Life Insights – Connecting as Friends – Austin TX

Dear friends and followers of my blog,

I believe each of us can make such a difference in this world simply by taking the time to get to know more people around us, and sharing in this thing we call “life.” 
 Beyond social media, beyond Twitter and text messages, actually MEETING and talking to others is so important. 

The primary purpose of the LifeInsights group is simply a place where people can meet, share our life insights and hear the insights of others, not only from people within the group, but also people in the community who are making a positive difference in the world.

It’s a place of Connecting – Community – Love

We do occasional book studies, sometimes watch an interesting video or TED talk and discuss, go out to dinner as a group, and invite interesting guest speakers. 

All are invited. Always free to attend. 


Contact me () to let me know you’re coming!  You are welcome to bring a spouse/partner!  Anyone’s invited! 🙂


What’s Next:

All sessions below are at my studio at 11740 Jollyville Rd. Suite 400 Austin, TX

Typical meeting start time is 7pm or as posted.  Depending on the topic, we either end at 8:30pm or 9pm (never past 9pm).

Monday January 20th  – No Meeting
(Too many of our “regulars” had other activities/traveling for MLK Day.)


NEW Option! We’re trying something new:
A Breakfast Get-Together

Wednesday January 22nd 7am Join us for Breakfast!
Jim’s Restaurant – 12832 Research Blvd, Austin, TX 78750
(183 at Spicewood Springs Road).
No agenda.  Just have breakfast. Talk.  Socialize.
RSVP to Kevin () so we’ll make sure we get a big enough table.

Monday January 27th  7pm
Documentary Watch Party
Optional: Bring party finger food if you’d like.
CBS News Story: “Photo Finish – Kodachrome”
National Geographic Documentary: “The Last Roll of Kodachrome”
National Geographic follows renowned photographer Steve McCurry on his quest of shooting the last roll of Kodak Kodachrome film ever made.  If you don’t know much about Kodachrome film, it left quite a legacy in the world of photography.  Read this New York Times article to learn more about the significance of the end of Kodachrome.
Photo Share:  Any of you “old timers” (like me) ever shoot with Kodachrome?  If so, send me a couple of your best shots, and we’ll share with the group.

February 3, 10, 17, 24  7pm
4 Sessions based on the book:
“The Road Back to You”
Led by licensed professional counselor Lisa Blackwood

Lisa is doing this for FREE for us! Thank you Lisa!
Not only will you learn more about yourself, but you will also start to see the world through other people’s eyes, understanding how and why people think, feel, and act the way they do. Beginning with changes you can start making today, the wisdom of the Enneagram can help take you further along into who you really are.

More about the book here:

I understand having the Study Guide along with the book is helpful: 

RSVP requested – Contact Kevin (

Here are some comments I have seen online about the book:

  • “I have read a lot of books on the Enneagram and this is the best! It’s the one that most easily explains the Enneagram and how it can be used as a tool for life. It also goes deep. I wish everybody had to learn the Enneagram…we would be a much healthier society.”
  • “I bought it AND I’M SO GLAD I DID!!! It’s SO good! It’s helping me to see the world differently, my family differently, and myself differently. It’s changing the conversation in our home, giving me deeper understanding when I interact with others, and great self-awareness.”
  • “It was the first assessment I’ve taken that explained me to myself, and it described not only who I am now, with my strengths and weaknesses and tendencies, but also cast a vision for who I CAN be, and how to live into that potential.”

Our facilitator: Lisa has practiced counseling for almost 30 years and has worked with many people with ADHD, PTSD, OCD, Trauma, Anxiety, Depression, Chemical Addiction as well as Premarital, Marriage, Divorce Counseling, and Grief/Loss.

Note: This book is written from a spiritual/faith perspective, but regardless of where you are in your beliefs, I think you will discover something meaningful out of this experience.
Our LifeInsights group welcomes anyone, always. We don’t all have to see the world in the same way to be a part of this group.   That is part of the gift of this group!  Our different life insights and perspectives!


Date to-be-determined:
Perspectives on Growing Up BLIND
Guest Speakers: Ann Foxworth and Mary Sue Welch
Our lives are made richer by gaining a deeper understanding of the world around us, including hearing different people’s perspectives on life. Come and listen to Ann and Mary Sue share about their life experience being blind.

Stay tuned… we have more activities in the works!

Want stay up-to-date with the group’s activities?
Send me an email () and I can add you to a new google group we set up to keep in touch with each other. .

What is this LifeInsights group all about?

I have opened up my photography studio as a place to connect with each other beyond “just photography” and get to know each other more and share in this experience we call “life.”

Community leaders (such as Austin’s Mayor Steve Adler) have been saying we should do more to get to know our neighbors, to connect with one another in the community, and engage in dialogue and friendship.  So I decided to do my part, and with the help of  friends, we started a book discussion group at my studio in NW Austin.  After our first book discussion, we enjoyed it so much we started talking about doing another book study, as well as going out to dinner as a group to celebrate completion of our first book study.

We have since done more book studies and discussions and plan to continue, mostly on Monday evenings (but not every Monday Evening)!  You can check our current schedule on this web page!

If you think you’d like to join us, just send me an email (and I can add you to a new google group we set up to keep in touch with each other. .

Our little group is called “LifeInsights” since that is what we are doing, exploring and sharing about meaningful life insights.

By the way, what does this have to do with photography?  I mean, I am doing this at my photography studio, so what’s the connection? Well, my studio just seemed like a good place as any to do this since it has a classroom space. But yes there is a connection to photography. The images we create are influenced tremendously by how we see the world around us. In fact how we see the world around us influences our photography way more than the particular make and model of camera we own.  So why not spend some time exploring meaningful insights about life?  It might just affect your photography, and you will likely make some new friends along the way. And if you are not a photographer, you are definitely welcome to join us also!

Interested?  Let’s talk.  🙂

Here’s what participants are saying …

  • “I’ve enjoyed getting to know many new people through this group, through book or video discussions, field trips, and dinners. It’s a great group of kind people who can talk about their differing perspectives on a variety of topics.”
  • “Meeting new people and being able to discuss things in a non-critical way.”
  • “Getting to know new people and sharing insights.”
  • “I’ve enjoyed meeting all these people. It’s fun getting to know and try to understand each person’s quest to learn and be involved with these very different books.”
  • “I have enjoyed the fellowship and connection with our group of ‘neighbors.’ I like hearing others’ points of view and gain more understanding of whatever we’re discussing. I look forward to visiting with this group of friends now, whatever the activity.”
  • “I really like everyone too.  They feel like family!”
  • “I’ve enjoyed getting to know many new people through this group, through book or video discussions, field trips, and dinners. It’s a great group of kind people who can talk about their differing perspectives on a variety of topics.”
  • “I’ve only been to two of them due to my travel schedule but enjoyed both the dinner and the discussion group.”
  • Experience new things! “Doug and I had never been to a drum circle before and had never heard of Community First Village. We enjoyed the lights and the movie there and enjoyed the drum circle too.”
  • “I have always enjoyed events when I have attended. The people have always been welcoming and open to all ideas. It is a great group of people.”


We had a fun time at our Drum Circle and Picnic Around a Campfire at South Wind Equestrian Center in Leander!

Here are previous activities we’ve done:

  • Monday January 6th, 2020  Movie Night!  Kodachrome (the movie)
  • December 16, 2019 Guest Speaker David Dauber – Accessibility Specialist in the Civil Rights Department of the State of Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) in Austin, Texas. and co-producer, performer, writer and promoter of The Gene and Dave Show
  • Potluck Dinner and 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. More info: Click Here
  • December 7th 2019 Community First! Village of Lights and Movie Night
  • December 2nd Happy Holidays Party!
  • Special Program –  We Are Not Broken – Volunteers Info Meeting
  • Guest Speaker Matt Freeman – Spiritual Director for Mobile Loaves & Fishes – Community First! Village
  • November 1st FUN EVENING – Drum Circle and Picnic Around Campfire at South Wind Equestrian Center in Leander
  • Dinner Outing:  Mandola’s Italian Kitchen, Cedar Park
  • Book Discussion: “Broken Open – How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow”  by Elizabeth Lesser
  • Guest Speaker: Deborah Cole, MSF, LUT
    Author of Forthcoming Book: “Letting Go: How Less Becomes More”
    Topic: “The Heart and Soul of Cuba: The People”
  • Guest Speaker: Nichola Cotto, Photographer and founder of an amazing organization:  We Are Not Broken
  • Guest Speaker: Bill Schoening, Radio Voice of the San Antonio Spurs helping make a positive impact on men incarcerated in Texas prisons.
  • Guest Speaker: Kelly Jones, founder of Unbridled Connection – Creating Connections Between Horses and Humans which supports military and first responders, and their families, by providing a safe, confidential, therapeutic environment that promotes healing through deeper connections and improved relationships.
  • Stories and photos from our Rocky Mountain Photography Workshop – Kevin Gourley
  • Documentary – Watch and Discuss
    Brene Brown: “The Call to Courage”
    (we watched it a 2nd time, it was so good!!)
  • Dinner Outing:  Ike’s Love and Sandwich in Cedar Park
  • TED Talk Watch and Discuss: 
    “Say Your Truths and Seek Them in Others” – Elizabeth Lesser
  • “The Kindness Diaries”   We’ll watch an episode and discuss.
  • TED Talk Watch and Discuss 
    “What Makes a Good Life: Study on Happiness” Robert Waldinger
  • TED Talk Discussion with Fiona McInally
    “The Missing Connections in the Fight Against Poverty” 
  • Documentary – Watch and Discuss
    Brene Brown: “The Call to Courage”
  • “Meet the Author” Session and Potluck Dinner with Author Darius Pettway
  • Book Discussion of “A Chance To…” by Darius Pettway
    Darius is working to restore opportunity to young adults by providing them with tools of leadership, self-empowerment and conflict resolution. 
  • TED Talk Discussion Forum
    • “We Need to Talk About an Injustice” – Bryan Stevenson 
    • “My Stroke of Insight” – Jill Bolte Taylor 
  • Dinner at Nancy’s Sky Garden (Cedar Park)
  • Book Discussion: Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habitsby Gretchen Rubin
  • Dinner at Almarah Mediterranean Cuisine (620/Lake Creek Parkway)
  • Dinner at Kerbey Lane (Anderson Mill/183)
    6pm Monday December 3, 2018
  • TED Talks – Discussion Forum
    • Do Schools Kill Creativity? Sir Ken Robinson
    • Bring On the Learning Revolution Sir Ken Robinson
  • Book Discussion: The Last Arrow: Save Nothing for the Next Life  by Erwin McManus
  • Documentary and Discussion: Finding Vivian Maier
  • TED Talks – Discussion Forum
    • The Power of Introverts – Susan Cain
    • The Surprising Science of Happiness – Dan Gilbert
    • Your Elusive Creative Genius – Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Book Discussion: “29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life” by Cami Walker
  • Dinner at Kerbey Lane
  • Book Discussion: The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are” by Brene Brown


And I was recently reflecting on my life as a photographer and instructor.  I am very grateful to know all of you.   Read my blog post to see my “Reflections of an Old Photographer“.


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