At the heart of the work we do here at Be Your Own Beloved is the practice of the photowalk.
By photowalk I mean you and your camera (or phone or photo taking device of any kind) exploring the world around you.
It could be in your home, in your yard, in a 1 block radius from your home or an exploration of your neighbourhood. It might be somewhere you come across on your travels too, but I find that often our brain wants us to find the 'perfect' photo walk location but that's not what this is about. It's far more about seeing our everyday world through a new lens and the truth is there is beauty everywhere awaiting us, we just have to slow down and witness it.
Taking a camera out for a walk can give us a sense of purpose in our wandering, a reason to engage with the world around us. It isn't solely about the photos we come home but rather the practice of seeing the world around us with curiosity.
While this class isn't specifically about body acceptance or even selfies for that matter which most of my classes are, this is about the practice behind that healing. It's about using the tool of taking a photo walks as a healing modality, a way to reconnect with ourselves, make space fo ourselves and engage in healing practices as we wander with the lens.
IF SELFIES ARE THE MEDIUM AND BODY ACCEPTANCE IS THE PURPOSE...PHOTOWALKS ARE THE PRACTICE.
They are the space to slow down, to connect to ourselves, to get curious about the world around us. They are a chance for us to create a vessel for exploring the world around us and the inner responses that go along with that.
As I've been studying to become a Trauma Informed Coach so many connections have been made as to WHY the practices I do within my own photo practice work. It has helped make deeper sense of why these photo walks are such a pivotal part of the healing practice of seeing ourselves through the lens.
While doing this work I realized that so many of the practices I've found myself doing on these photo walks are techniques we can do to support ourselves when having a trauma reaction, ways we can self-regulate and bring ourselves back home. Photowalks, even just for a moment always bring me back to self, to my body, to the earth and feel like a deep grounding breath inviting me back home.
So I wanted to create a gentle, slow paced class over this summer to invite you to explore these practices too. To make some space for yourself to explore these weekly activities and see which ones feel like a nourishing practice and tool for self-support for you too.
Here's a bit more about the class and what we'll be exploring!
The Photowalk Class includes:
8 Weekly activities in your inbox inviting you to go on a photo walk in your own home, yard or neighbourhood.
The Wander Pre-Class E-Book to Explore with tips for taking photowalks arriving July 1st before we start with our first official activity on July 2nd.
We do not have a community group for this class as I do in some of my other programs but we will be having a weekly collective sharing on the @beyourownbeloved Instagram where you can send in your favourite photo you took from that weeks prompt and I'll post a virtual photo walk where you can see everyone's images from the week together!
Our Wander Photo Walk Practices will explore
A tool of self-regulation and resetting our nervous system
Creating a mindfulness practice through the lens
Exploring joyful movement
Self-Connection and self-care
Building a sense of place and connection to our community
Each week during the program you'll receive a photo walk activity to explore at your own pace. You'll need to find 5-20 minutes (or even just 1 minute) to explore the activity. These aren't meant to be done in epic locations where you have hours to yourself...these are meant to be something simple you're doing around your home, or in a 1 block radius in your neighbourhood or in your yard.
July 2nd -August 20th, 2023
$69 CAD (Approx $50 USD)
I’m Vivienne, your guide in this online class. I created Be Your Own Beloved E-Courses after many years of using the camera as a tool to find my way back from a deep struggle with negative body image and self-hate. The curriculum in this program is derived from the same tools that I used to heal how I saw myself and find my own voice of how I saw myself (outside of my inner critics voice).
I hope you enjoy getting to know yourself through the lens and don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions!
For those of you on the fence, trust me. Sign up. I’ve taken two courses with Vivienne and I’ll surely sign up for more. Vivienne is compassionate without being schmaltzy, creative without being flighty, and meets learners where they are. Her ability to create a community seems easy but as an online educator, I know how hard it is. Her classes are well worth the investment and they made me love the camera and myself.
Here are the most frequently asked questions.
If there’s anything else you’d like to know, please Reach Out
Is this a self-portrait class?
This isn't a self-portrait class per say. So if you've been wanting to do a class with me but are resistant to selfies this might be one for you. That said, I will be mentioning selfies as an option with each activities but you're also to welcome to take a non-selfie as your photo for each prompt.
Do I need to have photography experience?
Not at all! I wanted to use the term selfie in this class as it really isn’t about how fancy of a photo you take for the activities. Its about you, using a tool that feels easeful to you (be it an iPhone or Android) or a point and shoot! Whichever type of camera feels fun & exciting to pick up and take out for your adventures! I think most of us will likely be using a smartphone or maybe taking a DSLR out for some activities. You don’t need to do all the same activities with the same gear….really there are no rules…just you having some photo fun this summer!
I’m of the perspective that we learn SO much from getting out there and learning through experience and getting playful with our cameras. So I have a feeling you’ll have lots of fun and take more photos than you might be used to but there is no experience necessary at all!
What is a photo walk?
A photo walk is something you are likely already taking part in…taking your camera or phone out with you for a short (or long) stroll around your neighbourhood or your yard being open to what might catch your eye and bring forth that urge to take a picture! In the context of this class, you can use any sort of camera…iPhones or smartphones are most definitely encouraged.
Your weekly photo walk could be:
Sacred solo time for you to make space for some self-care time
A weekly activity to invite your kids to join you in taking part in
You could have a friend join the class to and make it a weekly friend-date!
What if I miss the first few activities because I’m travelling then?
I’ll remind you of this throughout class, but there really is no pass or fail here. There is no expectation that you need to do all 8, in order. These are 8 fun activities to enhance your summer (or whatever season July/Aug is for you) and invite you into these practices. If you miss the first few because you are away, they will be awaiting you in your inbox (or maybe you’ll try them out while on your travels…they really can be done anywhere).
Your classes usually have a Flickr Group and I love the energy in them. Why is there no Flickr Group?
Indeed…I LOVE having a Flickr Group in classes too! They are such a powerful and supportive community space for us to connect in class. After teaching E-Courses for nearly 10+ years now, I’ve most definitely noticed that during the summer time it can be difficult to really have active participation and I really wanted to infuse this class with a summery, low pressure energy and for this class we’ll be connecting on Instagram through the hashtag and through some other ways of connecting.
I’ll be sharing lots of suggestions for ways we can share our photos as a community during class if that is something you are craving from the class, and if not…this journey truly can be about YOU and the experience of going on these photo walks, whether or not you share your photos!
Is there Feedback on my photos?
If you choose to share your photos on social media via the course hashtag, I will most definitely see them! I love commenting, especially on Instagram, so there is a high likelihood you’ll see a heart on every photo you share there from me and a comment on many of them. This class isn’t as much about feedback as the other classes but you’ll definitely have me and your peers cheering you on if you share the photos! If you're looking for lots of support, join me for the next session of Be Your Own Beloved as that has a very high level of support and encouragement.
What if I’m not able to go on a photo walk?
The photo walk activities are designed to be done at any distance or any place. You could go into your backyard, or go around your block. You could even do these practices in your room looking at the items you have around you in a new way. They are not intended to be done in epic locations or require lots of distance. It's far more about seeing your world in new ways than it is going to new places. If you are in a scooter or wheelchair, you are absolutely encouraged to take photo adventures in a way that works for your body. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions about the photo walk element of class!