Developing ‘Group Mind’
It is difficult for photographers, who are often loners and/or strong individuals who work at their art and craft in a solitary manner to come together and develop ‘group mind.’ Please try to develop sensitivity to the group energy and consciousness while holding on to your individuality and personal preferences. Practice your skills of sensitivity and developing trust in your intuition. It is also a great opportunity to practice awareness of your surroundings, not just physically but energetically, and tuning into that energy.

If there is a personality in the group that you find difficult, look deeper to see how that person may mirror an aspect of yourself or your background that you are troubled by. I find that often what bothers me most in others are traits I also see in myself. You can use that understanding to apply patience and loving compassion towards them (and yourself) liberally.

Ground Rules:
– Respect the vision of the other photographers
– Respect others’ shooting styles, no matter how awkward their process seems to you, as    long as not disrespectful or harmful
– Be aware and try and stay out of other photographers’ backgrounds
– If others are in your frame of view ask them politely to stay clear for a moment (they don’t know how wide your shot is)
– Try to help each other go further and deeper rather than being in competition with each other for the ‘best’ shots
– Let’s lovingly and gently push each other forward artistically

For people/model shoots:
– Respect your subject physically, verbally and emotionally at all times
– No touching without permission
– Only one person giving direction to the subject at a time. Too many people giving directions at once is very confusing for the subject
– No ‘spy shots’ while close enough to address the subject or model directly. Further away is ok when appropriate and with permission.
– No ‘stealing’ photos while someone else is engaged with or directing their subject

 Pitfalls of digital:
There are many benefits to working with digital capture but there are also some strong pitfalls, which include:
– Not being fully aware because it is easier to over shoot now and edit later
– Constantly checking the preview screen on the back of the camera (breaking your stream of awareness)
– Excessive or premature editing (deleting too impulsively)
– Making impulsive compositional or exposure decisions based on feedback from the small camera LCD 
– Not developing trust in your intuition to guide you 
– Not developing patience in your process
– Depending upon instant feedback rather than developing trust in your instincts
– Editing in the vehicle or on the go instead of experiencing life in the present moment!

Dangers of sharing work:
Critiques are very important but there is also a danger of critiques or sharing work in progress. It can put emphasis on ‘success’ rather than visual risk taking. It can encourage you to repeat what you already know to be successful to prove your competence or worth to the group. It can put pressure for you to impress others or me rather than pushing your own limits, pushing a concept further or letting yourself be ‘in process’ longer without finding a visual solution. Being lost or feeling groundless can be a valuable way to deepen your artistic vision and find or forge a new path…

What you learn and how the exercises and assignments affect and influence you in the long run is more important to me than whether or not the pictures are successful. A failure you learn from may be much more valuable than a good photo. Let’s take a long-term approach together in your process of growth.

My emphasis will be on creating a safe space to share in a deeper more meaningful way. Please help support that endeavor and hold that ideal as we begin to open up to each other.


©Douglas Beasley 2017