Chuck Kirchner | Photography: Culture, Ritual, and Spirit | Workshops

There are plenty of "how to" and "introductory" workshops out there on photography. I've taken some and offered some over the years. And there's plenty to gain from such endeavors. What really matters, though, is your individual vision - something that no one else has and how you reflect that vision in photography.

For the past several years, I've begun focusing my workshops on the creative and spiritual (however YOU define that) aspects of this special two-dimensional art form. Come and learn to listen to your creative muse!   

Future Workshops

The 2018 workshops (Thin Places and Light and light) have been completed (and were SOLD OUT!).  Planning is underway for 2019+ workshops, with details to be coming in the coming months.

"Thin Places and Photo Creativity."  

A Thin Place: A place to go to feel at peace, a place to be in touch with one’s origins, a place to go to feel one's natural self, a place to be in touch with one's soul.  It’s a place where the veil between heaven and earth, between the sacred and profane, between our creator and ourselves, is lifted and we connect in an intimate way with the universe. We have all, I hope, felt this once or several or many times in our lives. It could be alone at the ocean, or in the desert, the mountains, or even a cathedral. And, just perhaps, is could be while with another who is in a similar state of seeking - seeking what we may not know but with an openness and experience and seek and commune with our higher power.

So how does this relate to a photography workshop you might ask? Through a series of readings, meditative exercises, solo and small group wanderings (camera in hand), we'll be open to experiences of all our senses and begin to intuitively develop the awareness of translating feelings and experiences with the medium of photography.  We spend time on the eastern slopes of the Cascades, along lakes and in the forest primeval.  We explore the creative potential of photography to record our feelings and experiences in ways you have not have thought about before.  And we'll add in some music as well to lift the Spirits in more ways than one.

"Light and light: The Spiritual Practice of Photography." 

This workshop brings together photography, creativity, and spirituality with a focus on Light with a capital L and light with a small l. This combination that can lead to taking your photography to, shall we say, a higher level!

What is the spiritual practice related to photography?

 To be aware that there is more than the physical reality?

To show the emotion involved in ritual and spiritual practice?

Quite simply, it is to be aware that there IS something below the surface, or perhaps above the surface, that is shining, shimmering, inherent, loving, caring, reaching out, and available for reaching in. It is to find something sacred on an ordinary day or in a familiar setting. It is to achieve a spiritual current in your photography. It is to realize and act upon knowing that we are both created and creative, below and above the surface, known and unknown, seeing the light, recognizing it as the Light, using the light in our creative endeavors and interpretations, and perhaps even BEING the Light, now or in our next life(s).

In this workshop, we’ll explore the meaning of Light in its spiritual and religious context. Many of the world’s religions and spiritual practices involve Light.  We’ll discuss these through a series of readings from Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, and Buddhist traditions (among others).  . As we move through the philosophical discussions, we also explore how light influences photography and investigate ways to incorporate Light and light into successful and meaningful photography. Using nature's light, natural light as it were, we’ll learn to add subtlety or extravagance to our vision, how best to reflect it in our images, and how to use light to illuminate emotion, ritual, spirit, spiraling, religion, nature, inner and outer being. These are all terms of both photography and spirituality. When we take this to heart, we can create images not to document but to add layers of meaning that, in turn, can add expression to our lives and perhaps those of others.

"Showing the creative muse you’re serious – a photographic journey."  

One of the most profound insights I’ve received in the past decade was “to show the muse you’re serious!” As a creative artist, or would-be creative artist, we often take our art for granted and either go through the motions or put it off until “inspired.” Well, oftentimes, the muse – your inspiration, your enthusiasm, your guide – is talking to you but you’re not listening. Life interferes, Netflix beckons, and then the camera or paint brush are kept waiting. Well, if one is to move beyond the art status-quo, the muse needs be felt and listened to, unbinding the constraints and freeing the creative juices to flow again.

Through a series of readings and creative exercises, and creative photo techniques, we’ll let the muse lead us into a new level of creativity, reengaging and enhancing our vision. With camera in hand, we’ll explore the landscapes and people of the area and the surrounding areas with newfound enthusiasm and vision. Friendly and positive critiques, individual and group discussions, several field trips, and time for personal rest and reflection will make for an inspirational week.