For the past three years, through having conversations with emerging artists discussing photography and life-related topics. It became evident that by having open discussions, without judgment and fear, people figure out the solutions to their dilemma and untangle the knots that cause their blockages.
It was around February of 2018 where 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 that would not be the case.
After I sat on the idea for a few days the vision for it became clear, so I began to look for online services that would be ideal to build such a platform. 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, learning how to create a course, losing my mind and then getting it back, Sol Academy became; a platform for offering guidance, sharing information and experiences, a community around a common premise and challenging the comforts of the known.
As of April 2018, six courses are being offered:
The first one is the natural light photography class. My goal with it is to challenge the way we 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, offering guidance and etc.
The next course is an informational course on film photography for those who are looking to pursue their journey through analogue/film cameras. It is a compilation of everything that currently applies to my workflow all in one place. The course goes over types of film and their purpose, types of lenses, film development, scanning, storage, and some information on shutter speeds, iso, and aperture.
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.
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. The course is made up of practices, philosophies, and activities that aid in harmonizing breath and mind.
And lastly, at least for now, is a course called Broadcasts 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 is on publishing a book, zine, or even prints. The internet and digital technology have made it easy to create content without forming a relationship with their 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. If you're interested in collaborating on building a class together check out Sol Academy and if it fits your path. I am looking to expand the courses past photography and art to healing, diet, and health (both mental and physical)
Until next time,