Photo Mooch


Photo Mooch: Creative ideas for wellbeing

A team of four photographers, who have so far only met online, have launched the new Photo Mooch initiative for all to join in. Their idea was to use what they know best – photography – to encourage people to actively seek out moments of joy that can contribute towards improving wellbeing, and to provide a platform for sharing the results. And so Gemma Taylor, Mark Ivkovic, Paul Crudgington and Georgia Janes became Photo Mooch.

It has been widely reported that the pandemic has negatively impacted on wellbeing. Creativity can play a part in restoring some balance, with the benefits researched and recognised by the NHS1.

Photo Mooch intends to offer some light-hearted fun, which anyone with a camera – any camera – can get involved with. Each week on Instagram the team will share a new creative prompt, which will relate to one or more of the 5 ways to wellbeing: explore, take notice, give, learn and connect. Why not have a look?

The ‘moochers’ will also highlight wellbeing and arts charities and initiatives, and build up a bank of resources. All four photographers are also workshop facilitators available to deliver training for charities and workplaces.

The four photographers met and formed Photo Mooch during a career development course (Lightbox) run by the photography network, Redeye2. They were assigned an industry mentor, Dewi Lewis, a UK-based photography book publisher, with an international reputation.

Dewi Lewis says:

“This is such a great initiative – and amazing that the group have been able to set everything in motion despite never having met face to face. They came together through Redeye’s LightBox project and I had the delight of mentoring them over a period of some months. These are four photographers with a really fresh outlook on how to make photography a truly collaborative process, how to engage with others and enthuse and encourage. After such a difficult eighteen months this is what we all need. I can’t wait to see it up and running.”

Guest Photography by Sue Dean

These letters with a pen

A Book of Ours, Uncategorized

img_3653“Making these letters with a pen, working in slow-motion, it felt so therapeutic. Usually I’m on a computer, but computers aren’t everything. I could feel myself relax as I worked. And my head cleared and ideas came through. This is what education should be.”

This was our first workshop of 2020, the first of the new decade. We have shifted the venue to Back on Track, a centre for people who have been through difficult times (including homelessness) and are coming back to education. We invited them to contribute to A BOOK OF OURS, an illuminated manuscript that touches on their shared experiences.

Normally it takes a couple of weeks for a group to gel, but today people seemed to click instantly. There was a shared humour, around the room little jokes got picked up and carried on. People who are normally quite suddenly had a lot to say. And the intensity of their concentration as they worked was almost touchable. 

We saw smiles growing as they made their mark on the big white sheets of possibility. Slowly at first and then with greater and greater confidence, they began.

And to end it here, a piece of writing — still a work in progress — about asking for help. But it’s also about stepping into the new, about leaving the comfort zone. And it speaks for today:

Hard to ask for help. It’s a big step. That big mountain in your head. It’s the risk you take. You’re embarrassed, ashamed. A step into the unknown, pride stops you, all that dread. That big mountain in your head. It’s the risk. You’re embarrassed, ashamed. Expect yourself to know the answers. But you don’t, so then it’s a downfall. Step into the unknown — pride stops you. Hard to ask for help. And then you do and it’s fixed. And it’s amazing.