Sol Academy: Photography Courses, online support, and community
For the past two years, I've been having conversations with people both in person and via email discussing photography, creativity, artistry, love, death, health, psychedelics, mysticism, meditation and life-related topics.
It was around February of 2018 when the idea of launching an online platform came to me. I had just sent the final draft of my coffee table book to the print house and was looking forward to having a break away from the computer screen, but life had other plans!
After I sat on the idea for a few days the vision became clear, so I began to look for a platform that would be ideal for hosting information, offering support, and building a community. There are hundreds of options when it comes to launching an online "school", and none of them are perfect. So I chose the one that I thought would fit my approach best and ran with it. After staring at the screen for 900+ hours, experimenting and learning how to design an online course, Sol Academy became.
As of July 2018, six courses are being offered:
Photography & Inspiration Through Natural Light: My goal with this course is to challenge the way you observe the world, and since the art of photography depends entirely on the perception of the camera holder, fine-tuning and expanding our observation should be considered as the first step in the photographic journey. This course is where I actively engage with people taking the class through videos calls and text messages, critiquing assignments, sharing new work, offering guidance and etc.
Intro to Film Photography: This is an informational course on film photography for those who are looking to pursue their journey through analogue/film cameras. I've complied everything that currently applies to my workflow in one place. The course goes over types of film and their purpose, types of lenses, film development, scanning and scanning types, storage, and some information on shutter speeds, iso, aperture, and some philosophy.
Photography Workshop: One on one time is one of the most effective ways of learning a skill directly from the person who's sharing it. So with that in mind, I created a course that takes the in-person nature of a workshop and combines it with the online element of the Sol Academy platform. Upon signing up, the individual gets immediate access to the natural light course where they begin laying down a foundation, which serves as a precursor to what we discuss during the one on one session that comes at a later date. Then, after the workshop has concluded, there are two follow up video conferences that take place in the following weeks where we go over any other questions that could have come up, or if anything is still not crystal clear.
Meditations: Another offering on Sol Academy is a meditation program. Through my personal experience, I realized how photography and the study of sunlight could serve as an excellent tool towards reaching harmony with the natural rhythm of the universe. The course is made up of practices, philosophies, and activities that aid in harmonizing breath and mind.
Mentorship: Through this course I offer a free 30-minute consultation for anyone who's interested in asking questions, brainstorming ideas, having someone look over their portfolio, critique work, or anything else I can be useful for.
Broadcasts: And lastly, at least for now, a course called Broadcasts. Essentially a podcast, it is where I share discourses on various topics. They are a mix of lectures mixed with off-topic rants that come up as I start talking.
The next course I'm working on is on publishing a book, zine, and prints. The internet and digital technology have made it easy to create content without forming a relationship with the creations, and publishing a book is a great way to root ourselves through a slow and hands-on process. It forces us to slow down and practice patience.
As time goes on more courses will be offered on the platform to cater to all art forms. I'd love to collaborate with fellow artists/healers and create more courses that can cover a range of topics. If you're interested in collaborating check out Sol Academy and see if it fits your path.
Until next time,