Develop a Photo-Heart Connection

This image, shared last month, speaks to my heart and soul. I love the textures of the wall, and the complexity of what I see in the window: Outside, inside and the reflection. It represented what I was feeling at the time, a low point for me creatively, a winter reflected in an otherwise normal, but unique, exterior. But within that winter, hope could be found in the blue sky and the blooming flowers. While it may not be my top image of 2011, it is definitely my favorite for the last half, since moving home from Italy.

As I’ve come out of my low point in December, I’ve realized that one thing I am craving is connection. Connection, like this, of my heart to my images. Connection to other photographers who seek this same relationship in their photography. Looking back, it is not a surprise I felt this way, without a Find Your Eye course running in December. The connections I find with the participants seems to fill this need for me. I’ve described it as finding “kindred spirits.”

As I’ve thought about 2012 and what I want to do, this theme of connection keeps coming up. I want to extend the connection I find through Find Your Eye to everyone, so I’ve brainstormed this new idea for a monthly blog series: The Photo-Heart Connection.

The idea: At the end of each month, review the images you worked with in that month for the one that gives you the strongest connection to your heart and soul. Write about that connection to the image in a blog post or in a photo description on Flickr, then link into the monthly link up. You can get to know the other photographers seeking the same connection, by visiting the links and reading their experiences. We will find our kindred spirits.

The Guidelines:

  • This is a monthly link up, open from the 1st through the 7th of each month to post on your previous month’s photo-heart connection. In my Photo-Heart Connection post on the first of each month, I’ll share my image for the previous month as I did above, along with ideas on how to deepen your own photo-heart connections.
  • Pick one photo, with which you feel the strongest heart connection, to share. The photo shared can be any photo that you worked with in the last month, either newly captured or edited.
  • Write about your heart connection with that photo. Why does the photo speak to you? What do you feel?
  • Link your permalink into the Photo-Heart Connection link up.
  • Linked entries must include the Photo-Heart Connection button (available on the sidebar here). We want to share and build the sense of community of photographers seeking the photo-heart connection.
  • As you can, visit the links of fellow participants. Comment and discuss your experiences and build your connections.
  • The goal of this link up is connection – to your images and to other participants. As such, the focus is on quality over quantity. Links will be moderated to ensure they follow the guidelines, including both photo and writing about the photo-heart connection.
  • For reminders, be sure to sign up for the Kat Eye News. I will time the newsletter to arrive the last week of the month to remind you of the link up beginning on the first.

Participation is open to all! You don’t even have to link in if you are uncomfortable sharing. You can do this monthly exercise on your own to achieve an increased photo-heart connection. For those of you who have taken the Find Your Eye courses, participating will keep you moving on the journey you started in class. It will also be a great companion to any other photo project you might have going this year, such as a 365 or a 52-week project, deepening your experience.

I have a feeling that if we all do this monthly for the next year, we will see some incredible things happen in our photography. I also have a feeling that other companion ideas will come out of this, on the theme of connection. I hope you’ll join me to develop your Photo-Heart Connection this year. The first link up will be posted on February 1!

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  1. says

    Kat, I LOVE this idea. One of the most precious things to come out of the Find Your Eye classes for me was that connection to kindred spirits that you mentioned, And one of my favorite lessons from the classes was the intuitive writing one, which this very much reminds me of. I’m looking forward to participating in this. I knew you’d have some great stuff for us in 2012! :-)

    • Kat says

      So glad you like it Lee. I think this will have aspects very similar to many parts of Find Your Eye – so it will be a great complement and keep you going without the class.

  2. says


    This is such a fabulous idea! Count me in!

    I have to agree with seabluelee that connecting with kindred spirits made your classes so valuable to me. Those connections continue beyond the class, so this will simply make them stronger.

  3. says

    What a fantastic idea (and photograph) Kat!
    Thank you so much for sharing it with us at The Creative Exchange today.

    Happy New Year to you , and I hope you have a wonderful day!


  4. says

    Sounds fantastic, I’m in. This was such a brilliant aspect of FYE and this sounds a brilliant way to keep developing and make some more great connections. Very exciting! Love that photo too. Happy new year. x

  5. says

    I am so in! I have been wanting to participate in your challenges for a while but a few months back my life was uprooted and shook upside down and so my whole life was chaotic and unorganized. I am back on track now though. Also I am hosting a 365 on my blog. :) I am really excited about it as it is my first link up.

    • Kat says

      Congrats on hosting your first link up April! I’m glad that your life has calmed down and you are able to join in.

  6. says

    I really like your picture too. All the different shades and colours are wonderful.
    I also like you idea for the monthly link up. I am going to try to do this one. :)

  7. says

    Thanks for providing another great opportunity to connect with our photos and other artists. As you said, one of the gifts of the “Find Your Eye” courses was creating a community of like-minded photographers. I look forward to what the year will bring.

    • Kat says

      I think it would help with your low Rosie! You can’t stay low for long when you are creating art that connects with your heart.

  8. says

    Great idea, Kat! Usually all my images do speak to me in a way…, but it will be challenging to put my thoughts into words (that’s why I use photography – to speak for me, yay). A good reason to like your idea even more!
    Looking forward reading and seeing other stories and thoughts.
    Take care!

  9. says

    I like the sound of this. So much more than a technical challenge, but looking at why some images totally capture us and express something more, and how that can vary from person to person.

  10. says

    Hey Kat-
    You KNOW I’m in, just sorry that my neighbor SeaBlueLee beat me to being the first to say “yahoo”. Kidding…great to be along on another journey. Hard part is going to be picking 1.
    Love your window image-reflections on the glass always a fave of mine and knowing the story behind it, it makes perfect sense.
    As always-thank you.

  11. says

    Oh my, this is really incredible timing . . . just last week my family and I visited San Antonio, a day trip from our home. We visited several missions over 250 years old and I couldn’t help but think, while I was there and after we got back, about how I was standing where others had stood. Ones that had layed foundations before me and it made me even more aware of the connections we all share that are important in each other’s journeys without even knowing it. And while I have made a few connections in this last year of blogging, I am craving more. I crave to be connected on a deeper level with others and their views of the world and how they see it. Last year was an incredible year of discovery for me, not about the world around me as much as it was about myself. My camera taught me much about life and the lessons before us when we are receptive to it, when we really “see”. I am very excited to join this with you!! And shucks, as soon as I got your newletter I hurried to see if I could be one of your two spots left in the class, I was too slow! Hopefully you’ll run that one again soon?

    • Kat says

      Hi Kim! Find Your Eye will definitely be back later this year. Sorry you missed this run! I am so glad that you will be joining in the Photo-Heart Connection though! I love your story of connection to the past, and to yourself. Isn’t it amazing what photography brings us?

  12. says

    I’m in! I found so many wonderful phtographers and bloggers through the classes, and I welcome the chance to reflect!

  13. says

    Count me in Kat. Like Cheryl said, I too am excited about “continuing on in the spirit of FYE classes” thoses are perfect words! Once a month is very doable. Continuing the journey . . .

  14. says

    Can you feel the happiness in all of the responses to your kind offering. I think many of us were a bit disappointed to have finished, or nearly finished our FYE courses and felt like we were floating in a low mist…lost and off track….missing friends…missing your encouragement. This is really another super idea. And it is with a sigh of relief that it is monthly. Was there ever a time when women were so busy and tangled in so many expectations as today’s women. (partially because we have so many opportunities, careers, heavy involvement in raising families, community service……..) So this is perfect. I am really excited to see what everyone has to share….can’t help but learn something and feel very uplifted.

    Warmly, Sharon

  15. says

    Oh, Kat!! I’m so excited. I miss everyone from the Find Your Eye classes! I do keep up with as many blogs as I can, but I miss our group here! Count me in!! I love your post above; your words and the beautiful window!!

  16. says

    Great idea. But I always figured that images in blogs are special because they froze a moment that connects to a heartwarming episode. It is like art produced by people that might not make it to an art gallery wall simply because they were made from the heart without regards for aesthetic or artistic merit. I curated works like that which became controversial.

  17. says

    Love your photo! The colors, the texture and the reflection in the window make for a stunning capture. Thank you for sharing! I love the idea of a monthly challenge. I look forward to participating!

  18. says

    I too am so excited about this next step. One of my favorite FYE assignments was to recognize my style when taking pictures. I realized that a big part of my style was taking a picture of something that created an emotional connection or memory for me and hopefully for others. Thank you so much for creating this opportunity for all of us.

  19. Barbara says

    Hi Kat
    Lovely idea. Can you help me understand the how to “Link your permalink into the Photo-Heart Connection link up. Linked entries must include the Photo-Heart Connection button” I don’t have a blog so what does one do with the button?
    And I don’t have a “permalink”. Sorry I am not very tech savvy but I love your idea and would love to join if I could understand HOW!
    Thanks so much!!!!

    • Kat says

      Hi Barbara, I hope you are willing to work together with me to see if we can figure out how to have you join in. I know how to work it for people with blogs or on Flickr but we may have to experiment a bit for you. If you are willing, drop me a note when I post the first link up and we’ll play around.

      • Barbara says

        Hi Kat
        Thanks so much for your quick reply! Actually I do have a Flkr account and maybe that is a “permalink” (or maybe not). I do look forward to working with you to see if we can figure this out and thanks so much for be willing to help!

        • Kat says

          You can definitely “permalink” to a photo on Flickr, so we’ll be able to figure this out – no problem!

  20. says

    This is such a lovely idea. It’s a reminder to pause and reflect, go deeper and inward. How wonderful! I’d love to take part.


  1. […] Kat Sloma has started a new challenge to celebrate those photos that we take that make an instant heart connection. They may not be the most glamorous, or follow all the rules… they may not be a great composition, or win any prizes, but to US they mean something. I love that, so I decided to play along. […]