What’s been happening in Creative Haven – Online monthly photography membership

Pastel Retail Coffee Photo Collage

I thought it might be nice to have a look at what’s been happening in the membership since we started out in November last year and what there is to look forward to in the coming months.

There has been a new theme every month to inspire members in every aspect of their photography. We have focused on some concepts to help unleash your inner creative such as mindfulness, the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi  and Artist Dates which we kicked off with in November.

Artist dates are an idea from ‘The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron, they are all about experimentation and play, allowing yourself to try something new and create something just for fun!

Our ‘wabi-sabi’ month proved particularly popular with everyone enjoying finding beauty in the imperfect or everyday scenes around them – a great switch of focus which really helped during lockdown.

We have also covered some more technical topics and approaches such as ICM, backlighting and long exposures. ICM (intentional camera movement) is a wonderfully freeing technique where you deliberately move the camera during the exposure to produce abstract and atmospheric images. It has been wonderful to see how members have engaged with these ideas and used them as inspiration for their own creative journey.

We have also heard from some special guests live such as Sam Gregory speaking about working in projects and KJ Nasrul on creativity and self-compassion. This allows members to ask questions and interact directly and come away feeling inspired!

Since November the membership has grown steadily and there is now a flourishing, active community that feels like being part of a warm and friendly family. There are opportunities to share your work every Sunday and members have embraced this enthusiastically – it is a very supportive and encouraging group where people feel safe to share their work and thought processes.

This is also a space where I encourage you to seek advice or share interesting links, articles etc. I truly believe that we all benefit through sharing and encouraging each other.

Now we have settled in, I have noticed that our live sessions are particularly popular and looked forward to by members so extra sessions have been added to meet demand. As well as showing members work, selecting images that have caught my eye on the Facebook group and taking questions, I have added in some live coaching sessions. These take the format of a 10 minute slot where I can coach members in any aspect of their photography. I have found that we can all learn by seeing others develop and being supportive.

Coming up in the next few months we have:

  • a special book-making course only available to members, at a subsidised rate, run by Alex Hare and Lizzie Shepherd
  • a website masterclass
  • more coaching sessions
  • support for entering competitions and awards
  • exciting and challenging new themes including ‘expressive flower photography’ and ‘finding your voice’