Authenticity & The Creative Practice
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
What does the word authentic mean to you, in terms of your art? What parts of your practice feel most authentic?
What parts of your practice don’t feel authentic? Are any of your choices guided by what you feel you “should” do? What parts of your practice are you talking yourself into?
Which of your images feels most like you - the real you?
How could you make your work even more authentic? If making authentic work was your primary goal, how would your process be different?
LINKS TO EXPLORE...
Artist statement for my series Heart Sutra
Artist statement for my series Touching the Earth
"As a fine art photographer, I work in isolation, but know the importance of interacting with a community of peers.
Laura's online photo salon is the perfect place, and I could not ask for a more sensitive and wonderful fearless leader."
— Jacqueline Walters
Wouldn't it be nice to attend a gathering of fellow photographers, to talk deeply and openly about the creative process, to share images, get regular feedback, and come away empowered, invigorated, and ready for your next steps? This is it. Gathering Light is an online photography salon for dedicated, passionate creative spirits.
It’s easy to become isolated as an artist, to work in a vacuum without opportunities to share and get perspective on your work. It's also easy to back-burner creative time and let everything else come first. Gathering Light is about opening up space for creativity and finding strength in a community of artists on a similar path. I created Gathering Light because I know how transformative it is when artists come together. Regular doses of insight and connection are brilliant creative catalysts.
Gathering Light is a "yes" space. It's a space where we celebrate creative risks, see mistakes as doorways for growth, and deeply honor our fellow artists' journeys. It's a safe space for wild ideas, playfulness, experimentation, and first forays. It's everything I wish I had when I was first making my way in the world as an artist.
Art flourishes in an environment of openness and positivity, and Gathering Light is a beautiful motivating force. It's an invitation to take bold new steps with your photography. Begin that project you've been thinking about, bounce ideas off other creatives, get the insight you need to move forward. The company is good, the inspiration is flowing, and the conversation is about to begin. Pour yourself a cup of tea, pull up a cushion, and join in!
GATHERING LIGHT INCLUDES...
PHOTO LOVE: A MONTHLY INTERVIEW
Every month, I share a heartfelt interview with a favorite photographer. All of them are brilliant contemporary artists who inspire me. The interviews are diverse, wide-ranging, and packed to the brim with insight. Each photographer has a different working method, a different aesthetic, and fresh ideas about what it means to be an artist. I can't wait to share these juicy, smart, personal, witty, fabulous interviews with you. You're going to love these photographers as much as I do.
REFLECTIONS ON THE CREATIVE PATH
Each month, I share a very open, personal talk about my current creative projects and the joys and challenges of living the creative life. It’s a very intimate, behind-the-scenes look at my process. Monthly reflections also cover issues that arise on the creative path - and my ideas for overcoming them. I talk about stimulating inspiration, moving through blocks, and making the creative practice personal - all issues close to my heart. I dive deep and share all I've learned from being a working artist for 20+ years. I also share new images, hot off the press.
A BEAUTIFUL PRIVATE COMMUNITY
You'll have access to an ongoing open forum where you can post images, share ideas, and connect with fellow photographers. The forum is truly private (it's not hosted on Facebook), so it's a secure space for sharing. There really is no other community quite like this - it's beautifully supportive and compassionate. It truly is a safe space for sharing and growing as an artist.
INSPIRATIONAL CREATIVE EXPERIMENTS
Every month, I'll share a new creative experiment with the Gathering Light community. The experiments are (optional) mini assignments - fun creative exercises to help you stretch your wings. Sometimes the experiments are thematic, sometimes they're aesthetic, sometimes they're conceptual. Many of them are based on my current personal practice - and I love sharing my creative ideas in real time.
ADD ONE-ON-ONE MENTORING
You can add private mentoring to your Gathering Light membership if you'd like extra guidance. Mentoring session are an opportunity to dig deep, get all your images and ideas out on the (virtual) table, and synthesize, brainstorm, and learn all about the "inside baseball" of the arts world. I pull from twenty years in the field as a curator, photographer, portfolio reviewer, and educator. If you're confused about the photography world and unsure how to refine or promote your work, I can help you take your next steps with more confidence.
MONTHLY MEMBERSHIP: $24/MONTH
SIX-MONTH MEMBERSHIP + THREE PRIVATE MENTORING SESSIONS: $700
ONE-YEAR MEMBERSHIP + SIX PRIVATE MENTORING SESSIONS: $1,365
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS...
WHAT KIND OF CAMERA DO I NEED?
All cameras are welcome! You don’t need anything fancy to be a part of Gathering Light. DSLRs, point-and-shoots, camera phones, view cameras, pinhole cameras made from oatmeal boxes – I have a strict equipment nondiscrimination policy. If you're a film photographer, you must be able to scan your images to share in the online community space.
HOW GOOD DO I NEED TO BE?
Thoughtful photographers at any level may join. You should be comfortable with basic camera operations and must know how to upload images from your camera to your computer. Tech help is just an email away, though - we'll get you sorted out in a jiffy if you run into trouble.
IS THERE A LIVE ELEMENT? DO I NEED TO SCHEDULE SPECIFIC TIME FOR THIS?
There is no live element - you can participate in Gathering Light entirely on your own schedule. The community sharing space is open all the time. The monthly reflection is published on the 1st of each month, the creative experiment is published on the 8th, and the interview is published on the 15th. On the fourth week of the month we do a fun group check in where I share additional ideas and resources. No commuting in traffic, no sitting in uncomfortable classroom chairs. Cozy up and participate when it's truly best for you. It’s a lovely way to learn and connect.
HOW DO THE MONTHLY PAYMENTS WORK?
Monthly payments are debited from your card on the same day each month. If you sign up for six months or a year at a time, you'll receive a renewal reminder when your membership ends.
WHAT’S THE CANCELLATION POLICY?
If you cancel your Gathering Light membership, you'll retain all the interviews, monthly reflections, and creative experiments you've already received, but you'll lose access to the community forum. If you sign up for a six-month or one-year membership and need to end your participation early, your registration fee is transferrable and does not expire, but it is not refundable. You can transfer your registration to any other e-course or mentoring package if need arises. Monthly members may cancel at any time and may always rejoin in the future.