Intuitive Lens - Thea Coughlin

Thea's ability to speak about capturing a subject's spirit though the lens is unbelievable. I left class feeling incredibly inspired - not just to take photographs, but to live life more fully and to leave my children with incredible memories captured on film. ~ Michelle Duncan-Wilson





About Intuitive Lens

I can't think of anything (to improve this experience) except maybe making it a longer class, so we'd have more time to play and bask in the glow of Thea's exuberance.” - Sarah Wingerter

This is the class you have been waiting for. This is the time to leave automatic mode and disappointing photos behind. 


For the first time ever, Thea Coughlin is offering an online workshop. Developed with direct input from her students, INTUITIVE LENS has been specifically designed for beginner photographers or anyone with a DSLR camera who wants to learn to get off "auto" and capture exceptional images in manual mode.

If you have never met Thea before, you are in for a treat.  She is an extraordinary spirit and deeply intuitive. Thea listens carefully and understands precisely what you are looking to learn. And, one of her many gifts is the uncanny ability to present complex information in a simple, easy to understand format.

Intuitive Lens is a three-week class with just the right balance of technical info and tips on lighting and composition. But this is not merely a pragmatic exploration of ISO and shutter speed. Thea will help you to see and capture the spiritual connection between photographer and subject.

You will be encouraged to try some techniques that might move you beyond your comfort zone, but don’t be surprised if that turns out to be one of the most meaningful experiences of the class.

The focus of this workshop is to learn how your camera and lenses work together -- how to shoot in manual mode with full control over exposure. The curriculum has been carefully crafted and has the perfect blend of exercises and information that will help you develop your own voice and style through a powerful, personal, approach to photography.

Each week, Thea will share her best tips on how to achieve those intimate, soulful portraits she is known for and, how to deepen the spiritual connection to your subjects.

At the end of this class you will be taking the photographs that make people say, “where did you learn to do that?!”


How it works...

Intuitive Lens will be held in our password protected, private blog space here on the Squam site. We will send you login information the weekend prior to the workshop start date and you will be able to access it whenever it feels best for your schedule. 

Thea will be posting every weekday morning (before 9am EST) over the three weeks of the workshop. Each day will be different but she'll be sharing video lessons some days (at least once a week, but at times more often) along with text in support of the video. Other days will be text- and photo-based only.

Thea will offer prompts and assignments to work on each week to help you integrate what you are learning. Also, because the class size will be limited, Thea will be present in discussions and sharing.

Thea will address your technical questions each week.

(**please note** you will be able to participate at your own pace and on your own schedule. Videos and lessons will go up each day, but you can watch them and share your input when it is best for you. We will leave the site up and available to you until 15 March.).

We'll also have private NING group created and this is where the assignments will be reviewed each week. It’s also a beautiful place to connect and support one another as you are learning. Not familiar with NING? Click on "Community" in our navigation on the right and join our Squam NING group. It's like Facebook without all the icky advertising or ex-boyfriends.

The beauty of all of this is that it means the workshop is available to anyone, anywhere, anytime...and you will have the opportunity to meet many people from around the world who will be joining you on this adventure.  

What you need...

DSLR Camera
This kind of camera has interchangeable lenses and allows you to adjust the settings. A point & shoot camera with a fixed lens won’t work for this class.

User Guide for Your Camera
You’ll need this so you can learn to find and adjust the settings on your camera.
If it is lost, you most likely can find a digital download of it online. Google your camera make and model.

Journal & Pens/Pencils

Basic Photo Editing Software
You will need to be able to view and select your photos as well as resize them for uploading to our Ning Community. iPhoto will work fine (the more recent versions allows you to resize photos), as will any of the more advanced photo editing software programs. Please know, Thea won’t be teaching you how to use your program so you might want take a little time to practice with it before class begins.

White foam core - 2 ft x 2 ft
To use as a reflector when learning about lighting

A couple yards of simple, light colored fabric to use as backdrop for still life


About Thea

Thea began her career as a teacher, and is now a successful photographer living in Upstate NY with her son and husband.

Her background in anthropology, biology and teaching all feed her deep compassion for life, people, connections and the natural evolution of things.

Being a visual learner, she uses photography to understand love, life, her role as a mother, and the people close to her. Her photography business grew out of a desire to help others be able to do the same.

Whether it is an individual, a family, or a group, Thea connects with her clients, stands witness to the light within them and then reflects back what she sees with her photographs. She loves nurturing and supporting others to gently move into new and unchartered territory.  The photography session serves as a catalyst for the process of personal evolution, transformation and growth. The resulting photographs are intended to serve as a memory token of the experience of being fully seen as well as validation that change has occurred.

As she explores her role both as family historian and catalyst on a deeper level, her insatiable desire to empower and share brings her full circle back to teaching others what she has learned.

Thea thrives on the connection with people, whether she is photographing them, teaching or both.

In addition to her portrait and commercial photography business, Thea has also collaborated as photographer on book projects with Sarah Ahearn and Samantha Cotterill. Her work has been featured in numerous magazines including: Country Living, Somerset Studio, Where Women Create, Connection and Healthy Life. When Thea is not photographing commercial jobs, clients or teaching photography, you may find her hiking in the woods with her husband and son, climbing trees, riding her bike with the wind in her hair or laughing with those she loves.