For this cheeky bonus episode I'm speaking again with Philippa James, who you will remember from S1 Ep6. This time we're talking about the photography workshops for adults that Philippa runs. And it doesn't stop once you've learnt the basics. The Motherhood is a photographic community that supports, inspires, explores and shares its new-found creative outlet.
Clubhouse: @clairewaitebrown and Creativity Found Connect club
Music: Day Trips by Ketsa https://ketsa.uk/under Creative Commons License
Artworks: Emily Portnoi emilyportnoi.co.ukSupport the show
I'm delighted to be back with Philippa James, who you'll remember from season one, Episode Six. Philippa runs photography workshops for adults, covering the practicalities, but also building a community through continued inspiration, exploration and sharing of work. I fell have her it's lovely to see you again. lovely to see you too. We're here today to talk about the motherhood. So first, can you tell me how this came about?Unknown:
Yes. So basically, motherhood is a place where we empower women to use their creativity to photography, and I set it up because when I became a mom, I found motherhood very consuming. There was no place or time really, for me to have a creative output. And so like an octopus, I began documenting my every day, however, and whatever that looked like. And as my children were starting to grow up, I really wanted to kind of reach out to other mums who are going through the similar experience that I had the ones who were very consumed by motherhood and just desperate to have something for themselves, which they could do whilst possibly looking after children. And it kind of started from there. I was in a pub with a friend writing down notes on a, you know, like a napkin, you know, when you just had these bits of inspiration? And yeah, I'm just really proud of it. It's grown into quite a community now. Yeah. And God, I don't know how long it's been going for. It's probably been six years or something like that. Yeah. And it's just going really well. And in fact, it's going really well, so well, that there's no two of us running it. Emma D. She came on one of the workshops years ago now. And we're now working as a team running theClaire Waite Brown:
motherhood together. Oh, that's lovely. That's brilliant. So what should people expect, if they come to join you?Unknown:
Yeah, so it works by signing up to our beginners workshop. And that's where I teach the fundamentals of photography, and how to competently use your camera on manual. Because those are kind of the tools that you really need. And then once you've got those basics, which they are basics, but ultimately, if you don't know them, they're very complicated. But nobody leaves the workshop without confidently knowing all this, you know, I hold everyone's hand and it's very, very cosy. And we go through their camera, because, you know, my cameras different from their camera, too, I mean, and it's a really want to kind of build up. So the students become independent photographer themselves. So that's where it starts. And once you've got these tools, you are then a member of the motherhood for life. And that's where, in our opinion, the creativity really begins. So it's like really super important for us to stretch the student's abilities and to encourage them to test like new processes and new techniques. So every month, we get together for 30 minutes on zoom, and I set a new challenge. So for example, this month, it was symmetry, because last month, it was red. We've done self portrait. So it's just different things, different kind of things that I know that they could do and experiment with. And I get involved as well. So I want to experiment with these different things, by share, like some inspiration from famous photographers, just to get the kind of creative juices flowing, and then everyone goes off shooting, each student can only enter one image that is the tricky bit. And throughout the month, we see hundreds of photographers sharing in our fantastic kind of Facebook group, everyone shares what they've been doing their experiments, and just their working progress, really. And it's really, like supportive, it's really good to hear other people's opinions saying, oh, If I was you, I'd go and do this. Or how about Have you thought about that. So it's really, really supportive and safe. You know, like everyone can, you can just put in there even if it's a rubbish image, you can be like, Guys, what do I do with this? And you know, everyone's really supporting so it's really nice. And then at the end of the month, I asked a pair in the arts, like, you know, one of my friends who work there, not necessarily photography, it could be you know, any creative area to come and critique the submitted images with me. And that becomes a great discussion which we record and we pop it onto our YouTube channel. So everyone, like all the students, I've said it's really valuable to hear other people's work being criticised genomics, they get value from it as well. And then a winner is chosen. So yeah, that's that's basically how it's run.Claire Waite Brown:
It sounds absolutely amazing. I I'm personally quite petrified of the basics of the camera. So that bit sounds brilliant. And also the ongoing support. And the creative prompts are just so so helpful, I can really understand how enjoyable that could be.Unknown:
I think that's it. I think also, you know, there's no point just go into a workshop, learning the basics, and then you're on your own because it's when it's a bit like driving a car, when you're on your own. That's when the real learning starts. And you really need support around you. Because it's like, oh, what about this? Or what about that? Or sometimes, as you said, the prompts, you wouldn't have thought about, I mean, none of us would have thought about doing self portraiture, I'd be honest, because everyone was like, no. So you know, it was really good, just getting out your comfort zone. And we also then throughout the year, we run two or three, kind of, we call them master classes. So they're, they're more advanced, we might just focus on one area. So we did, at the beginning of the year, we did a masterclass in just documentary. And it was really fantastic. And I did say if I wasn't running out, I would love to be on it. Because it was it was a lovely, lovely workshop. And we run one on light room for those, you know, who had been on the workshop for quite a while they've started using Lightroom editing process. We've got a couple of others that we're going to be doing this year as well. So yeah, they're like, we're always trying to, you know, inspire and learn and grow as creatives that's kind of kind of where our heart is that. Yeah,Claire Waite Brown:
it's it's the long journey, isn't it? It's not just a quick lesson in this and you're on your own. It's, it's the continuing exploration of it. That sounds absolutely brilliant. Have you done anything special with the images?Unknown:
Yes, we have, actually. So during the first lockdown, I curated an exhibition of their work called isolation. And we did this voltage art weeks, initially, it was going to be in a cafe in Oxford, obviously, then we went into lockdown. And it went online. And that's when the theme became isolation. And it was basically picked up by the BBC News. And we got featured on BBC Breakfast, which was amazing. None of us had any idea was going to going to do that. So yeah, it was such a buzz. And actually, one of the images got selected for the National Gallery, you know, when they were choosing all around the country from within. So that is, yeah, very, very proud moment. And because of that, we did another one this year, which was online, it's called four months, which was a reflecting on flexion, sorry, on returning back to normality from January through to April. And the images were basically curated from these monthly challenges that we had done. It was a bit of a surprise, that mean MD kind of put together for everyone, just to kind of you know, cheer everyone on. So yeah, that was really exciting. And all those can be seen over at. So we've got this kind of new website, which is the motherhood.my portfolio.com. And those exhibitions can be seen there. So yeah, so it's all great. It's all nice place now, as well as it's really neat and really, really proud of their work. Brilliant. IClaire Waite Brown:
bet they are, too. Yeah, they are until they should be really strong stuff. And is that where people should go to find out more about booking onto the courses?Unknown:
Yes, so all the informations are there, we only run about four year at the moment. The next one is in September. And then there's another one before Christmas dates, and everything is all on there. At the moment, we are running them on zoom, which we've done this whole year, which has worked really well actually. So it's five sessions, one a week in the evening for about an hour and a half. So yeah, just head over to the website and book a place or just send us email and we can let you know more information.Claire Waite Brown:
Brilliant. Thank you very much. Thanks for having me. That's really nice of you to have me back. You're welcome. You can follow at motherhood workshops on Instagram. And as Philippa mentioned, visit the motherhood.my portfolio.com to find out more and book on and don't forget to mention creativity found podcast when contacting any of our guests.