The Truth & Beauty of You – A Business Proposition

My MA photography project ‘The Truth & Beauty of Me’ is being therapeutic for me as it provides some help for me to deal with my wife’s chronic MS. It is also a project that is growing in scope and provides new insights on me. I believe there is a business proposition to take this project in to the market place under the banner of ‘The Truth & Beauty of You.’ The idea is to combine my psychology and coaching experience of the last twelve years with a photography project as a contribution to effecting personal growth.

In my coaching practice I helped executives with business problems find different ways of being in order to solve their problems. Underpinning my work was an idea that if you have a good story about yourself then keep it and enjoy it. If you don’t then find a better story and live it. Where there are problems there is usually a significant contribution from the story being lived.

The MA photography project is showing me some tremendous material that can be used with a client to support the coaching process of finding a better you. It is also a great way to introduce people to the structure of a photography project. There is a great opportunity for the ‘narrative ability, authenticity and subjectivity’ mentioned in The New Visual Testimony (Morton, 2016).

The Truth & Beauty of You

This workshop/retreat will take you on a journey to be who you want to be, go where you want to go and do what you want to do.

You are interested in exploring your own current story and in photography. Using photography and dialogue you will gain insights on who you are and the gap between that and who you want to be. You will also develop an understanding of the photography project as a way of developing your own photography practice. In this case you are the project and I can assure you a very interesting one too.

In the workshop/retreat you will gain an understanding of

  • what you want
  • what is getting in the way
  • what you are going to do about that
  • what help you need

You will also gain an understanding of a photography practice through

  • the role and pleasures of the physical print
  • how to develop a narrative
  • how to be authentic (be yourself!)
  • the importance of consistency
  • the importance of play
  • the different surfaces to present your work which could be a photobook, an exhibition, a website or other mixed media possibilities.

Workshop 1 – The Foundation

Who are you and what do you want?

Two incredibly difficult questions to answer. First you will be asked to bring 6 prints. Two images of yourself taken by yourself. Two taken by someone else and two other prints you want to bring with you that you would like to talk about.

We will use these prints to have a conversation about who you are and what you want. We will do very well to get a clear idea of what you want in this session. Most people know what they don’t want but have difficulty clearly articulating what they want.

You will also begin to learn the pleasure and power of the physical print.

We will work together on creating a photographic challenge for you that arises out of our conversation and relates to your story. We will try hard to stretch you and move you out of your comfort zone with this challenge. You will also produce as clear a statement of what you want as you can to bring to the next workshop.

EXAMPLE: I WANT TO BE A COACH WHO USES PHOTOGRAPHY AND DIALOGUE WITH CLIENTS TO ENABLE THEM TO BE WHO THEY WANT TO BE GO WHERE THEY WANT TO GO AND DO WHAT THEY WANT TO DO.

Workshop 2 – The Obstacles

What is getting in the way?

From ‘The Foundation’ you will have thought more about what you want and will have produced images about your story from the challenge set at the end of the last workshop.

Working with your prints and your statement of what you want we will enter in to dialogue to discover what is getting in the way. This is all about the ‘I want to….but can’t because….’ We will work with your images. Hopefully you have struggled with the challenge set. Understanding that struggle will also help us understand constraints around you.

We will introduce the idea of narrative with your work by looking at the connections from the first workshop with your new work. Let us look for what is emerging. We will explore the idea of a photographic narrative?

We will set you a photographic challenge arising out of our conversation and again seek to stretch you out of your comfort zone. You will also produce as clear a statement as you can of what is getting in the way of what you want. You will begin to think about how to do this with images.

EXAMPLE : THE IMAGE ABOVE. I AM GETTING IN THE WAY. I GRASP MY HANDS TOGETHER AND BELIEVE I CAN’T RELEASE THE TENSION. IT IS CLEAR THAT I CAN IF I WANT TO.

Workshop 3 – Releasing the Chains

What are you going to do about what is getting in the way?

You will now have statements and images of what you want and what is getting in the way. You will also be thinking about how your images are creating a narrative. We will begin now to explore what you yourself can do to overcome the obstacles you see to make what you want happen. We will explore authenticity with your images and your ideas. We will introduce the importance of being able to play. To really play like a child gets harder for all of us as we grow older but it can be really fun and releasing.

We will now be in full flow using images and dialogue to develop the Truth & Beauty of You. We will set you a photographic challenge arising from our work that will take you out of your comfort zone. You will also describe what you are going to do to overcome the obstacles getting in the way of what you want. Give thought to what help you might need from others to overcome the obstacles getting in the way of getting what you want.

EXAMPLE : LOOK ABOVE. THIS IS NOT ME. BUT I DID IT. DANCING TO T REX WITH A SKIRT ON. TOUGH TO START BUT I LOVED IT. MAYBE IT IS ME.

Workshop 4 – Getting Help

What help do you need to overcome the obstacles to get what you want?

All of us can be so much more if we ask for the help we need. It is amazing how easily people will help us if we ask. As with the previous workshops we will work with images and dialogue. We will now have plenty of material to work with that will be taking some sort of shape. You will be struggling with lots of questions about your photography work and The Truth & Beauty of You but you will now be on a journey taking you towards being who you want to be.

We will work on what is working for you from the process and exploring what is not. We will look at the idea of a photobook as a place to capture your project.

My hope is that you are now clear enough about what you are doing to take the journey forward yourself and with whatever help you have decided you need.

There are so many possible ‘truths’ about you so let’s find a really good one and there is no doubt at all that there is a lot that is ‘beautiful’ about you.

EXAMPLE : THE SCULPTURE TEACHER HELPED THE SCULPTOR WHO BY PRODUCING A SCULPTURE OF ME HELPED ME UNDERSTAND SOMETHING MORE ABOUT ME AND WHO I AM.

References

Morton, H. The New visual testimonial: Narrative, authenticity, and subjectivity in emerging commercial photographic practice. Media and Communication Journal. Vol 5, Issue 2. 2017

Categories: Coursework SP, Project Development SP, Sustainable Prospects

LEN

I am a Photographer. As well as taking many photographs I am currently studying for an MA in Photography at Falmouth University. I will direct my attention through the lens of my camera for the next couple of years and see what shows up. I see a photograph as a little bit of magic capturing a moment in time. If successful it surprises and engages your emotions. It tells a story about the wonders of being alive or tells us what we need to change to make it a better world to live in. That is enough for me to get going and then like walking a 1000 miles, which I did across the UK in 2010, or walking 200 miles across Cyprus, which I did in November last year, it is one step at a time.

I was a writer. The title of my unpublished book was ‘You Would Have Done The Same.' It is about a successful guy in love with his wife who lets her die when he discovers her in the process of committing suicide. The title gives a clue as to what I think you would have done. The book is 200 pages long. I found it cathartic to write it but after two years of work and reviewing with agents decided it probably needed another 2000 hours to get the whole book up to the standard of some of the pages. Writing is great but it is a lot of sitting down so I decided to get out and walk, play tennis, play bridge, go birding, watch football at Nottingham Forest, Arsenal and Valencia and anywhere else if I can, meditate, cook and eat. I was a writer who has so far failed to become an author.
I was a young man who loved Mathematics and thoroughly enjoyed getting a BSc at Liverpool University. While there I went often to Anfield and the Philharmonic Hall. I was all set on doing a PhD until I went for interview practice at BP and got seduced by the excitement of an International business career. BP was a great adventure building trading teams and businesses in London, Antwerp, Cleveland Ohio and Singapore. Fabulous people and some great challenges and also very hard work, constant jet lag and lots of fun along the way. I married Karen, my stunning wife, and had the most amazing time with her and our three boys Alex, Tom and Dan. She has multiple sclerosis and we have taken on many challenges together but somehow keep creating a new normal against the horrors thrown our way. She is the love of my life.

After BP I decided to coach senior executives and quickly realized I had a lot to learn
about what makes people tick. I had a fantastic 18 months on the International Programme of the Cleveland Gestalt Institute. A great faculty and a
wonderful group of people on the programme. We studied and worked in Dingle, Singapore, Holland, Cape Town and
Lisbon. This also got me interested in the way we think and make decisions so I studied for an MSc in Psychology atUniversity College London in 2010. The
Masters was in Cognitive and Decision Sciences and I found it fascinating what
we do know but also how much we don’t know about how we think and make
decisions.

I loved coaching and making a difference. I got a number of people to hear themselves, remove some of their own chains and free up the way they thought about the world. I remain fascinated by how people react to and engage with the world. My Masters thesis was why do two people given the same information make different decisions? Put simply, it is because each of us are unique in the way we are constructed.

Since returning from Singapore I found English winters tough so moved to Spain where I now live. The people are lovely, the scenery amazing, food delicious and the sun shines all the time. Almost.

All of these experiences will feed in to my time now as a Photographer. Three motivations I am lucky to have are enthusiasm, curiosity and a continuous interest in learning. All the time I look forward to meeting old friends and making new friends and experiencing this wonderful life together.