The Mindful Photographer: Awake in the World with a Camera

Discover your distinctive voice, cultivate mindful awareness, and inspire creative growth with photography

To make all my decisions conscious, I started filling the pictures with attention.
—Photographer Stephen Shore

The Mindful Photographer follows on the success of the author’s previous best-selling book, Zen Camera: Creative Awakening with a Daily Practice in Photography, by offering photographers, smartphone camera users, and other cultural creatives 55 short (1-5 pages) critical essays on topics related to photography, mindfulness, personal growth, creativity, and cultivating personal and social awareness.

Whether you’re seeking to become a better photographer, find your voice, enhance your ability to “see” the world around you, realize your creative potential, or refine your personal expression, The Mindful Photographer can help you.

You can read this beautiful, richly illustrated book in order, following its inherent structure, or you can dive into the book anywhere that appeals to you, following your own stream of interest. No matter how you read and work through the book—many of the essays contain exercises, working practices, and quotes from well-known photographers—you will learn to deepen your engagement with the world and discover a rich source of creativity within you through the act of taking pictures.

Featured photographers in the book include Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Charles Harbutt, David Heald, Todd Hido, Dorothea Lange, Sally Mann, Jennifer McClure, Lydia Panas, Stephen Shore, Alec Soth, Edward Weston, Minor White, and many others.





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Publication Date: Ebook release, October 28, 2021; Print release, April 26, 2022. Rocky Nook.

THE MINDFUL PHOTOGRAPHER made its debut on Amazon as the #1 New Release and the #1 Best Seller in Photography: Criticism and Essays.


Sample chapter headings and featured photographs from THE MINDFUL PHOTOGRAPHER:

Keep the French Fries

Keep the French Fries

Breakfast, Trail’s End Restaurant, Kanab, Utah, August 10, 1973 © Stephen Shore. Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

“Sharpness is a Bourgeois Concept”

“Sharpness is a Bourgeois Concept”

Deep South, Untitled (Stick) 1998, © Sally Mann. Courtesy Gagosian

Know When to Be Tender, When to Snarl, When to Shout, and When to Whisper

Know When to Be Tender, When to Snarl, When to Shout, and When to Whisper

GERMANY. Berlin. 2018. Michelle,
from I Know How Furiously Your
Heart is Beating
, Alec Soth

Seeing From the Body

Seeing From the Body

Twisted Tree (Cypress Grove Trail,
Point Lobos State Park, California),
May 24, 1951, Minor White

Learn to Love the Questions

Learn to Love the Questions

#11749-1004, from the series Bright Black World, 2017, Todd Hido,
courtesy Bruce Silverstein, New York

Coherence and Presence

Coherence and Presence

Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C., 8/28/1963, Rowland Scherman. Courtesy: National Archives

Advance Praise for The Mindful Photographer

“The most important lesson I learned was in a photography class with David Ulrich, who taught me that I had something to say. It was life changing.  I’ll never forget David’s generosity of spirit and how it transformed the course of my life.”
— Photographer Lydia Panas, author of Sleeping Beauty

"The Mindful Photographer is a mentor in book form. Highly recommended."
—Darlene E. Martin Ph.D., photographer and educator

"What makes The Mindful Photographer so wonderful to read was the short chapters on different topics so that you could start and stop anywhere in the book you wanted. I have learned more about making images and seeing moments that are unique to me from the book than I have over the past 30 years of making photographs."
—Photographer Dennis Stierer

"Inspiring! A book I will read and reread. Each of the short essays in this book will have you examining your own work as a photographer and asking yourself how you can move your craft forward, each chapter an inspiration for or reminder of the photographic process. As the author says at the beginning, you can either read it straight through or meander, exploring a theme that interests you. Although I have been on my own photographic journey for decades, I found much new food for thought in this beautiful book.." — Mary Kay Seales, writer, photographer

“Photography is Mindfulness. The essays in this book meet you where you are at in your photography journey. From the beginner to professional photographer, the essays are thoughtful and will provide you insight into how you can improve as a photographer but also how photography can deepen your interaction with the world whether you have a camera in hand or not.” – Shane Sakata, photographer