Updated: Oct 30, 2018
by Mindy Véissid
Mindy Véissid started her talk on the art of intuitive photography at B&H Photo with a question:
Have you found yourself frustrated over your images not being creative enough or just plain flat, boring, and dull?
She goes on to talk about how she added the creativity into her photography and how she practices what she calls “intuitive photography”.
In her words, intuitive photography is:
…based on feeling, sensing and tuning into yourself. It’s a style of photography that allows you to be in the present moment rather than being stuck with the thoughts in your head. It’s a meditation process. It’s an approach that allows you to be flexible and free, to easily move and photograph without being burdened with heavy equipment or thinking you have to get a technically perfect image.
She talks often about tapping into your inner child.
Mindy talks briefly about how she came to photography and about her early classes in photography. These were uninspiring, being focused on technical aspects of photography and taking place in a classroom setting. The lack of creativity and individuality was frustrating. She ultimately rejected the idea that photography is in your head – making a technically good image – and argues that photography is in your heart.
She also argues that we all have intuition, we’ve had it since childhood, but we’ve been taught not to trust it. When doing intuitive photography, the trick is figuring out how to listen to your natural intuition and know how your intuition physically manifests. In other words, knowing how your initiation communicates with you.
She speaks of learning to trust your senses to guide you and letting go of the idea of pleasing others. Each photo should be a gift to yourself.
Mindy advocates focusing on the experience first before the making a photograph. This may mean taking some time in the setting to feel, using all of your senses to experience, before making the photograph. The feelings can get transformed into the image.
She gives some practical advise about how to photograph intuitively including going out with the right mindset. Go out with the goal of having fun, doing the best you can. There is no pressure to create a great image. Also, keep settings simple. Decide what you like and set up your camera that way, keeping decisions down to a minimum. And finally, she reiterates that you must trust your feelings. If you feel drawn towards something, take the photograph. Resist the urge to get in your head and start labeling or looking for subjects because they’re popular. If you feel like a kid at Christmas, that’s a sign you should photograph the subject.
Ultimately for Mindy, photography is a form of meditation. She understand how her intuition communications with her and she can not only use that as part of her photography, but in other areas of her life.
At the end of her presentation, Mindy shows a few of her own photographs and tells the story of how her intuition led her to take these photographs.
I can really relate to Mindy’s suggestions. I am a very technical person, but once I get into my technical mind-space, my photography suffers. I have to keep my technical brain separate from my intuitive creativity. I wake up each day and ask myself what type of photograph I’d like to take today and an image pops into my mind - maybe it’s somewhere I’ve been or it’s something I’m looking for – this is my intuition telling me where to photograph.
I will lose hours when I’m out walking and looking for compositions. I’m so into the moment that I almost always remember, exactly where I took the image and what I was thinking when I took it – even after years.
Mindy’s talk is based on her book Art of Intuitive Photography.
Mindy Véissid's book Art of Intuitive Photography is hot off the press! Mindy will discuss her life path which lead her to become a photographer and creator of her Art of Intuitive Photography classes. Her book guides the reader to pay attention to feelings, be mindful of the present moment, and experience rather than do photography. Mindy will present some key features from the book, show images taken in an intuitive moment, and will sign books as well.
Article Written by Jennifer Mishra
Jennifer Mishra is an American travel photographer born in Colorado and based in the St. Louis metro area. She has a background in classical music and academia. She is the founder of PhotoYoga. Her photos are published at Wits End Photography or follow her on Facebook or Instagram.
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