An e-course about transcending rules and "shoulds"
and making gorgeous, heartfelt images that are truly YOU.
Candela: Finding Inspiration Through Photography
Candela is an e-course about moving beyond a technical and mechanical approach to photography toward a deeply expressive personal practice. Who you are matters more than any tip or trick or piece of gear. At a certain point, it’s essential to look inside to discover what you really have to say as an artist. In Candela, you’ll draw powerful new inspiration from heartfelt personal inquiry as you shake up your seeing, abandon rules that constrain creativity, tackle stumbling blocks, and take brave new steps toward true artistry.
Photography can be a deep, transformational personal practice, a powerful form of self-expression and meaning making, a communion, a source of catharsis and healing, and an opportunity for rich, life-changing insight. It’s about so much more than f-stops. Your personality, your history, your perspective and experience – all of that forms the foundation of who you are as an artist. When you turn your attention away from the bells and whistles and toward what really matters, you'll develop a richer artistic practice.
What really matters? The people and places you love in the world, the experiences that make you laugh and cry and jump with delight, the things that connect you more deeply to life, love, and the human experience. This is rich territory to explore as an artist. Candela is designed to take you there.
Connect your photography to something deeper.
Fall in love with your art again.
You know how certain images make you feel something? They’re not just technically-perfect eye candy - they’re filled with resonance and real emotion. You look at them and your breath catches in your throat, or you get a little teary eyed.
When you look at your work, it feels flat.
You've followed all the rules, bought all the gear, listened to all the experts - and you still can't make images that feel right. You're considering upgrading your gear again...and you have the sneaking suspicion that's not the answer.
This is where Candela comes in.
This e-course will show you how to let go of the distractions and hone in on the very heart of the creative practice. You'll learn to connect your photography to your lived experience - to move beyond "photography as an exercise" and towards photography as a beautiful, nourishing way of life.
During our six weeks together in Candela, you'll receive:
- Insight to help you simplify, slow down, and bring a deeper awareness to your photography
- An invitation to let go of "rules" that limit creativity and make you constantly question your choices
- Instruction on using your passions, history, and life experiences as creative inspiration
- Guidance on intuitive, heartfelt composition
- Inspiration to fine-tune your awareness of beauty and light
- Help setting the stage for a deep, personal creative practice
- Rich ideas on living a nourishing, fulfilling creative life - now and into the future
- And so much more!
Your art is a beautiful extension of your life.
Make images that sing to your soul.
What’s included in Candela?
Each week, you’ll receive three rich, thought-provoking lessons and one creative exercise that prompts you to integrate and apply what you’re learning. Lessons are delivered via:
Candela is designed to fit easily into your busy schedule. Unlike a traditional classroom experience, you can do the lessons anytime day or night. You can take the course at 3am in your pajamas, if you like!
When class begins, you’ll be invited into a warm, welcoming online classroom. This is where we'll expand on the themes in the weekly lessons. Expect to find lively discussions, honest (always kind) feedback, and lots of encouragement and support.
There are two ways to experience Candela...
The first option is detailed above. The second option includes everything mentioned above and adds a mentoring component. Here’s what that looks like:
Step 1: I will review your past photographic work, your website (if you have one), and any portfolios or other images you want to share. (Yes, I will look at ALL of it.)
Step 2: We'll schedule a 60-minute mentoring call. Ask me anything - it’s your time to use however you like. I’ll offer feedback on your images and we’ll chat about your photography goals and any creative challenges you’re experiencing. We’ll also map out your next steps so you feel jazzed, focused, and eager to get going.
The mentoring option is an excellent fit for people who are looking for detailed feedback and personalized advice.
Why did I create Candela?
I spent many years directing the programming at a photography school. 95% of our classes were technical. Those classes are important, but I knew the creative process was so much richer than that.
I often saw our students become disheartened, because they felt like they were missing something. They’d invested so much, they’d learned the skills, and their images still weren’t as good as they’d hoped.
As a working artist, I knew that artists don’t spend 95% of their time focused on the technical. We talk about entirely different things. The way photography is taught and the way it's practiced by artists? Apples and oranges. I created Candela to open the doors of this deeper relationship with art - to help my students access the heart and soul of the medium and become true artists.
Is Candela right for me?
- If you know there's more to photography than f-stops, Lightroom presets, and big lenses...
- If you want to add real emotion and personality to your work...
- If you feel called to use photography to express your hopes, passions, vulnerabilities, and joys...
- If you carry around a lot of rules and "shoulds" and you're ready to let them go...
- If you want to use your photography as a tool to understand yourself and the world more deeply...
- If you want thoughtful, supportive feedback and expert guidance every step of the way...
Then yes, Candela is a lovely next step.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much time do I need to put in?
We each learn and process information at our own pace, so I’m hesitant to put a number on it, but…my broad estimation is that you’ll make the most of this course if you spend at least two hours a week on the lessons and your weekly assignment.
What happens if I fall behind my classmates?
As far as I'm concerned, there’s no such thing as falling behind. Art doesn’t unfold on a timetable, so there will be absolutely zero pressure to rush or force things in this class. You'll have access to all the lessons for one full year after the course ends, so you can repeat them as many times as you like.
What's your refund policy?
If you need to leave the class for any reason, your registration or purchase is transferrable to another session of the same class, but is not refundable. Because you'll get access to the class and all the class resources (and because you'll get to keep your access for a full year), your registration isn't transferrable to a different class.
What kind of camera do I need?
All cameras are welcome! You don’t need anything fancy to take this course. In fact, the simpler, the better! DSLRs, point-and-shoots, camera phones, pinhole cameras made from oatmeal boxes – I have a strict equipment nondiscrimination policy. If it makes you happy to shoot with it, you've got the right gear for this class.
Tell me honestly - how good do I need to be for this?
Since Candela is a conceptual photography course (not a technical class), photographers at every level are welcome. It's never too early to start thinking about creativity in a deeper way. The only prerequisite is being comfortable with basic camera operations and knowing how to upload images to your computer.