Why Shooting with Soul – what did you want out of the workshop?
I have always lacked confidence and low self esteem, as well as constantly comparing myself to others in the industry and adding pressure on to myself in to believing that I am not moving quick enough in the business. I saw a review on Facebook from Lisa Visser, a photographer who I really admire, discussing what she had learnt from working with Clare Louise. On the very same night my former tutor messaged me on Facebook telling me to sign up to the Shooting with Soul workshop with Clare Louise because she thought it would help me significantly with my anxieties as a creative. It had to be a sign right? I read about the workshop and saw how Clare Louise would coach you creatively, digging deep within and bringing out emotions and ideas that I have been to frightened to share. I signed up with Clare Louise to allow myself the freedom to forget my worries and be free.
Tell us about your experience of the day?
Throughout the day there were a lot of intense and uncomfortable scenarios that Clare Louise put us in. Uncomfortable because we were being pushed, pushed by Clare to learn the difference between ‘fight or flight’ our stress response in the presence of doing something that terrifies us. Alongside the exercises we took part in three shoots, allowing me as a photographer to collaborate with different models and makeup artists. As photographer it was my responsibility to work with the makeup artist and develop a concept for the shoot, developing connections through emotions with models to convey the scene I wanted to portray through the photography. It was a challenge; I have never done this before and I truly can’t describe how powerful it was. The connection developed with the models and makeup artists was strong and I really did get the images I wanted from those particular shoots.
What was the biggest value from the day?
Having the ability to create a thought process from within, creating from the heart and not allowing my head to take over with my fears was the biggest value for me. I came away from the day feeling empowered and confident, with the understanding that I can convey my thoughts and instructions to others without appearing ‘bossy’ (a conversation that I constantly have with myself that holds me back), just confident.
What’s changed for you since the workshop?
Since the workshop I have thought long and hard about what I want, and need, from life to make me and my three important people happy. This now includes giving myself permission to say ‘no’ if I don’t want to do something and not feel guilty about it because someone is pressing their emotion on me. The day has also spurred me on creatively, I have set up meetings with people to discuss photo shoots and I am starting to look at how I can move my photography business forward without the doubts looming in the back of my head. It is so bizarre at how I feel, the shift in mind set and emotion has done a complete turnaround.
How do you feel you have grown creatively?
I feel more confident after working with others collaboratively. They allowed me to have a voice, they listened to me when I had ideas and suggestions for a shoot without knocking me back allowing me to believe that ‘yes I can do this’. It really helped coming away from the workshop with contact details of those I had worked with and speaking to them since on a regular basis discussing next shoots we have planned.
What would you tell others about Clare Louise
At first I was skeptical I have been in this lull for so long I thought how would someone else be able to help me out of this sink hole. Now, I would think you were crazy if you passed up the opportunity to work with her. Clare Louise seemed to get deep into the darkest parts of my brain and pulled out my anxieties, which was a huge release. Reconnecting with myself was a massive challenge, I didn’t believe in myself but, when you have Clare Louise and a group of people (now friends) cheering you on and celebrating your strengths, you can’t help but feel a huge weight has been shifted from your shoulders.
Who would you recommend this workshop too and why?
If you’re struggling with self belief, especially when it is doing something that you are passionate, about I would definitely recommend working with Clare Louise and doing the Shooting with Soul workshop.
The last word :
Thank you Clare Louise for the Shooting with Soul workshop, for pushing me out of my comfort zone, allowing me to dig a little deeper into my head, heart and gut for the creative inspiration that I crave. I have reconnected with my passion for photography and the ability to believe in myself. I can do this!