Combining photography, mindfulness and nature helps to improve mental health, wellbeing and resilience, increase confidence and self-esteem, and help people become more focused, motivated and creative.

My workshops and courses for charities, social enterprises and other organisations help people look again at their lives, their work, and the world around them. 

I’ve empowered groups in mental health, dementia, end-of-life care, homelessness, recovery, and young people to tell their stories effectively, authentically and meaningfully.  

Look Again training is centred around the five ways to wellbeing used throughout the NHS:

  • CONNECT with self, others and nature

  • GIVE your photos, your inspiration, your presence

  • LEARN photography, communication and mindfulness skills

  • BE ACTIVE and enjoy walking in nature

  • TAKE NOTICE, observe and appreciate the beauty all around you

These workshops and courses are designed to help you:

  • slow down and improve your mindset, health and wellbeing

  • build stronger connections with your community

  • clarify your vision – why do you do what you do? 

  • identify, clarify and articulate your story 

  • learn to take better photos for use on your website, social media, in printed material, and for evaluation purposes

  • discover simple tips and tricks for a more mindful life

Get in touch to discuss tailoring workshops and training to suit your organisation, challenges and budget – from half-day sessions to six or eight week courses.

 

FREE 8-week FINDING FOCUS photography with mindfulness courses for people with mental health challenges

The Pavilion, Museum in the Park, Stroud, Gloucestershire 

Next course starts Tuesday 17 September 2019, 1pm to 3pm

In partnership with arts and health charity Artlift and funded by Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group.

These courses are for people who have ongoing mental health challenges. Referrals are received from GPs or other health/support workers.

"Mindful photography reminds me to stop, breathe and admire the beauty all around me. It has improved my mental health. It keeps me more in the present and less in false worry. It has encouraged me to get close and really admire what I’m seeing. I feel as though my photography has improved. Mindful photography really calms me and gives me an inner peace that I don’t get from anywhere else." Artlift course participant

Get in touch for more information.

 
 

Funded 6-week photography courses for wellbeing in the Stroud District

In partnership with Stroud Nature and funded by an Adult Social Care ‘Thriving Communities’ grant from Gloucestershire County Council.

Since November 2018 four 6-week mindful photography courses have taken place for people needing to build confidence and self-esteem, improve their mental health, make new friends, and learn skills. Courses were run in partnership with host organisations Forest Green Rovers in Nailsworth, All Pulling Together in Stonehouse, The Hub Academy, The Nelson Trust, Brimscombe, and Make It Studios in Stroud.

7 July 2019, Mindful Photography Exhibition of participants work at the Big Nature Festival in Stratford Park, Stroud.

Look Again is working with The University of Gloucestershire to develop a full evaluation framework to use for this project.

 
 

If you would like your clients or service users to benefit from a 6-8 week mindful photography course for improved mental health, confidence, focus and motivation, do get in touch.

 

Case studies

Below are examples of just some of the workshops, courses and training I’ve run for charities and community organisations. Get in touch to talk to me about your needs

 
Photo of people taking photos during a mindfulness photography workshop for NHS Staff Gloucestershire

The Recovery College, NHS 2gether Trust, Gloucestershire

I ran a mindfulness photography workshop to help the Recovery College explore how slowing down and taking notice of colour, texture, shapes and patterns – both indoors and in nature – can improve wellbeing.

“I’ve always found mindfulness walking helpful, but the mindfulness photography took it to another level. As we concentrated on what we were photographing, I was not aware of any intrusive thoughts and I found it very relaxing. Doing it as a group was very powerful. I went home feeling very relaxed and happy. Thanks for a great course.” Jane McGraham, Recovery College, NHS 2gether Trust, Gloucestershire

“When you’re in recovery, this can give a sense of purpose and a great way to get the patient out of their hospital room, interacting with people and gaining confidence again. Getting out into the garden taking pictures and becoming aware of other things helps to raise self-esteem and make them feel more inspired.” Workshop participant

 
man taking photo of nature during mindfulness photography workshop at Franklyn Hospital Exeter

Franklyn Hospital, Exeter, Devon Partnership, NHS Trust

Participants in this mindful and therapeutic photography workshop for people with dementia explored the hospital’s sensory garden, looking again at colour, texture, patterns and light.

“Ruth’s sensory approach to running a photography workshop for people living with dementia was a great success. She created a cohesive, shared group experience that enabled everyone to feel ‘grounded’, while being in the moment. Participants demonstrated the ability to make creative decisions and aesthetic choices, expressing these both verbally and through the camera lens. 

“Outcomes included improved mood, increased self-esteem, improved engagement in other activities, better social interaction, increased staff awareness of the person’s ‘story’, positive response from relatives, and sharing good practice through an exhibition and publicity, to challenge negative perceptions of people with dementia.” Carrie Clarke, Occupational Therapist

 
Man taking photo of flowers during a mindfulness photography workshop for staff at Crisis Oxford

Crisis, Oxford

A three-day photography workshop working with people experiencing homelessness in Oxford. We looked again at the theme of living and dying as part of the 'Kicking the Bucket Festival'

I ran a three-day mindful photography workshop for people experiencing homelessness in Oxford. We looked at the theme of living and dying as part of the Kicking the Bucket Festival.

“Ruth is skilled at recognising the creative potential in every participant in her workshops. She has a rare gift for appreciating each participant’s images equally. Participants responded to her recognition of each individual and grew in confidence and self-esteem during the course. One participant in particular had struggled to even stay in the room at first, but by the end was making comments about her own work – a remarkable change.” Rebecca Burton, Crisis

“Great project! Great method of teaching! Fully enjoyed everything about it! It’s not only helped me learn about photography but also how I think about my life. It will help me move forward with my life!” Howling Mad Wolfman, participant

“Inspiration is what’s left with me. It’s always good learning something new in life. I’ve developed looking and thinking about things around me.” Trang Ha, participant

“Looking again was calming and relaxing, like taking a holiday from stress.” Martin Blackwell, participant

 
Man taking photo with smartphone during mindfulness photographer workshop for Gloucestershire Arts for Schools

Gloucestershire Arts For Schools

I worked with parents to help them expand their camera skills and photograph their children as part of two workshops run by Barnardo’s in conjunction with the Link Children’s Centre. 

“I can recommend Ruth as a committed, sincere, thorough, hardworking, fun person, as well as a talented photographer. She was a great hit with everyone concerned – parents, children and the organisers at the Link Children’s Centre. I would highly recommend her both as a photographer and to run workshops to pass on her skills.” Fran Webber, Director of GLAS

 

Other workshops with communities, charities and social enterprises in Gloucester, Stonehouse, and Stroud