Learning Series Part 1 with Paul Sanders

I began my photographic life by observing the keen photographers in my family and was, at that early stage, ‘self-taught’. Over the years various photographers (including Colin with whom I share this website) have taught me more and influenced me. One of those photographic tutors is Paul Sanders whom I first came across on social media. I soon discovered that we shared a faith and had some similar life experiences in common.

One of my first encounters with Paul was when I booked a 1:1 teaching session with him which took place at one of my favourite places, Burrswood. Paul’s website is called ‘discoverstill.com’. He brings with him a sense of calm, and a measured approach, which I find helps me to engage with the world around me. Although I have always been sensitively aware of the place I am in, I find his style, his observational skills and use of ‘mindfulness’ broadens my experiences and expectations. He has been a positive influence on me.

I would call myself a photographer of creation (rather than a portrait or macro photographer for example) and Paul taught me to first of all ‘stop, be still and see’ without my camera in my hand. If you take the time you notice things, you begin to become engrossed and freed from the ‘chatter in your head’. Like me, Paul wants to pass on what he has seen to those who look at his photographs and to stimulate their imagination. Most of all he takes images that he likes for himself. If anyone else likes them, that’s a bonus.

I have since done two more workshops with him. Although Paul Sanders knows his way around camera equipment it seems to me that is not his primary aim, but rather he wants to experience better wellbeing and use his creativity to improve his art. I have experienced teachers whose communication style was more like a machine gun! Paul’s style has always been considerate and respectful. Also, it’s not about the photographic gear you use either. In one course I did with him we all used our phones. Looking back on it that was very freeing.

Can I encourage you, post-lockdown, to seek out a course with a like-minded photographer? While looking at YouTube clips and exploring the internet is valuable, learning first-hand is a very different experience.

For more information about what Paul Sanders does and what he offers, please see his website:


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