Abstract Architecture Field Trip Saturday, November 18th 2017 2-5pm Place of Departure: InterContinental Hotel 510 Atlantic Ave. Boston Tuition $65.00

Come explore and learn the art of seeing abstracts and architecture. During this creative workshop we will focus on the left and right banks of Fort Point Channel. This will get the left and right side of your photographers brain working together to create stunning images.

 We will photograph sections of the Financial District and the Seaport District. These established and emerging districts face each other and are divided by the Fort Point Channel, which offers wonderful reflections of the buildings.  I will provide maps if you are not familiar with the area.

There is a hidden structure to architecture what we will learn to reveal in our images. By learning to see patterns, visual rhythm and dynamic tension, you can compose your image in a way that captures our imaginations, inspires us and brings us joy.

An abstract photo is often viewed with the response, wow that's beautiful, but what is it? Abstract photos delight us even if we are not sure why. They are created in the moment you feel a shift and see something in a fresh way. I have developed some simple practices to help you feel that shift and see your world with fresh eyes. I will share 3 of these with you during the program.

Learning to see creatively means slowing down to notice simple details right in front of you the have the potential to make a great photo. The things other people walk right by will suddenly jump out at you begging for your attention.

First, we will meet in front of the Inter Continental Hotel near South Station. I will introduce you to some simple step by step practices for creative seeing so you can find beauty in the most unexpected places. I will show you some inspiring example photos to help get you started. I will help challenge your assumptions about what makes an interesting photo by giving you specific structured assignments.  I design these assignments very carefully to build your skills step by step

You will have a chance to try these out right away with my guidance. You will receive individual coaching and critique while we are in the field shooting. This way you can be confident that you will be able to repeat the process next time you are out on a shoot.

We will work with color, texture, pattern, and light to make our photos come to life. As always, this is a non technical jargon zone. It is all about the creative act of seeing and capturing the moments of life with a fresh eye.

This workshop is for you if:

• You want to join a group of like minded people and learn some new photography skills.

• You are interested in abstract photography but not sure what makes a "good" photo.

• You are familiar with composition "rule of thirds" but not sure how to apply it to abstract subjects. We will go beyond the rule of thirds in this workshop.  

• You are attracted to the visual elements of color, pattern and texture.

WE will play with ICM (intentional camera motion) for artistic effects.

Any camera is fine for this shoot. You can even use your iPhone if you like. This is a fun, fast paced workshop. So if you would like to meet other people who love photography and are curious about how to take better photos, I hope you will join us.  If you do have a tripod and wide angle lens this is a good opportunity to use them.

 If you need some extra help with camera settings we can do that too.  I am keeping the group size small for this one. Only 10.

We will be staying out for Blue Hour, that magical time after sunset when the sky turns brilliant blue and the lights of the city start to come up. We will end class in a spot where you can take a spectacular image of the Boston Skyline.


April 8th 2017 9:30 AM -4:30 Flow-tography: Introduction to Mindful Photography $125.00 Location Boston Charles River.

The Flow-tography method helps you take your photos from like to love. You experiencean immediate flash of recognition as your inner and outer life experience connect and you click the shutter. It all starts from an inner stance of stillness and results in an image that will be a joy forever.  Suzanne Merritt

You are invited to discover a playful path to mindfulness through photography. Flow-tography offers a way to see more deeply. Go beyond the obvious to the more subtle, intimate visual qualities of your life.  It is not just about "getting the shot", it is about experiencing the moments of life that make us feel awake, alive and creative. All it requires is our full attention and slowing down to be still, from the inside out. You need to compose your self before you compose the shot.

Have you ever experienced a moment when time stood still, there was an intensity and clarity outside of ordinary experience? And in that moment did you see something that made you stop in your tracks, that took your breath away? And then were you amazed to realize it was just a blade of grass, or a leaf falling from a tree? You were in the zone, or what is know as the Flow State.

Over the past 20 years I have develop some simple practices that will help you enter this state by choice rather than by chance and to create images that express the essence of this experience while you are in it. Sounds impossible? Join us to discover how easy it really is. It is all about being and seeing.

In this introductory session I will cover the basics of this approach. Then we will PLAY with some of the practices for connecting to beauty in nature in the Flow.

I will introduce 3 Flow-tography techniques you can use right away.  We will take photos along the Charles River so you can experiment with this contemplative method immediately and feel the difference between taking a snapshot, and creating a photograph. The images created through this process feel very different. They are like getting a glimpse of a secret world the exists around us all the time but only reveals its self to those who are paying attention.

Some of the outcomes of this method:

• Learn to be more present, centered and connected before you shoot

• See more deeply and capture the beauty of nature with a fresh eye

• Rediscover your creative self and your unique style of photography

• The experience is like a mini retreat. You leave feeling relaxed and revitalized

This workshop if for you if:

• You are curious about meditation but feel your mind is to restless to sit still.

• You want to create images that evoke a deeper feeling and connection.

• You would enjoy slowing down and simply being present to the beauty of life.

• You want to take your photos from like to LOVE.

All levels welcome for this introductory program.


Going off auto once and for all. March 19th 1:30-4:30 Boston Public Library Tuition $45.00

Do you learn and forget the relationships between f-stops, depth of field, and ISO again and again? By the end of the workshop you will have more confidence and skill in understanding how to use your camera settings. If you have already started working with aperture priority, shutter priority and ISO, this class will help make sense of the choices so you know what to do in different shooting situations more quickly.  


Camera Anatomy 101: We will explore your camera dial by dial so you feel comfortable finding your way around to the different settings.

 We will practice choosing the correct camera settings for 4 different situations:

• indoor ambient lighting,

• outdoor natural lighting,

• static subject depth of field,

• moving subject, shutter speed

We will meet at the Boston Public Library.  There are lots of beautiful subjects to photograph both inside and out.  An excellent place to demystify camera settings and get the basics down once and for all. Join us to get all set on your settings.

Going off Auto workshop is for you if:

• You have tried using aperture or shutter priority but have not been happy with the results. Or it takes you so long to get the setting right your fall back into Auto.

• When it comes to camera settings, you seem to learn it and forget it over and over again. It just does not stick in your brain. This is normal but can be overcome with the techniques you will learn in this class.  

• You have an idea, but don't exactly understand the relationship between aperture, shutter, and ISO settings.

• You have a good camera and want to learn your way around the settings. You don't feel you are using your camera to its full potential.

• You have tried to learn by reading the manual or from You Tube but are still not really clear about what to do when you get out in the real world.

• You would like to have FUNwhile learning new skills with other like minded people.

One of the first things we will discuss is ISO so you understand how your choices impact the quality of the final image. When shooting in low light you may need a higher ISO. But there will be trade offs to make.

With a little more creativity, camera knowledge, and professional instruction, you can take GREAT photos. What is the difference? When you show someone a good photothey say, oh that's nice. When you show them a great photo, they are touched, moved and inspired by the beauty of the image you have created. In this class you will discover how to really see and capture thebeauty of life.

You will receive simple handouts that clarify the results you will get with each setting you choose.  We will practice these settings together on the spot.

Even when you see beauty the frustration comes when you don't know the right settings to really capture what you see, and you don't know where those settings are on your camera. It takes practice and patience but you can do it.

Here you need to know about depth of field. Aperture settings allow you to choose how much of the space you want to have in focus from the foreground to the background. I used a shallow depth of field (5.6) to blur the lights in the back of the room. This is the reading room at the Boston Public Library and will be one of your assignments.

You don't have to be an artist to see like one. In this class I will reveal the simple but effective ways you can see more creatively and express your love of beauty through your photos. There will be three creative lesson assignments designed to build your skills and give you a few new tools to work with.  In the fun and informative class you will discover:

• When to use aperture priority (depth of field)  and when to use shutter priority.(shutter speed)

• How to choose the right settings within the shooting mode you choose.

•  How to compose the shot for the greatest impact and drama.

The class size will be small so you will also receive individual attention and critique so you can immediately improve the quality of your photos. We want to go off auto to have more creative freedom and choices.

See the difference the correct settings can make? The image on the right has the proper shutter speed so the subject in motion is also in focus.

Weather permitting we will go outside and practice our setting for capturing action shots so you can learn how to choose and set your shutter speed.  There are lots of people onfoot, on bikes and on skate boards in the area.

Why not make this the weekend your photos go from good to GREAT! If this sounds exciting to you, please RSVP RIGHT NOW. Class size will be kept small so you get plenty of individual attention. This class always sells out.

Suzanne Closest T stop Copley Square. Parking is free on Newbury Street on Sunday.