As the summer began, it became clear that my original plan – to spend a month in California – wouldn’t be happening this year. I’d wanted to spend every day cycling by the beach, and meeting up with new people to create some interesting photography projects. But having thought about what mattered most to me, I realised that what I really wanted was just to escape from the busyness of everyday life for a bit: to spend time in nature, connect with some like-minded people, and have a little adventure.
A short Google search ended up with me finding a five-day retreat in Devon, which was exactly what I needed. The goals of the retreat were to deepen meditation practice, to spend time in nature, and to live as part of a community.
Although I took my camera with me, I never really intended to take many pictures. What I really wanted instead was to put myself into the kinds of moments I’m normally photographing – to live them, rather than watch them through a lens. But on the final day we were asked to share something with the group, and I thought that photographs would be a good way for people to remember their time on the retreat. I asked them to tell me their favourite places on the barn estate, and that’s where I photographed them.
My time on the retreat was really special, and I’m grateful to have spent time with such lovely people.