User Conversion's Gratitude Gallery December 2020
The Gratitude Gallery is a phone photography gratitude practice, designed as a mood-boosting creative group activity.
User Conversion are a company committed to supporting the mental health of their team. They commissioned the month-long 'Gratitude Gallery' course and invited interested people to sign up.
A group of 9 team members engaged in 4 weekly online workshops. Together they learnt smartphone photography and editing skills and used these to create a daily record of aspects of their life that they're grateful for.
This collection of images is the culmination of our month together and represents the vast array of these moments of appreciation, experienced and captured.
Some of the group members have also chosen a favourite image to tell you a bit more about.
I've started talking walks every morning before work in
Stevenage and finding the little hidden bits near my house. It's a nice reminder that there's something to appreciate in every place.
I Love Carbs
This photo is multi-layered (pardon the pun). After a month of reducing my carb intake to challenge myself and develop some better eating habits, I rewarded myself by baking a cake. It celebrates my achievement of eating less of things I really love. Reassuring me that I do have willpower (who knew?). While not necessarily the best of the bunch, the picture also shows off a few things I learnt on the course around angles and editing. Plus, I managed to make honeycomb for the first time! Like I say, lots of layers (sorry!)
Pink and Blue Sky
Since starting the Gratitude Gallery course it has taught me to appreciate my surroundings and to be present in the moment when you take the picture. I have chosen an image of a Pink and Blue sky that normally I wouldn't have even noticed as it was so early in the morning but when I saw it, I thought it would make a great picture. As I was taking it, a bird flew into the frame which gave it the finishing touch. I really like the contrast of the black with the pretty, pastel colors.
Ice Ice Baby
I think I'll go for Ice Ice Baby. Perhaps fairly self-explanatory, it's ice. It was a beautiful cold morning and I'd noticed that, on some cars, the ice had formed in these beautiful swirls, reminiscent of shit 70s wallpaper! (In pattern, rather than colour). I tried to take some pics on the way home, but kept worrying about looking suspicious hunched over cars. Fortunately, when I got back, the ice arrangement on our cars was as good as any I'd seen. I changed the image to black and white, as any colour felt extraneous. I tested focussing on different areas of the ice, settling on the middle of the swirl looking best. I think the mood of it feels somewhat whimsical, partly because of the swirling abstract pattern.
I thought this looked really cool as you cant really distinguish between the water and sky, and it was quite eerie and moody. I noticed this as I was walking and stopped to try and get a picture that captured how strange this looked in the fog. I really like this image as its very different subject wise from most of my others which are more colourful or pet focused.
Three Little Pigs
In this photo you can see all three of my cats looking at my partner eating a sandwich (I cropped him out as per his request because he was wearing an old hoodie that's not to be shown to the world :D).
The ginger cat on the front - Pigeon - has a great meaning to our lives because he is the first pet we got together. We actually rescued him from the street and gave him a warm and safe home. He also managed to make my partner fall head over heels in love with cats and that's saying something because he always disliked them before. The second one - Bilbo - was a great addition to the family, making Pigeon not feel too alone at home, it was also a great challenge to raise a cat from a very young age. The third one - Malfoy - he's actually Bilbo's half-brother from the same mother and another father. We adopted him because, as we found out, Bilbo's energy and playfulness were too much for Pigeon (who is six years older than him) and we decided he needed a little brother who can join him in all the shenanigans. Each of them has brought great joy to our lives.
I guess what I'm grateful for is having these three chonky floofers to love, care for and spoil rotten with my partner. It's our perfect little family and it couldn't possibly get better than that. Well, maybe a dog would make it even more perfect :D
I love this picture because it shows off some of the practical things I learned - about focus and off centre positioning for example, and I think the contrast of the rose is quite beautiful against the background, but also because of its meaning. This is a memorial bench for my boyfriend's dad who passed away when he was 15. It's in our local park so we're lucky we can visit whenever we like (and we do daily with the dog) but it was extra special on this day because of the addition of the rose - something his sister does to commemorate every birthday or anniversary of his passing.