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Guest Designer - Susannah Conway

This week's guest designer is the beautiful and talented Susannah Conway, from Bath, England. She not only is an amazing photographer but uses her gift to teach self-awareness courses that help you to reconnect with your true self. As Susannah says about her course, Unraveling, "These definitely won’t be self-portraits in the traditional sense – we’ll be using the camera as a tool to unlock how we see not only ourselves but also the world we live in, including the immediate surrounds of our homes, places of work and our friends and family." Susannah shares daily observations and the things that inspire her on her blog, Ink on my fingers; her beloved vintage Polaroid cameras frequently get a mention.


How long have you been a photographer?

I picked up my first camera with the intention to create “art” in 1992. I was at art college and had originally nurtured dreams of becoming a painter, but as it turned out, I felt a natural affinity with the camera. I studied photography for four years altogether but between then and now I’ve worked as a fashion editor and freelance journalist. I wasn’t ready to pursue the photography until much later.

I lost my partner in 2005 and it was my journey through bereavement that changed my world. I started a blog in 2006 and in November of that year I flew to the Seattle to spend a week with some blogging friends. It was while walking around the rainy city that I fell back in love with photography – it was like the camera focused my attention back in the present, and there was all this fantastic new stuff to see. When I got back home I invested in a digital SLR and threw myself into learning about Photoshop. It was a steep learning curve, and now I find that I shoot solely with film and analogue cameras, but either way, I have found my way back home to photography.

What inspires you in your everyday life?

All forms of art and photography, cinema, the things I see outside my window, walking around the city. New places are endlessly inspiring and I wish I could go abroad more often. Music excites me and puts me in the right frame of mind for creating. The colours and textures of fabrics and walls fascinate me. My favourite poetry and prose are always in my head and hands and I know that words can affect my pictures, even if doesn’t seem that way at first. I like making poetic images.

How did the Unraveling course come about?

It all started last year when my sister asked if I’d like to create a photography workshop for the adult education centre she worked for. Another tutor was running a more traditional how-to photography class so I wanted to create something that combined my photography background with my own personal journey into self-awareness, sharing the tools I’d used to heal my self, not only working through grief but also healing the way I viewed my self. As a photographer I knew that the camera was the best tool to use for this work. After successfully running the workshops locally I decided to start leading them online at the beginning of this year. The rest, as they say, is history…

What advice can you give our readers about looking through the lens in a new way?

Simple things will improve your photos, such as thinking about what’s in the background when taking a portrait and being aware of how colours work together. For instance, a child wearing a red T-shirt will really pop against a grassy background; pink, red and orange look delicious together, but green and pink can make you feel queasy! If in doubt, play with monotone – it can make an image feel more coherent. Always get closer when taking pictures of people. To capture the feel of a place, shoot the little details as well as the bigger scene. What’s at your feet? What’s above your head? Carry a camera with you at all times, and try documenting your morning routine for a month – it’ll get you noticing things you hadn’t seen before.




About the e-courses:

The Unravelling e-courses are designed to help you heal the way you see your self and your world, using photography and journalling to access hidden thoughts and dreams, encouraging personal realisations and ultimately acceptance. Susannah is your guide through this process, sharing her insights and wisdom gleaned from a four-year voyage through grief and healing. Next class starts Monday September 28 2009. For more information, and to join the mailing list, visit http://www.susannahconway.com/
You can also purchase Susannah's photos at her Etsy store, Unravelling, including the ones posted above.
Create Well: Carry a camera with you at all times, and try documenting your morning routine for a month – it’ll get you noticing things you hadn’t seen before.

3 comments

  1. wow, what an amazing woman! off to check her out... :) thanks for showcasing her!

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  2. Susannah's photos are just lovely.

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  3. I love Susannah's photos! and I am so happy I will be taking one of her Unravelling courses!

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