Gloom and Glow – Challenging My Photography

Hello everyone, Happy Friday!

2017 has been the year for learning, and investing in my skills.  I have enrolled on a few online courses this year, which have not only unlocked my creativity, but have encouraged it to burst out of the shadows and set my mind on fire.  My creativity has always been here as you know, but it has not been given permission to flourish in such a way since I went to art college (back in the dark ages!).  As an adult with children, working and still trying to renovate a house, there is a lid kept firmly on creativity.  Yes you can express it through crafts, the way you decorate your house, through a blog and through the photographs you take.  But until now, nothing has ever met that feeling I had at art school.  The tutors encouraged us to rip up the rule book, forget what we had learnt as A’ Level students, and to create fantastical stories and express them in huge drawings, paintings, textiles and sculptures.  We were often sent into town with our tool boxes full of charcoal, pastels and chunky graphite pencils.  We would spend all day drawing, and we were as free as birds.  If the paper wasn’t big enough, you taped more paper together to make it bigger (I remember most of us taping huge A1 sheets of paper together to create drawings and painting 8ft high).  With ink and charcoal we filled sketchbook upon sketchbook, and these sketches where we would then develop into beautiful, indulgent projects, which would take months to develop.  (Oh to be an art student again!)

I have for the first time in years, experienced that feeling of creative freedom I had when I was 18.  I am currently taking part in a course called Gloom and Glow, which is run by Me and Orla’s Sara Tasker.  Sara is an Instagram legend, and this is the third course of hers that I have enrolled in.  (I also did the Insta Retreat and Bloom and Grow.  Highly recommend both, which is why I’m back for more!)  Not only is there a really lovely community that comes with taking part in one of these course, but the courses have also inspired me to think in a way that I haven’t done since I was at art school.  I am genuinely proud of the photographs that I have taken in the second half of this year.  Learning more and more about new ways to approach my photography and my story telling behind each photo, has been a complete game changer for me.

So, back to Gloom and Glow.  In a nutshell, this course is all about thinking about what makes these darker, wintry months magical, and capturing it on camera with weekly lessons and homework.  Homework for the first week was to get outside, which is exactly what I did on Monday, in the hail and rain!  I had a vague idea in my head of what I wanted to capture, and it was definitely a challenge, not least because it was icy cold and wet.  I knew that I wanted to see magic though, as the older I get, the more I become fascinated with fairytales and magical imagery.  When I got home and started to play with the images on the computer, they made my heart flutter and sparked my imagination.  Here’s a little caption I wrote to go with them.

I went out in the hail and the rain to the woods to look for fairies.

And guess what I found on the mossy woodland paths, below the sound of the creaking, colossal trees…

Magical lanterns fizzing with light and glowing with energy. Placed there by someone (or something?) to guide me.

I followed and found another, and then another, leading me deeper into the dark, velvety forest….

Are you one of those people who loves a little sparkle and magic?  I’d love to hear from you if you are.  I will be posting more about bringing the magic back over the weekend, with a festive shoot I did with my daughter!

Tamsyn x




Please do leave a comment, I love hearing from you!

  • Janet Squires

    Beautiful! You have made me enjoy the darkness with your beautiful photography. I love sparkly lights and anything that twinkles! Thank you XX

  • Beautiful. Woodland can sometimes look scary in the half light (and definitely in the dark), you’ve made it magical and exciting here

  • It’s such a joy to hear how your creativity has been set free this year Tamsyn! To be honest, it has shown in your face as well as your superb work. It’s obvious that you’re entering a phase in your life where you have total control over your own happiness and destiny and that strength just shines out in everything you do! xx

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