also be good as long as it isn't too dark. Photographs taken indoors under fluorescent lights often look less flattering than natural light. The other tip I have is to use a tripod and a timer. Most cameras have a built-in timer...it can be fun learning how to pose before the timer goes off. And a tripod can help you get a good angle rather than trying to hold your arm out and take a good photograph.
Do you see photography as an extension of art therapy? How?
Yes. I think photography is a very accessible way for people to be artists. It takes time and practice, but almost anyone can take a good photograph. You don't have to know how to draw or paint and with digital photography, the results are instant. Plus, you can delete the images you don't like.
What ways would you combined nature as a healing tool in conjunction with photography to foster healing for a client?
Photographs taken in nature are always better than those done inside. Natural light is the most flattering light there is. It doesn't require someone to wear a lot of make-up and it adds instant beauty to the photograph. There are an infinite number of backdrops possible in nature. And, to take it further, establishing a relationship with a place, and then taking photographs there, can create really beautiful images because the photographs will capture that relationship.
Why is it that photographs can be so powerful? Especially for a person viewing their own image?
Photographs allow us to be seen. They have a way of capturing our essence.
Tell me how you began your training and career as a photographer? Had you always wanted to pursue photography as an avocation?
I'm a self-taught photographer. I've loved photography from a young age...my father is a hobby photographer and gave me my first camera when I was young. The first pictures I have are of a trip to the mountains in Colorado when I was 11. In 2004 I started getting more serious about photography and I went around my neighborhood in Denver photographing flowers. That year I visited Hawaii and when I saw the images I was able to take of plants and flowers there, I knew I was on to something. Since then I've been in art shows, I do photo shoots locally, and I've published my photos as well: one of my photographs is on the cover of a book.
Where do you see your practice as a coach evolving to include photography as a trans-formative medium?
I've take people into nature for meditative photography. We meditate, connect with the place, and then attempt to interact with the spirit of the place though photography with some amazing results. I've also done photography walks with people. I'd like to do more of this.
Do you see yourself as a pioneer in therapeutic photography? If so, how?
I don't know that I'm a pioneer. But I do think there is a lot of potential for photography to be used in a therapeutic manner.