We Are Not Broken – A new photography nonprofit volunteer organization

Event for Photographers:
Learn more about a new nonprofit organization called “We Are Not Broken

We Are Not Broken was started as a way to encourage women and girls to view their scars (from injuries, accidents, abuse, illness, surgery, combat, …) not as something to be ashamed of, but as something that helps tell their story.  The concept is simple: provide free photography and a video interview, spending time with the women and girls, in a safe studio environment, taking professional pictures and video that highlight their scars of survival and their true beauty.

  • Tuesday November 5th, 2019 7pm
    At Kevin Gourley Photography Studio 
    11740 Jollyville Rd. Suite 400, Austin

    We Are Not Broken – Volunteers Info Meeting

    • Hey Photographers and Videographers!  Want to learn more about this amazing new organization and how YOU can get involved? Come to this meeting!
      RSVP to: kevin@kgphotoworkshops.com
    • Do you own a photography studio?  Would you be interested in joining our affiliate program?
    • If you can’t volunteer to help, you can STILL HELP!
      Consider making a DONATION to support this organization!

The website, WeAreNotBroken.org explains more about the mission:

Shame and covering up, isolation, hiding, and feeling depressed. These are words that are often used in relation to scars, especially for women and girls. They have fought the ultimate battle of life and death and come out victorious. Yet all too often they find themselves in a mental and emotional battle because of the devastation left on the their body. Our mission is to change that. We want to encourage and enable women and girls to proudly show their battle scars by redefining beauty. If you have scars from some kind of abuse, cancer, life-saving surgery, combat, car accidents, or any other type of life or death situation, please contact us. These are your hard-earned victory marks and we want to give you a platform to show the world your true beauty. You are courageous, precious, victorious, and made for more! You are BEAUTIFUL.


Please subscribe to the We Are Not Broken Youtube Channel. Hear the stories from many women who have scars from a life experience. Hear, in their own words, about who they are and what battle they have fought and won. They are beautiful.   Go to this web page and click on the Subscribe button.

A note from Kevin Gourley:  From the moment I learned about We Are Not Broken and met the founder Nichola Cotto, I sensed this is a cause I want to wholeheartedly support in any way I can. Nichola has big plans for We Are Not Broken, envisioning taking this worldwide! In fact, I believe in the mission so much I am now on their Board of Directors!

Any of you who know me, know I believe we ALL should use our gifts to make a positive difference in this world.  [I talk about this a bit more in my earlier blog post ‘Reflections of an Old Photography Teacher’ ] This might be the perfect opportunity for you!

Check out this news story on KXAN:

 

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Guest Speaker: Kaylee Lartigue – Deaf Girl Evolution

Monday November 25th 
6:30pm Potluck / Bring a food item to share
7pm 
Guest Speaker
Kaylee Lartigue

Kaylee progressively lost her hearing as a young child but never let that hold her back.   She’s an activist advocating for the Deaf community. She started Deaf Girl Evolution and strives to empower her peers to advocate for deaf and hard of hearing people. In May 2019, she started a nonprofit organization called Deaf Dreams seeking to help young people who are deaf to achieve their dreams.  She’s an excellent student and is pursuing one of her own dreams: modeling.

Where: Kevin Gourley Photography Studio
11740 Jollyville Rd. Suite 400, Austin, TX 

RSVP to if you would like to attend!  Or email me if you have any questions.

Even though we have posted this on our photography blog, you do not have to be a photographer to attend this!  It is open to anyone!
This is hosted as part of our LifeInsights group.  Learn about more LifeInsights activities CLICK HERE!

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Fun Event: Friday Nov 1st – Campfire Drum Circle and Picnic!

Friday November 1st- Join us for a FUN EVENING! 
A Campfire Drum Circle & Picnic at South Wind Equestrian Center
in Leander!

A great time of community building and fellowship through drumming and storytelling brought to you by Mary Oliver and David Owens.
  • Mary is a certified HealthRHYTHMS facilitator and a graduate of Village Music Circles facilitation training. She taught visual and performing arts in Kentucky for more than 30 years before relocating to Austin. She is also an instrument maker, making instruments from gourds, and she currently teaches arts programs to adults with disabilities in Austin.
  • David is an author and storyteller from Kentucky who brings to life the stories of his Cherokee grandmother – the “Tales of the Thunderbolt People”. His Native name is Ta-wo-dii, Red Hawk. He is a former history teacher and Kentucky State Military Historian and is a member of the Worldcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. David is a member of the Southern Cherokee Nation of Kentucky and both David and Mary are members of the Southeastern Kentucky Shawnee.

Kelly Jones with South Wind Equestrian Center is generously offering to host this at her Ponerosita Ranch in Leander.  Thank you Kelly!!  

No experience is necessary at all! 

When: 6:15pm Friday November 1st

Where:  South Wind Equestrian Center

Ponderosita Ranch
15214 Faubion Trl, Leander, TX +1 512-689-7793
If some of you might want to carpool out there, let’s talk.  We can make a plan to do that, if there’s interest.

Important: RSVP to if you would like to attend!  Or email me if you have any questions.

Please bring:

  • Suggested donation of $10 to cover expenses of the presenters
  • Bring a picnic if you like!
  • If someone would like to bring fixin’s for S’MORES, let me know!  
  • Water bottle or any desired beverage; They have fresh cold water to refill your water bottles if needed
  • Chair, close toed shoes, flashlight
    (They have simple plastic chairs, so you’d probably want to bring something more comfortable.)
  • Instruments are provided or you can bring your own
  • Bring your cameras (and tripod?) if you’d like to take some photos while there.

Even though we have posted this on our photography blog, you do not have to be a photographer to attend this!  It is open to anyone!
This is hosted as part of our LifeInsights group.  Learn about more LifeInsights activities CLICK HERE!

 

 

 

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Want Better Photos? These Classes Can Help!

If you are wanting to improve your photography, it is sometimes hard to decide what classes to take, and which ones to take first!  

Maybe this will help:
*** Note: Early Registration Discounts End soon! ***

  1. START HERE – Be Creative!
    If you don’t know what to do next to advance your photography and your creativity, I suggest you start with this fantastic class.  Some people have even said they didn’t fully realize just how much they needed this class until after they took it!  I sincerely urge you to consider this class, regardless of your current skill level, whether you are just starting out, or are a seasoned photographer!

    • Finding Your Way – Photography Workshop
      Daytime Class Tues/Thurs Nov 12-21, 2019 10am-Noon
      Participants in this workshop are saying: Great inspiration and offerings to stretch my thinking …” — “a rousing, creative program that really enabled me to visualize a host of new directions for me move that will give me more joy in my photography” — “He helped me ‘take my blinders off.’ Now it’s apparent that there is a universe of new ways to help make my photos more meaningful TO ME!” — “I like the stimulation to get out of my photographic rut(s)” — “I have been on a number of workshops with Kevin, which were all amazing, but this was exceptionally different.”
      Register by Oct 22nd and SAVE $50!

     

  2. THE FUNDAMENTALS
    Every photographer needs to have a firm understanding of the fundamentals of photography!  The better you know the fundamentals, the more creative control you will have in all of your photography!

    • Photography 101 – Fundamentals of Great Photography
      Daytime Class Mon/Tues/Wed Oct 14-23, 2019 10am-Noon
      Evening Class Tues/Wed/Thurs Oct 15-24, 2019 7pm-9:10pm
      Start your photography learning with this class!
      Morning and evening classes beginning in October!
      Register by Oct 1st and SAVE $30!
    • Photography Beyond the Basics – Mastering the Fundamentals
      After taking Photography 101 or my Photographers Weekend Boot Camp, this is a good next-step to further grow in your photographic/camera knowledge and skills!
      Afternoon weekday classes in November!
      Register by Oct 1st and SAVE $50! 
  3. HAVE FUN
    If you understand the fundamentals, this class will open the door to some fun creativity!   So many people agree, this class is a blast!

    • Photography Painting with Light
      Evening Class Wed/Thurs Nov 20-21, 2019 6:30pm
      The most fun photography class you’ll ever take!
      Register by Oct 20th and SAVE $30! 
  4. LIGHT – THE KEY INGREDIENT IN EVERY PHOTOGRAPH!
    Once you understand the fundamentals, you will benefit tremendously by becoming a student of LIGHT. This class will help!   Does flash photography frustrate you?  You need this class!

    • Light & Photography Workshop
      Weekday Daytime Class Mon/Tues Nov 4-5, 2019 9am-5pm
      Weekend Class Sat/Sun Nov 16-17, 2019 9am-5pm 1 Space Available!
      Highly recommended for anyone serious about wanting to improve their photography!
      This course is a comprehensive look at light in its various forms, both natural and artificial and we look at the many ways we photographers can control and manipulate light to create great photographs! If you have taken Photography 101 or our Photographers Weekend Boot Camp, this is great next step!
      Register by Oct 1st and SAVE $70! 
  5. LOOKING AHEAD TO 2020
    Join us for fun photographic adventures in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado!   This is an excellent way to put all of your photography knowledge into practice in a gorgeous national park!

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We Had a Great Time! Rocky Mountain Fall Photography Workshop

We had a great time!  So many wonderful photo opportunities: landscapes, waterfalls, wildlife, sunrises. Combine that with the fellowship of a fun group of photographers, this was another fantastic photographic adventure for us all.

Note our 2020 Rocky Mountain Photography Workshops are open for registration and SOME OPTIONS ARE ALREADY SOLD OUT!  Register soon and save up to $400!

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE AND TO REGISTER

Kevin Gourley

Here are a few photos from our Fall workshop:

 

 

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The Heart and Soul of Cuba: The People

Join us for our special guest speaker!

Presentation:
The Heart and Soul of Cuba: The People”

Guest Speaker Deborah Cole, MSF, LUT
Author of Forthcoming Book: 
“Letting Go: How Less Becomes More”

When:  Monday September 30th, 7pm
Also:  Potluck dinner at 6:30pm. 
Bring food if you can, but if you can’t, come anyway!

Where:  Kevin Gourley Photography Studio
11740 Jollyville Rd. Suite 400 Austin, TX

FREE to attend!
RSVP To: 

Through occupation by foreign governments, revolution, communism, blockades and hardships, the Cuban people have survived. Their passion for life, love of home and family and incredible resilience have sustained them through it all. As they become more connected to the outside world through the internet they continue to retain all of the heartfelt values which make the people of Cuba an example for “loving what is” through heart and soul. As a street photographer I have had the privilege to interact with the Cuban people of Havana and the Oriente capturing the beauty of their faces and their everyday lives.

On September 30 we will revisit some of the history of the island and learn about the blended cultures in hopes of demystifying this small country whose leadership struck fear in the hearts of US citizens during the 1960s. Understanding more about this island nation and its people we hope to reinforce the idea that we are all ONE in this world with similar needs and goals. And through this compassion emerges love. I will share images from visits to Cuba (Dec, 2018 and April, 2019) where I sought to capture the heart and soul of the people.

 

 

 

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So this huge bull elk, stood in the road…

What do you do when a huge bull elk stands in the road, on your only way up a mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park?  (Oh, and by the way, the car that did try to pass was attacked.)

What you do is wait. You put your car in park and wait… and take photos!

We are in Estes Park Colorado for our Rocky Mountain Fall Photography Workshops!  Gail and I come up a couple of days early to scope out the area, check water flow levels in the rivers, look for wildlife, check on the status of the coming Fall colors.  Here are a few pre-workshop photos I took over the past couple of days.

It’s mating season up here, and you’ll see the male elk gathering females into their individual ‘harems.’  And the males exercise their “manhood” around other males, to get them to keep their distance.

Big bull elk in the upper elevations, at 11,000 feet.

Magpies taking flight in Moraine Park

The Fall colors are just barely starting to “turn” in the park.  You have to know where to look to find them!  The colors will continue to turn over the next couple of weeks.  

We had a close encounter with this big fella.  In fact we were out looking for him, but he found us first!  He was upon us before we even saw him, so we moved to a safe distance quickly and cautiously.  This is not his best angle, but you can at least appreciate the size if this bull moose. Bull moose can weigh as much as 1500 pounds! 

Looking forward to leading our 2019 Fall Workshops over this next week!  Our 2019 Rocky Mountain Workshops have been sold out for months!  Registration is now open for 2020!  Note that our 2020 workshops are already half full with some options already sold out! So, now is the time to register, while also taking advantage of early registration discounts that can save you up to $400!

Happy Picture Taking!

Kevin Gourley

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Featured Photographer: Steve Houston

In our Featured Photographer series, we highlight the work of our former and current students!

Your Name: Steve Houston  

Type of Camera: Olympus OMD E-1Mk2

What do you love to photograph the most?
I enjoy many types of photography including event, family, people, landscape, wildlife, and floral.  More recently, I’ve grown to love photographing birds as well as the night sky, and utilizing Infrared photography to produce moody landscapes and architecture.

What is one thing you have learned that has improved your photography? 
What’s improved my skill and my enjoyment of photography the most has been to “GET OUT THERE!”  The more opportunities I have given myself to photograph, the better I see and the better photographs I produce.  The more I study the work of others, the more I learn to improve my own.  The other side of that is to get feedback and suggestions from other photographers.  

Along that line, I would say: “NEVER GIVE UP!” Don’t underestimate your talents and the quality of your own photographs.  It’s very easy to be overly critical of our own work, but this can discourage us from trying to improve our skills.  We are all on a journey to increase the enjoyment of our craft.

Advice you’d give to others wanting to grow in their photography skills:
I would say “NEVER STOP LEARNING!”   Try new methods, new subjects and new technology……and continue to take creative courses and workshops from great teachers like Kevin Gourley.

Steve Houston

© Steve Houston
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Reason to Think About Summer 2020 NOW!

Yes indeed there are reasons to be thinking about Summer 2020 NOW!

Our 2020 Rocky Mountain Photography Workshops are now open for registration!  All 2019 options for Summer and Fall have been sold out for months.  Now is actually the time to be thinking about 2020!  In fact our 2020 workshop options are already almost half full, and some options are already sold out!  So don’t wait until it’s too late!

Summer and Fall are both fantastic times to join us in Rocky Mountain National Park on our fun workshops.  In this blog post, I just wanted to mention some of the reasons to consider the 2020 Summer options.

  • IF YOU REGISTER EARLY YOU CAN SAVE UP TO $400!
  • Before all options fill up, you could plan the trip where several of your photographer friends all join you.  It is an especially fun group experience!
  • The weather is spectacular in the Summer!  
  • Planning ahead ensures you get the best options for the workshop date choices and lodging options. (Remember this is also a popular vacation spot.)
  • Wildflowers!  Popping up everywhere, lots of wildflowers and grass is green as the park awakens from its snowy Spring.
  • Wildlife are up in the higher elevations and you can get some great shots in the early morning light.
  • We have a lot of experience in going to the right places at the right times of day to get the best light for photography and increase the chances of encountering wildlife.   Also, we tend to find more moose in the Summer. We see them in the Fall, but even more in the Summer. We’ll also see elk, deer, marmots, pika, chipmunks, squirrels, possibly big horn sheep, a variety of birds, and although less likely, you might see a bobcat, or coyote, or bear!
  • Waterfalls and cascades will be flowing more heavily in the Summer due to the snow melting in the mountains.
  • All roads are likely to be open because there is less chance of having an early snowfall in July, and roads have been cleared of any remaining snow from the late Spring.
  • Sunrise happens early in the Summer, and we go out very early (before sunrise).  Now you might not think getting up early sounds all that enticing, but hey you can take a nap in the afternoon.  By getting out really early, the lighting is gorgeous, the wildlife are out, and we almost have the whole park to ourselves while the crowd of vacationers are still asleep in their cabins back in Estes Park.  Also it is typical to have rains come over the mountains in the early afternoon. We are back to the cabins by the time the vacationers start crowding into the park AND before the rains happen.  This is one very attractive feature of the Summer workshop simply because sunrise happens so early.  Believe me, this is a REAL benefit!  You’ll see what I mean!

Here are some photos from our previous Summer workshops in Rocky Mountain National Park:

 

Yes,this is in July!

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Ready to Embark on Our Fall Rocky Mountain Photography Workshop!

We’ll be heading off to Colorado next week for our Fall Rocky Mountain Photography Workshops!

I am really looking forward to meeting up with all our great participants for our Fall adventures! We’ll be photographing landscapes, waterfalls, beautiful Aspen as they turn yellow/gold/orange, and wildlife. 

What makes this an “adventure” is always just the unpredictability of the weather and wildlife and nature.  I know we’ll find wildlife, but can’t say where until we are there!  I know the places and times that will give us the highest likelihood of great wildlife shots, but we won’t know what we’ll get until we get it. This element of unpredictability actually makes the whole experience that much more fun!

Each year, Gail and I head up early and check out various waterfalls, just to see their current condition, looking at water flow levels, whether there has been any major impact to the falls from heavy water flow during the Summer, or a random tree that might have been pushed over the top of the waterfall, etc.  Again, it’s that unpredictability that makes this an exciting adventure.

And then there are the aspen. Each year the colors are a bit different, and the exact time when they “turn color” in various areas is a little different each year. So, we go out before the workshop starts and check out the various areas that are the most productive locales for great aspen shots, and plan the trip around that.

Finally, there is the weather. That’s the big unpredictable factor. We plan this trip more than a year in advance, with absolutely no way of knowing what the weather conditions will be a year later. I know the general weather patterns of the area in this time of year (I was a bit of a weather /meteorology nerd in my younger years). I know generally what we might encounter, but we won’t really know what we’ll be dealing with until we get there.

I plan the activities of our workshop totally around the weather conditions.  Our prime concern is safety, and mountain weather must be respected.  It is a powerful force.  Weather is also a wonderful factor that totally impacts the images we create, so we’ll plan our endeavors around what will likely produce the best images, based on the clouds, sky, rain, sun angle, (snow?).  Whatever we get, we get. We make the best of it.

Ultimately, this whole trip is more than just about photography.  The experience in this incredible national treasure called Rocky Mountain National Park is always remarkable. The camaraderie and friendships developed as we all experience this together is a part of what makes our trips especially memorable.  As I often say, “we go as photographers, we come back as friends” and that really is true.

In the many years we have been doing this, we have made great friends, and have so many wonderful memories.

I’ll try to post some photos while we are up there over the next few weeks, as I find time (but I will be pretty busy). 🙂

If you have an interest in joining us in 2020 (2019 has been totally sold out for months), go to our web page and read more about it!

We have early registration discounts in effect right now that can save you up to $400!  We just opened registration to the general public a few days ago and we already have 5 people registered, and 3 more who have been talking with me about signing up.

If you have any questions about the trip, don’t hesitate to ask!  

Kevin Gourley

P.S. Here are a few photos from previous trips…

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Kevin Gourley Photography Workshops, Austin, TX – Austin Photography Classes