In pursuit of colours with my camera

“We only see what we look at.”

– John Berger “Ways of seeing”.

Spring has come but it is all grey and cold outside where I live. We have a lot of rain with snow, and the trees are not yet ready to blossom. But I desperately need colours of Spring to feel more joy and beauty. So I decided to go out every morning in pursuit of colours with my camera.

And I found them!

I can’t find words to describe my joy and satisfaction from doing that. But when you look at my photos you will probably imagine it.

So when you need to look for the sun, for the colours of life, for beauty to feel more hope and calm, just go out with your camera and look for it. And you will find what you are looking for. Attention follows intention. Just:

“Open your eyes, enjoy what you see and be mindful to it.”

– this is the quote from my book “ONE IMAGE – MANY WORDS.”

It is amazing how thoughts come and go and come again in a new light.

Thank you Life and the Universe.

All text and photos on this website are © Copyright 2020 by Dorota Raniszewska; All Rights Reserved

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On gratitude

Yesterday, I met with a group of international coaches and photographers for a workshop entitled “Powerful Start with AHA – photos, that inspire”. I was explaining the reasons behind several coaching questions which I included in this tool, called “AHA – photos that inspire”.

There are 12 questions in the AHA. One of them is about gratitude.

I asked the group “Why did I put gratitude to the questions. Why gratitude is so important that I included a question about it? How do you think?”

The answers were very good. And they helped to formulate a very special reflection on gratitude. Just read.

  • You see life from a completely different perspective. A new point of view.
  • To be positive. To see what you already have instead of what’s missing.
  • Gratitude is some form of strengths.
  • Gratitude is difficult. And some people don’t know how to express it.

Exactly, I answered.

And today, we have to learn it. We just have to learn gratitude to be happier. Consumption will not make the world happier. But gratitude can do it.

Imagine a situation when you put this question about gratitude in front of the eyes of team members or a family or a teenager who suffers from depression. It can help to change the perspective for a better one. It can help to turn the face to the sun! But not only.

Gratitude helps to understand better the resources that we have within and around us.

It’s a deep thought, isn’t it?

All text and photos on this website are © Copyright 2020 by Dorota Raniszewska; All Rights Reserved

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Using personal photos in coaching – we are going to speak at the EMCC Global Conference in May 2021!

Using personal photos in coaching

Photographs are the records of our life. Photos are made from light and time, but they are also made from people’s perceptions and memories.

Each photo we take has a beginning. It is an impulse from our mind as we see, feel or do something. Each photo has a unique meaning for us. It presents our achievements, relationships, dreams fulfilled. It shows what we like in the world and what inspires us. Each photo is a way to remember what we are proud of and what we create in life. While looking at our snapshots, we can talk about our motivations, values, needs and most of all, what is important for us.

There is a story behind each picture. Someone once took it. Maybe someone gave it to someone else on an occasion. Someone has kept it for some reason. Someone chose to show it to you. So, what’s so important about it?

This is the question that I ask to start a meaningful conversation when looking at a photograph.

Personal photos connect us to ourselves, our inner wisdom, what we know and learned through our lives.  Using powerful coaching questions, these photos can provide unprecedented access to deep thoughts and important insights.

How did I discover the power of personal photographs in coaching?

In 2007, I started a family search project. Old family photos, portraits of people and places helped me collect information and memories about my family from relatives and friends scattered around the world. Photos helped me to connect to them. During my search, and many travels, I realized how photographs trigger long-term memories and bring the past to the present. In my work with photos I see every day how personal pictures help to start meaningful conversations. They provide us with memories and stories to tell. Once an important photo from the past lands on the table, an immediate connection is made between people, engagement is increased and very often, joy or intensity appear on people’s faces.

Through my family project, I discovered photography as a vehicle for thinking and communicating.

I remember one day when I was arranging my photos from when I was younger, a short time after I had married, and my husband entered the room. He saw my work and started telling me about his memories related to the photos lying on the floor. I was very surprised to hear that his memories and feelings about the same images were different from mine. He sat on the floor with me, and we started talking about how we remembered those moments from the past. It became clear to me that talking about old photos is a great exercise for people who need to listen to each other. It is a dialogue exercise that has transformative power. It can help people to hear and understand each other.

Working with my life and family photos was only the beginning of experiencing photography in personal development. In 2011, I started my blog on reflective photography, jerozolimskie.wordpress.com. It is a life photo-journal that I’ve been writing for 10 years which has led me to develop a practice of active photography with my clients. “One photo a day” is an example of a technique I use that supports life coaching and well-being. The idea is to go outside every morning for a walk and take one picture on a topic that is related to the client’s coaching process. It can be about seeing the positive side of life, appreciating beauty, feeling gratitude, connecting to oneself, or developing self-esteem.

All these experiences helped me to become confident about using photography as a means of communication in coaching. In the beginning, I proposed to team members to bring their own photos for ice-breaker activities. I wanted people to open up a little bit more than usual with their personal stories. Also, I wanted to create space for authenticity and appreciation of others.

When we show our personal photos to others, we show ourselves more than we do it in our everyday work. It is engaging because everyone has a story to tell. Everyone is unique. Everyone can be a “hero” for a moment. Personal photos open a gate to people’s hearts, minds and souls.

Over the years, I developed several coaching processes with photography and regularly teach them to other coaches. These include: “The Most Important Photo,” “Life Photo Album,” “Profile Photo,” “Photo Poem,” “Relationship Photo” and “Self-Portrait in the Future.”

I will be presenting one of these processes during the 27 EMCC Global Coaching, Mentoring and Supervision Conference, together with my colleague, Bara Belova, coach, mentor and manager from the Czech Republic. The title of the presentation is “Photography in Coaching. Making the Future Visible.”  Here is the link to the conference: LINK

I also invite you to see us and listen to the “fireside chat interview” by the EMCC: Link to the Interview

It will be our honour to host you at our presentation. Please join us on May 12ve, at 12:45 UTC+1.

With very special thanks to my Friend, Shelley Lippman-Lewkowict, a certified professional coach, based in Montreal, Canada for reviewing and editing this article.

All text and photos on this website are © Copyright 2020 by Dorota Raniszewska; All Rights Reserved

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The upcoming edition of the “Photography in Coaching” Course

Dears,

I’ve been receiving questions about next edition of the Course on Photography in Coaching. So let’s make it! This is going to the 3rd online edition of the Course and I’m really very happy about it and proud. ✨

The online version of the Course takes 8 weeks. This length improved significantly the depth of the connection between the participants and the quality of the learning experience. Connection and experience that don’t stop at the end of the course. 🔥 We are still meeting, exchanging and learning from each other in a group coaching program.

If you are interested to join the upcoming course, please send me an email to dorota@photo-in-coaching.com Link to the description of the course

🙏 Dorota

23.02.2021

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A simple walk with a camera can help you to find time for yourself

This was the case of Kate. Kate’s issue was that being a mother with small children and working full time as a therapist she was finding no time for herself and felt often stressed.

Following the idea of a photo-walk she went out and looked for frames that give answers to her issue. When she returned from a 15-minutes photo-walk she said: “I found a lot of answers on the way. Just from what I saw before my eyes. I saw a cup of coffee in the kitchen and thought that I can enjoy my coffee every day. Then, I went towards the window, saw the blue sky and clouds and thought that I can stop for a moment at my window and watch the sky with awe and pleasure. It is all about using small opportunities and moments to stop and sense that I’m with myself.”

It is so simple and beautiful, isn’t?

When you have a dilemma and it is hard for you to find solutions right away, go for a walk, stand at a window and just watch, listen, sense. Notice subtle signs from outside. The answers can come when you stop focusing on being confused. Stop taking “I don’t know” or “I don’t have” as an answer from yourself. When you observe the world around you, when you are open, not stuck, answers come from outside and from within.

You can use photography to become mindful. Once you formulated your question or dilemma, start looking around, observing and taking pictures that seem to give answers.

This activity combines concentration, mindful observation, thinking with ease, fun and letting go of pressure. This is when moments of insights – called “aha” moments, take place.

Good luck!

Written with gratitude for an inspiring example from Kate. Thank you – Kate for allowing to publish it!

All text and photos on this website are © Copyright 2020 by Dorota Raniszewska; All Rights Reserved

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Orientation meeting on Photography in Coaching course

So last Monday I had a great pleasure and honor to host more than 50 passionate people from all over the world on the Orientation meeting about the Photography in Coaching Course ONE IMAGE – MANY WORDS.

I would like to express my gratitude and respect to all of you who devoted your time for this meeting and co-created it by sharing the space, bringing positive energy, showing curiosity in the topic of photography in coaching, asking excellent questions, and also – sharing insights and own answers.

Here below I’m showing couple of slides from the orientation:

A variety and richness of goals that participants set for themselves at the beginning of the course. Coaching skills, Photo in coaching skills and knowledge, Self-understanding and Self-development, Exchange and knowing each other in the international environment.
Feelings of gratitude, enrichment, new perspectives, self-integration. Really amazing!
It is a very special course – accredited by the ICF, devoted to the personal photos, not ready deck photos, developing coaching skills and photography in coaching skills based on the personal journey.
Starting soon!!!

Coaching is about going in the direction you wish to go. It is about taking actions and following a way that includes your vision, values and strengths. Your personal photos are landmarks and good stars on this way home.

All text and photos on this website are © Copyright 2020 by Dorota Raniszewska; All Rights Reserved

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The power of the Self-Portrait in the Future

What a extraordinary activity to take your Self Portrait in the Future! The last module of the Photography in Coaching course was dedicated to the Self-Portrait in The Future.

The Self-Portrait in the future is a powerful process that invites you to imagine yourself in the future and live it now..

By arranging and taking a portrait in the future they already move into their future and dreams take physical appearances.

The future already happens. You are already there. You can see it, take a picture of it and look at it.

It is a real experience. The only thing you need to do is to start living it right now.

Self-portraits are a way to look at oneself from the outside in. The process of making a self-portrait, which includes posing and snapping the picture, is a way of getting to know oneself, to make contact, to express oneself. It’s a pursuit, examination and attempts to understand what we’re made of. It’s the start of a continuous internal dialogue, an approach to uncovering one’s secrets and getting friendly with oneself.

A self-portrait doesn’t merely consist of reproducing one’s appearance. It will never be objective in that regard. It is, rather, a representation of our ideas on how we’d like to what we’re about.

I hope you found this insight useful. If yes, you can leave your comment under this post. Thank you for reading this article and stay in touch! There will be more.

All text and photos on this website are © Copyright 2020 by Dorota Raniszewska; All Rights Reserved

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Taking pictures is a source of positive emotions.

Yesterday, we had a beautiful module on photography and creative writing called The Photo-Poem. I’m very moved by the pictures and their meanings that participants created. There were two chairs on the street ready to offer a moment of pause and an encounter of two people. There was a toy calling to do simple but creative things in life. There was a book calling for giving oneself time to do what they dream of.

Spirituality, appreciation of beauty, and hope have been my medicine all my life. They help me today to live through these difficult times. I’m going to the park every morning at 7 am to walk, meditate and watch.

Taking photos is my mindulness practice.

Mindfulness practice is a practice of peacefulness. It improves mental health. It can be yoga or meditation. Photography works the same way because it puts you in a state of awareness of the outside world and your own thoughts, thus:

immediately reduces stress,

stops the race of thoughts,

with longer practice, it also improves memory and concentration.

Taking photos is also a source of positive emotions. It brings satisfaction, a sense of accomplishment, because by taking pictures a person stays in contact with themselves, goes out to the world, exceeds the limits of confinement in their own thoughts and, as a result, expresses something from themselves in a creative way.

All text and photos on this website are © Copyright 2020 by Dorota Raniszewska; All Rights Reserved

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The experience of the Life Photo Album can transform our self-perception, raise a sense of strengths, abundance and gratitude.

Hi, this is Dorota :). Again, this week I collect and share valuable insights from our group sessions in the ONE IMAGE – MANY WORDS course on photography in coaching with you.

Yesterday, we looked at the Life Photo Album made from a selection of 20-30 personal photos as a record of our resources. We discovered:

Character Strengths that we have – such as courage, wisdom, humanity, spirituality, and many others,

Experiences that we can use as case studies to become self-confident about our future goals,

Relationships that support us, ensure belonging, are sources of love

Positive impact on others that we have and how we serve them in life,

Sources of gratitude in life,

Doors to a sense of abundance in life.

It is a completely new way of looking at our photos and comprehending what they truly can mean for us. Those photos collected throughout our lives, stored in parents house, or on a computer.

Usually, our first reaction is to look at old photos as memory of something that happened in the past. But in coaching and especially in the Life Photo Album coaching process we contemplate photos to find elements of who we were in the past and you we are now that we can accept and treat as our strengths, and enablers of self-acceptance and growth.

We can use this process of the Life Photo Album in life coaching, career coaching, relationship coaching, when a person is losing self-esteem, self-confidence, parallel to psychometric tests, when we need to uplift spirits, gain new energy for growth., motivate.

I hope you found this insight useful. If yes, you can leave your comment under this post, please. Thank you for reading this article and stay in touch! There will be more 

All text and photos on this website are © Copyright 2020 by Dorota Raniszewska; All Rights Reserved

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We can find inspirations for the future in our own photos

Hi, this is Dorota :). Again, this week I follow the idea to collect and share valuable insights from our group sessions in the ONE IMAGE – MANY WORDS course on photography in coaching with you. I think it is a great idea to learn from recent experience.

Today, it is about finding inspirations in your own photos. This insight was born during our session on ‘The Most Important Photo’. The point is to choose one photo that you consider ‘the most important’ for you. And then, the coaching session is based on the self-exploration inspired by this photo.

The task to choose ‘the most important photo’ triggers lots of reflections and questions about how to choose such a photo, what does it mean ‘most important’, what is ‘most important’, what criteria to use…

As always, working with clients’ personal photos in coaching that involved choosing pictures before the session, creates additional spaces where people can learn and deepen their self-awareness. I’m fascinated by how the preparatory work is useful and insightful for us.

And this is why I include them in the process and there always happens a lot before even we started our work together.

Anyway, coming back to the initial insight, when we contemplate ‘the most important photo’ that was chosen from our personal photo-album, or a personal collections of photos, we find inspirations for our future in our own past. We learn from that photo something that we can use today to become a change we wish. Memories from the past can be a great source of knowledge that we can use today to make choices and take decisions about us that will shape our live today. And each day, today, tomorrow, next days… is our future.

It’s cool to find inspirations in our own biographies, isn’t it? To learn that we have knowledge, experience, and other resources available here and now! For many of my clients, it makes a good difference to discover something useful in their own photos.

I hope you found this insight useful. If yes, you can leave your comment under this post, please. Thank you for reading this article and stay in touch! There will be more 

All text and photos on this website are © Copyright 2020 by Dorota Raniszewska; All Rights Reserved

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