A six-week e-course about cultivating
happiness and hope through photography.

Meditations on Gratitude


How can photography inspire optimism and peace of mind, in the face of all the challenging things happening in the world?

Can you develop your skills as a photographer and connect with your life more deeply at the same time?

What happens when you combine creativity and mindfulness practices?

Meditations on Gratitude is my answer to these questions. 

 

Deepen your love for the world.
Awaken your vision.


  

Meditations on Gratitude is a collection of photography and mindfulness lessons created to support your intention to live with more joy and presence - while reinvigorating your vision as a photographer.

During the class, you’ll receive three unique photography lessons per week plus a fourth, open-themed lesson. The lessons are designed to inspire a two-part process that looks like this:

 

A moment of mindfulness: 

Before you pick up your camera, each lesson will invite you to consider different aspects of your life within a framework of celebration and gratitude. This will be nourishing and heartening all on its own - but then you’ll go a step further.

 

Photograph your moment of gratitude:

This is the heart of Meditations on Gratitude. You’ll be guided to make beautiful, soulful images that express your gratitude - activating your creativity and developing your skills as a photographer.

The Experience:


Meditations on Gratitude is a six-week photography e-course devoted to cultivating a daily practice of gratitude (and making gorgeous images!). Your experience includes:
 

  • 23 thought-provoking lessons (including 18 creative photo prompts)

  • Inspirational readings

  • Beautiful slideshows filled with examples and inspiration

  • Audio essays

  • A private online classroom for community support and daily conversation

  • Regular personal feedback on images from me

  • Exclusive audio interviews with:

    Jerry Braza - an ordained dharma teacher in the lineage of Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh

    Meadow Linn - a chef who teaches people how to combine spirituality and mindfulness with nourishment

    Sidney Rittenberg - a man who spent 16 years in solitary confinement in a Chinese prison - and yet he’s one of the most grateful people I’ve ever met

 

Meditations on Gratitude is designed to fit easily into your busy schedule. Unlike a traditional classroom experience, you can dive in whenever it’s convenient for you. Take the course at 3am in your pajamas, if you like! Or, brew a pot of tea and spend a lovely, calming afternoon exploring the course material. Your schedule, your pace. 

When class begins, you’ll be invited into a warm, welcoming online classroom. Expect to find lively discussions, honest (always kind) feedback, and lots of encouragement and creative inspiration.

 

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There are two ways to experience Meditations on Gratitude:


The e-course only 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, 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 will schedule a 60-minute mentoring call. Ask me anything - this call is 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 refreshed, focused, and confident moving forward.

The mentoring option is ideal for people who want detailed feedback and personalized advice on their images.

 

Meditations on Gratitude was life changing. It’s a lovely mix of photography and Zen. Laura is so knowledgeable about both subjects so it was the perfect mix. I also appreciate her quiet enthusiasm and support.
— Deborah Saul

Is Meditations on Gratitude right for you?


If you want to live your life from a place of gratitude instead of taking it all for granted...

If you’re a highly sensitive person who’s feeling fatigued by the news cycle…

If you’re in the midst of personal struggle, and you’re craving catharsis and calm...

If you want your photography to be a rich personal practice for insight and growth...

If you want to create deeply personal images that represent joy and love, instead of shooting randomly without any direction...

If the thought of having daily feedback and a supportive creative community on the journey makes you perk up and smile…
 

Then yes, Meditations on Gratitude is right for you.

 

Meditations on Gratitude is like being led by a guide to walk through the museum of your own life
and recognize the art, right there. I’d take that journey over and over and probably find new gems every time.
— Renee Taylor
 
 
Image by Sofia Marcus-Myers

A bit about me…

I’m Laura Valenti, the artist behind Light Atlas Creative. I’ve been a photographer, curator, photo juror, arts director, and professional portfolio reviewer for over 20 years. What many people don’t know is that I’ve studied and practiced Zen meditation for just as long. Zen philosophy and simple, grounding meditation practices have taught me to be truly happy - to approach my life with more awareness and gratitude. 

Over the years, I’ve been fascinated by the overlap between the creative practice and mindfulness practice. I created Meditations on Gratitude to share that richness with my students. If you’re looking for a way to grow as an artist and as a human being, Meditations on Gratitude is a wonderful fit.

 

Laura, I can’t thank you enough for this amazing experience. I’m not sure which I enjoyed more - the photography lessons or developing the life skills of a grateful attitude. It doesn’t really matter, because the combination of the two is perfect. I really loved taking this class, and look forward to continuing to apply gratitude to my photography, and to my day!
— Judith Bender
 

 

FAQ…


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, smartphones, 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.

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.

 

What happens if I fall behind my classmates?

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 material for three full years after the course ends, so you can return to it as many times as you like.

What's your refund policy?

Meditations on Gratitude is a highly-rated class that many students take more than once. 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 three years), your registration isn't transferrable to a different class. 

 

Is this a good class for beginners? 

Since Meditations on Gratitude is a conceptual photography course (not a technical class), photographers at every level are welcome. In fact, because of this course’s emphasis on gratitude and mindfulness, even true beginners will benefit greatly from the course. The only prerequisite is being comfortable with basic camera operations (your smartphone works too!) and knowing how to upload images to your computer.

 

If I'm an advanced photographer, will this course be a good fit?

Our central focus in Meditations on Gratitude is adding more heart and soul to our images, and photographing with mindful awareness. So, even advanced photographers will feel at home in this course. 

 

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Reconnect with your creativity. 
Find comfort in life’s beauty.  

I know a quick Google search can turn up hundreds of photography tips and techniques. But, I believe we make our best images when we combine photographic skill and heartfelt image-making. This is Meditations on Gratitude.

This e-course is a good fit for you if:

  • You want your creative process to be more meaningful than just lining up objects in the frame and pressing a button

  • You want to savor the process of taking a photograph, so your work feels more intentional

  • You're ready to create gorgeous, light-filled, hopeful, happy images - and transform your relationship with your art in the process.

  • You are a sensitive spirit who feels the world’s chaos deeply, and you feel called to transform pain into beauty

  • You want to use your photography to deepen your relationship with your life and bring more joy into your world

  • You'd LOVE to have rich, daily conversation with a supportive photography community


Laura, thank you for another amazing course! This course helped me go through some hard times and reignited my interest in photography. Each lesson seemed to be a little light that illuminated parts of the darkness. I gained more courage to move forward.
— Ning Fan


Class begins soon!
Come join me on the journey!

 

 

 
It was all so wonderful! The activities were thought provoking, insightful, and they encouraged and enhanced my creativity. Laura’s teaching skillfully and mindfully guided us through activities to enhance our appreciation of ourselves, our lives, and what is truly important. Laura and the group provided supportive and insightful feedback and sharing my photos and stories was always comfortable. I would take this course again and again! Did not want it to end! The course was terrific.
— Tiffany Couch
I have such gratitude for all you have shared with us Laura. I have learned so much in each of your classes and can’t wait for the next one. I have broadened my appreciation and understanding of fine art photography. I have made new friends. I am more accepting of myself as a photographer. I think what you do (and that you are so willing to share it) has taught me more than I could have hoped for.
— Connie Gardener Rosenthal
I enjoyed this course immensely! It is not the typical “exercise in gratitude” where you write down a few things every day for which you are grateful. This class is far more substantive with interesting interviews and slideshows that really make you ponder gratitude. It helped me figure out what I’m grateful for and WHY I’m grateful, as well.
— Lisa Waddell
Meditations on Gratitude is a personalized online photography course about deepening your photography practice through slowing down, listening to your heart, and learning to be grateful for the realness of life. Each lesson is a little private retreat on a different topic...and each assignment opens up a path to explore photographically. Laura is a fantastic teacher and guide. She shares herself and her own work very generously and is very supportive of each student.
— Evy Huppert
I really enjoyed the assignments - they made me think in ways that I hadn’t thought before. I really enjoyed the opportunity to be more grateful and less thought-driven in my photography. I had so many perception shifts while taking this class, it has helped slow me down and be more present when I am photographing.
— Natalie Beck