Mindful Photography programs for Business. Are you curious about Creativity, Wellbeing and Purpose? These mindful photography practices inspire, engage and transform participants.
880 billion photos were uploaded to the internet last year. Chances are many of your employees are passionate about photography and would love the opportunity to learn how to take better photos. The good news is, by offering a program in mindful photography, their images improve and they develop a deeper connection to, and appreciation of the beauty of life at the same time. Results? Deeper sense of satisfaction, heightened sense of well being, and contemplative photos you can print and frame to enhance your work environment.
Organizations have a constant need for creative thinking and innovation. These mindful programs combine the best practices of creativity, mindfulness, and purpose. This is a way to give people a fresh point of view, challenge assumptions and discover how to see the world and their place in it with fresh eyes. Mindful photography programs are available world wide. These photos are from workshops held in New York, London, Singapore, Bangkok, Amsterdam, and Boston. Corporate references and testimonials are available upon request. Programs are appropriate for leaders of all levels and can be designed to integrate with other programs already in place.
Some of the topics available:
- How to use iPhone photography as a tool for mindfulness any time anywhere.
- Photo field trips and walks to explore your city camera in hand. Great for team building.
- Clarify and renew your individual and team sense of purpose as a source of intrinsic motivation.
- Explore how you can best contribute and create something of beauty together.
- Use photos and other art methods to discover something new about yourself and others so you can work more effectively together.
- Understand what you need to work at your peak and what others need from you.
- Access deeper modes of knowing such as intuition, and felt sense.
Full agenda design and outcomes available upon request. All programs are customized to build on other initiatives already in place. Here are several sample program descriptions to get you thinking about possibilities.
1. Flow-tography Mindful Photography Program Description:
Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it. Instructions for Living Life. Mary Oliver
The Flow-tography methodology is based upon mindfulness practices for slowing down to experience the beauty of life through photography. Be prepared to be still, and truly see your daily life in a fresh way. Notice color, light, texture, motion, and many other details that combine to create powerful images and memorable moments. Suddenly the ordinary becomes extraordinary. A shift occurs and you see possibilities everywhere.
Why do you take photos? Does it bring you joy? Would you like discover a powerful mindful technique for capturing the beauty of your life through photography? During this program you will discover simple, yet powerful contemplative practices for seeing with a fresh eye, and creating images with impact. This non technical approach will help you take better pictures. But it is about something far more than that. This is about a way of being and seeing more consciously. Flow-tography requires that we compose ourselves before we compose the image. The camera/phone becomes a tool for entering the flow state of awareness and appreciation.
There are three stages to implementing this program. 1. Introduction to mindfulness through photography. 2. 8 week series of mindfulness photography sessions. 3. creation of a mindfulness photography club to keep the practice going.
Mindful photography is a “YES” experience in which all aspects of life are affirmed as potential subjects. And after you’ve taken that great shot, linger on the scene for a moment, to appreciate it fully for what it is. Let go of treating the world as visual fodder for your photographic trophies. John Suler Photographic Psychology. See full article at link below. It offers some great insight into what is different about mindful photography and how it builds awareness.
Maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. Jon Kabat-Zinn
To train, calm, or empty the mind, often by achieving an altered state, as by focusing on a single object or breath, especially as a form of religious practice in Buddhism, Hinduism, Christian Mystics etc.
The joyful practice of photographing the beauty of life from within peak moments of stillness, clarity and intensity that occur when our interior & exterior lives connect.
Three Benefits of Practicing Flow-tography
- Creativity Create fresh photos that express the essence of beauty in your own unique way. No one sees the world the way you do. The skills for seeing creatively are easily applied to business challenges. Learn to shift perspectives, challenge assumptions, notice what others miss, see the essence.
- Wellbeing Life enhancing source of energy, relaxation, enjoyment, pleasure, reduce stress, play, feel alive, present, awake, healing, fun!
- Consciousness Offers a practical way to connect to the mystical, unique and universal. Gives us a glimpse of soul level experience of life. Oneness.
- Discover Eight archetypes of beauty such as vitality and simplicity that exist in the world, your photos and in you.
- Explore Five visual languages including color, light, texture, and more. Learn to see with your heart/mind
- Experiment with Three walking meditation practices to slow down, be still and drop into the deep connection point between your inner and outer experience of beauty.
Explore how to use the step by step methods daily. Collect-Connect-Create. Stop-Center-Start. Scan-Select-Stick.
Combining Photography & Mindfulness for business. Example practice from the program.
- Find a quiet place to stand. Close your eyes a moment and focus on your breath. Making it slow and deep. When you feel calm and grounded, open your eyes and bring your attention to one thing that interests you and is near you.
- Concentrate your gaze in a relaxed but focused way on this one thing. One leaf, one tree, one blade of grass. Become fascinated, curious, interested in this one thing. If thoughts come, just let them flow on by and bring your attention back to what is before you.
- Slowly shift your attention to your surroundings and scan for anything that interests you. Select this subject and stick with it with no expectation other than to enjoy seeing it. When something resonates with you, simply raise your camera/phone in a graceful motion and click. Do not look at the images. Stay present to the feeling of the moment.
The Flow-tography Workshop reveals the secret power of beauty as a source of creative energy and wellbeing. After 10 minutes of mindfulness, your creative self will wake up and start taking amazing photos.You will feel this shift and be able to make it at will. Once you know now to enter the flow state or "zone" your photos will be fresh and creative. Whether you are just starting out or have been taking photos for years, you will benefit from this fresh approach to looking through the lens.
Don't be surprised if after attending this program you see your photos with a new sense of awe and wonder. You may even be thinking, wow did I take that photo? The answer will be yes, yes, yes!
The deeper your experience of beauty the higher the quality of your photos. In this workshop you will discover simple ways to see the world with fresh eyes and capture the beauty of life like never before.
The workshop will have 4 outcomes:
1. How you can take better photos by connecting to 8 Universal Patterns of Beauty such as vitality and luminosity.
2. How to use simple contemplative practices before you shoot to see more creatively and connect more deeply.
3. How to use walking meditation while on a photo shoot to improve the quality of your photos immediately by slowing down.
4. How to take stunning photos that match your experience of the moment of beauty. You will receive specific pointers and feedback on your work.
Participants learn about the archetypes of beauty such as vitality and simplicity. They identify their preferences, experiment with other archetypes, and explore the potential of combining perspectives through a series of structured, creative exercises. Why? To reconnect to their unique source of creative energy and potential.
For many corporate executives this is a welcome respite from thinking and talking and an energizing exploration of doing, seeing and being. If you are familiar with the work of Otto Scharmer Theory U, this experience is related to what he calls Presencing. This state of heighten awareness and connection between inner and outer life experience are what we also achieve in the Flow state during the Flow-tography program.
We have all experienced moments of elation or deep satisfaction from seeing a project completed. Few of us, however, have had the opportunity to reflect on what about the way a project was completed gives us that sense of satisfaction. Flow-tography is a process that allows us to identify the particular way in which that sense of rightness or beauty manifests that is most satisfying to us personally. Like with anything from wine to coffee, being able to make fine distinctions helps us to develop expertise, insight and to make refined choices. This program gives us a way to look at beauty that can illuminate what gives us satisfaction and what makes collaborative work bigger and better than individual contribution.
2. Mindful Photo Club Program Description:
This program builds skills naturally by engaging employees in an activity they love, taking creative photos. Structured mindful activities and weekly creative challenges transform an interest in photography into a source of well being. Setting up your own camera club provides a way to sustain the practice employees learn during the introductory 8 week program.
Benefits and Outcomes of organizing a Photo Club in your company with my help. 3 month introductory subscriptions available.
- Creative wellbeing: Just like running, photography offers many health and social benefits. Photography is a mindful practice that reduces stress and increases wellbeing. As a form of meditation, the deep concentration and focus photographers feel when engaged in photography has a calming effect that can be felt in as short as 15 minutes. Even a lunchtime photo walk has great benefit.
- Corporate Culture: Ongoing team building keeps the positive energy going beyond a one day event. Photo Club members discover something new about themselves and each other while having fun. This builds relationships, engagement and moral while attracting and retaining talent. Images created by the club members can also become an internal resource of photos for presentation and communications building a sense of pride and ownership.
- Innovation from Inspiration: Photography builds creative thinking skills and fresh ways of seeing useful at work. Discover how to challenge assumptions, make new connections, see with a fresh eye and explore different perspectives. Visual thinking skills spark new insights and ideas by helping people become more observant. The specific creative challenges given each week to club members train their brains to see beyond the first right answer.
- Social Media Images: Another great benefit of starting a photo club is the fact that the quality of your images posted on social media improves. And as this goes up, so will the number of followers you have. You must post only the most stunning images on Instagram if you want to gain likes.
How it works to work with me. The Photo Club program package makes it simple, fun and effective to build and sustain interest.
- I offer an inspiring mindful photography keynote: Flow-tography open to everyone in your organization with an interest in photography and mindfulness.
- After the talk people are invited to join the new photo club. At the first meeting members follow an agenda topic check list provided by me to easily get organized. Look for a few key people in the group who want to take the lead.
- I help you schedule quarterly photo workshops on topics selected by the club at the first meeting. These are fun, engaging topic specific sessions that inspire the club members and help them take better photos while I deliver these workshops on site and remote participation is welcome if you have club members in other offices. Typical duration 60 minutes photo walk.
- We use social media platform of your choice such as instagram to communicate ongoing creative challenges and to share photos on a weekly or monthly basis. I design and deliver ongoing creative challenges to keep members engaged and build skills.
- You are encouraged to print and frame photos and use them in your office area to contribute to the calming reflective feeling of the space.
3. Innovators Eye Photo Quest for conferences and special events:
Are you hosting or organizing a conference? Why not add an Innovators Eye Photo Quest to the agenda. A Photo Quest is a dynamic, creative way to encourage attendees to see something of the city, get to know each other, and focus on innovative thinking in a fresh new way. These new ways seeing can have a great impact on how participants view the rest of the conference. They may make new connections, challenge assumptions, and notice what others miss. This social activity is designed to work with any size group. People use their smart phones as their cameras and can tweet or share on social media giving your conference even more exposure.
The Photo Quests are lead by Suzanne Merritt, master level photography instructor, and corporate creativity expert. After a brief introduction on to how to take better photos, Suzanne leads the group on a lively, interactive Photo Quest in and around the area of your meeting. Attendees get some exercise, have fun, and learn something new all in one hour.
4. Innovators Eye Program Description:
Photography has more in common with innovation than you might think. The skills photographers draw on include challenging assumptions, noticing what others miss, and seeing with a fresh eye. In this program participants are introduced to creative seeing through photography and then discover how to apply these skills to be more innovative at work. Great team building experience. Innovators are always looking, noticing, connecting and asking questions. They have attitudes and skills of observation, perception wonder and curiosity. Through a series of engaging photo assignments, these qualities are experienced by participants.
What do creative photographers and innovators have in common?
- Their frame of mind is one of curiosity, creativity and wonder
- They are highly engaged in life, passionate, excited and often report they would do what they are doing event if they were e not paid
- They see the world with fresh eyes, notice what others miss and find inspiration in the world around them every day.
- They see the same things as everyone else but think something different.
- The look at an old problem in new ways with fresh a fresh perspective and view point.
- They need to be able to see the big picture and zoom in to notice the details
5. Re-start Retreat for communication professionals
A fun filled day designed to “re-start” agencies — to help agency professionals at every level of the organization re-frame, re-imagine, re-connect, re-engage and re-commit — ultimately to re-energize staff in environments that we know are high pressured, fast paced and very demanding. The day helps people think differently, to re-focus on why they’re working at their agency and what’s truly unique about that, and to heighten their commitment to their client relationships. The day begins with a powerful experience that helps discover their personal sense of purpose. Most people believe they are here for a reason, but are not sure what that purpose is. Visionary leaders help employees connect to their personal sense of purpose before asking them to connect to the vision and purpose of the organization. This program does exactly that. And we do this in a fun way, a photo quest. The take-aways from past retreats included:
- The important benefits of looking at things through a different lens.
- Everything has purpose.
- We need to continue to push boundaries.
- We need to continually explore our own potential (as individuals and as an agency).
- We need to commit to pursuing possibilities for our clients.
- We need to continually think about ways to work smarter — vs. going through the motions.
- Perception is everything — and we need to make sure we are challenging and changing how we view things.
This program is a perfect one day get away. Best held in a retreat setting or in a location different from your daily work place. This program is offered in partnership with Beryl Lobe. www.theloebgroup.com
6. Content that CLICKS® Photos for social media visual content.
Articles with images get 94% more views than text alone 47% and more action clicks. Visual content is the fastest growing marketing trend on the internet. No wonder 880 billion images were uploaded last year.
Are you a bit fuzzy about how to choose the best photos to use? Overwhelmed with all the visual platform choices of instagram, pinterest, ficker, facebook, Confused by “rights management” No time to figure it all out? And no interest in using slick looking, expensive stock photography?
CLICKS® will help you focus on what matters most when it comes to creating images that communicate, connect and call for action. CLICKS® offers you a step by step system to create your own rights-free, high impact images for presentations, web and social media.
How to take better photos on the go:
- Practical non technical tips professional photographers use to get the best shot
- Visual basics of composition, color, line, light, texture and shape.
- Simplify the scene and capture the essence of the action.
How to use photography to create content:
- Find the heart of the scene and capture the best moment for clients
- Capture photos that create a brand image consistently
- Create visuals that tell the client story, evoke emotion and connect.
How to see with a fresh eye
- Create photos people want to share
- Sue creativity to breakthrough visual clutter and create relevant photos
- Challenge assumptions, see what matters most.
Topics you can choose from for this half day workshop:
- How to choose the best photo for your message
- Basic photography tips to immediately improve photos
- Building up a Clicks Cache of your own photos for use
- Online photo quests and critiques build your Clicks Cache photo collection
From content creation to curation - CLICKS® keeps you on course.
7. C.U.R.I.O.S.I.T.Y. WORKSHOP
I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.
Businesses earn the right to be called “innovative”. Once they have this reputation, it is a daily battle to keep it. They adopt creativity and innovation as critical perspectives for their long-term success. People who become empowered to think creatively add value to every element of the business. Even the most innovative individuals and organizations need a boost now and then to keep their thinking fresh and bold. The C.U.R.I.O.S.I.T.Y. WORKSHOP is designed to do just that.
Curiosity is the driving force behind all great discoveries, inventions and ideas. In this workshop you will discover what attracts your curiosity and how to use that as a source of brilliant ideas. People, places and things that attract our curiosity have juice and energy we can learn from. This can be just the spark needed for finding a fresh approach to a familiar problem.
During the half-day workshop you will discover 9 distinctions that spark curiosity and stimulate creativity. Each letter stands for something specific to start observing in daily life such as Contradictions, Universals, or Rarities. Then you can choose your favorite three to focus on right away as we work on current business challenges. In this way the world around us becomes a source of inspiration and insight.
- Learn to see the world with fresh eyes by following your natural curiosity.
- Create a visual notebook packed full of images and observations to use when brainstorming.
- Build connection-making skills necessary to see creatively.
- Gain insight into a real business challenge of your choice that requires creative thinking.
- Know how to use the C.U.R.I.O.S.I.T.Y. method in the future.
- Have some fun together while learning skills that make you more efficient as a team.
The workshop has three segments. First we introduce the C.U.R.I.O.S.I.T.Y. method and distinctions. Then we take an excursion to a location where we can observe people and collect ideas in our notebooks or cameras. Finally we get back together and apply the method to a real business challenge using our observations to stimulate new thinking. The workshop can be conducted for two types of groups. Client team members from one team or a group comprised of several different client teams mixed together.
8. Artist Studio Private Party - Creative Outings, Events and Activities for teams.
Looking for something different to do together? Bring your team to the Boston Center for the Arts in the hip and historic South End. (located next to the Beehive) My artist studio is an inspiring treasure trove packed with art materials for you to choose from. I will guide the group in a step by step process to create whatever project you choose. We will put on the music, bring out the paints, papers, and let the fun begin. Three most popular projects:
Creative Selfie Collage, Found Object Sculptures, and Jewelry are just the start of the choices. Contact me to arrange a studio pre-visit and see samples. I will help you choose the best event for your group. Best for small groups 10-15 participants.