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How my very best photos are taken

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“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

Thank you to everyone who replied to my last post on our plans to be location independent. We’ll be travelling now for at least the next year – in part to run workshops in our favourite places around the world, and in part to see new places and create new projects.

Di and I have been blown away by your emails – so, so many of them – it just means so much to us to hear your kind and encouraging words. It makes all that we do feel so worth it! We will reply personally to everyone this week, thank you, thank you 🙂

Lots of people have asked where we’ll be going and what we’ll be doing. So that’s what I’m going to talk about today. We are most certainly going to be taking our time in each place we go – a month in Sri Lanka, 6 weeks in Kerala, 5 weeks, 5 or 6 weeks in Mexico, a month in Cuba etc.

For me it’s not about jumping from place to place. What Di and I always want to do is stay somewhere and really absorb the atmosphere and life of each spot we’ve chosen. That’s what feeds us creatively.

This is how I get my very best photos – I take my time really getting to know an area and all the best places to shoot (and when you join me on one of my workshops I make it easy for you by taking you to all the cool spots I’ve found :))

When I go somewhere new I always look at the photos people are taking of a place, and I make a little list of spots that look interesting – but really to me it’s all about wandering, getting lost and figuring out how to photograph the place when I’m there.

We were in Paris for about 6 months, spread over a few different trips, for my book, and that was awesome. My kids got to know the city, we tried all of the well-reviewed patisseries to find the best chocolate eclairs; we got the feel and vibe of the city into our beings.

One of my very favourite things about travel is this –

“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” Bill Bryson

The feeling of being in the unknown, of being surrounded by the unfamiliar – makes me feel so alive. Just the process of having breakfast in a brand new place is an exciting and curious-making experience.

Di and I have been working for several months now on creating some amazing new workshops and I’m finally ready to share what we have planned. We are so excited about these!

All of my workshops take different approaches to creating images which are completely appropriate for their subject.

We have two brand new workshops:

Photography adventure, Kerala, Jan 2018

This workshop is all about stimulating your senses with a host of different subjects and the spirit of adventure. Although I will still take the no-rushing approach – that’s a non-negotiable for me – we will be taking in multiple subjects, in three different areas – with an exciting exploration of misty mountains, rural village life, backwater lagoons, city street life, the Arabian sea, lots of intense colour and verdant nature all around us.

This workshop will provide inspiration aplenty – giving you the chance to explore and play with your photography and subjects. Great fun and tonnes of adventure. Info & booking here.

Fine art photography workshop, Yucatan Peninsula, Feb 2018

This workshop is all about removing unnecessary stimulation and planting ourselves deep into the incredible tranquility of a remote part of Southern Mexico. Bacalar is on a vast blue lagoon of ‘7 colours’, with white sand that edges onto the jungle. We’ll be staying in a small eco-resort on a stretch of nature between the lagoon and the jungle.

Here we will work on creating a portfolio of stunning images (which I’ll then have professionally printed for you), using simple subjects of deep colours, textures, nature, water, Mayan ruins and the vibrant natural life that is all around us.

This workshop is all about going deep with your creativity and using the beauty of the environment to create unique images. Info & booking here.

I am offering early bird prices on both of these workshops at the moment.

So my calendar for the next 12 months looks like this:

  • London at Dawn, August 5th & 6th –  this will be my last workshop in London for at least a year, maybe longer! I won’t be running many of these going forward – just the occasional one when I am in London.

  • Arles photo retreat, Aug 21-25th – I held my first photo retreat here last year and it was amazing. Arles is an incredible city in the south of France – home to the world famous photography festival. This is for you if you want to immerse yourself in getting to grips and really developing your technical and creative skills. Although we will be doing lots of shooting, I’ll be offering more advanced teachings on technique.

  • Hong Kong, October 2017 – Only 2 places left. Here we’ll be photographing the plethora of shiny high rises, epic urban landscapes, intense street markets surrounded by rising mountains in this sub-tropical climate. This will be an amazing city adventure – shooting dawn from Victoria Peak, the intense colour and light of the sub-tropical climate, mixed with the brash loud lights of high commerce. I can’t wait for this.

  • Photography adventure, Kerala, Jan 2018

  • Fine art photography workshop, Yucatan Peninsular, Feb 2018

  • Havana, March 2018 – Cuba could not be more inspiring to me as a photographer. Complex, vibrant and awash with incredible subjects. When I came back from my last Cuban trip, I was positively enlivened with excitement from the experiences I had and images I took (some of my best I think!) Why not join me for another great adventure in Cuba.

I would love to see you in any of these awesome places. They are all very different, but will prove intensely amazing – promise!

And I’ve got some cool thank you gifts too – for everyone booking this week. You get all these!! How cool is that? I love giving gifts.

  1. Elliott Erwitt’s book ‘Personal Best’ – one of my favourite photographers and a collection of his best photos! I love giving away my favourite photo books as a way to inspire!

  2. Free year-long membership to my Online Light Monkeys group – (which I’ll still be running whilst travelling). An awesome group where you get free monthly classes, enter the challenges and get feedback on your work.

  3. Free 1-2-1 online session with me – this can be taken at any time over the next 12 months. We can discuss anything you’d like – camera skills, composition techniques, critiquing your images, Lightroom etc.

  4. A package of goodies of my work – my books & some lovely images/cards from my dawn projects. Little bit like a lucky dip!

If you have any questions – big or small – please just email us ( or comment below 🙂

We can also arrange a time to chat over Skype. Sometimes that is easier than email. Especially if you want me to look at your images. Drop Di a line and she’ll book in a call for us.

See you again super soon!

Have a great day,