REVIEWS FROM PAST STUDENTS:
"The Family Historian" was just what I needed to get back to the heart of my "why". Even before I had a family of my own, I took photographs and journaled as a way to record my story. Now that I have kids, leaving a legacy for them has taken on even more importance, but sometimes my enjoyment and appreciation of the process gets lost in the chaos of everyday life and with running a business. This class was a wonderful reminder to slow down, let my kids be little and savor these days. The added writing component has inspired me to take on a new personal project next year that will combine photographs and written word, and also to start writing letters to my children to keep with the yearly family photo books. Heather's materials are incredibly beautiful and inspirational, and she is an open book about discussing anything and everything. I highly recommend this class.
"I signed up for the Family Historian because I loved Heather's work and I wanted to learn how to better document my family. What I was not expecting was a deep, beautiful journey with myself and classmates to examine ourselves and explore life as mothers and artists. Throughout the course I often found myself in tears...whether it was from watching an inspiring video, discussing shared struggles and experiences with classmates, or from baring my soul through writing exercises. I've taken many workshops over the years, and the Family Historian is by far one of my favorites. It was like a mix of a soulful retreat with a kick in the pants to start documenting life as it is, right now, perfectly imperfect and hard as it is."
"I was a fan of Heather´s photos and writing long before this class. For the workshop I got a silent seat only, but it was nevertheless an extraordinary experience. The class material and Heather´s critiques of the active member´s photos were such a gift. (she also commented on some of our submissions) With this workshop, my photography climbed to a more meaningful level, I feel more connected to my photos now. The workshop is so thoughtful and Heather is such a dedicated teacher. I could not recommend it more."
“As a passionate hobbyist with novice ability, I found Heather's class to be inspiring, thought provoking, and exceptionally put together. She explores documenting your family legacy from all angles and approaches the subject matter with a vulnerability that makes you feel like you're talking with a friend. Whether your expecting your first child or raising teenagers, this class will have you asking yourself all the questions you wish you had thought of in preserving your story. Come as you are and don't wait to start. The future you will thank you.”
“I loved this class. I cannot recommend it enough! Heather poured her heart and soul into it. I loved her thoughts, personal shares, and ideas she included in the material on how to document my own family's history. I am so excited to add more personal writings to my daughters photo books. This class was the push I needed to make doing this for my girls a priority. Thank you so much Heather.”
“Heather completely smashes the myth I sometimes tell myself that solely documenting my family limits my ability to make art. This class's daily materials and conversation inspired me to think about what I document, how and why. Heather is a relentless truth teller of all the beauty and reality of family life. As a teacher, she is thoughtful and gentle, yet called on her students to dig deep. The dialogue with liked minded photographers was filled with soul, candor and emotion. If you wish to think more deeply about how you are documenting your family, push your ability to create images infused with drama, emotion and heart and have your socks knocked off by all of Heathers beautiful work, this class is for you.”
"The Family Historian will help pull you out of the chaos that is the everyday and show you that it is not the forced smile moments that your children will want to remember. Heather helped remind me to step back and take it all in so that when my kids look back at their childhood they will remember that it wasn’t perfect. Beds remained unmade, dishes unwashed, mom and dad became unglued but all of that was within the embrace of family love and warmth that will live within them throughout their lives and be preserved in the photo legacy I create."
"I loved this workshop. I was inspired not only in ways I can improve my photography, but my connection with my family. It completely changed my perspective and gave me a newfound purpose in taking pictures every day. I'm excited to capture the everyday special moments with my kids and share them with them. I loved learning techniques for honestly capturing memories. I also realized the importance of adding thoughts and feelings to those photos by adding words to them. I am excited to take what I learned and create my own Family History. It was a inspiring and delightful to be able to learn from the photos and words shared by Heather. Best class I have ever taken!"
"My family is the reason I photograph. I have taken a few classes about documenting my family's life, so I was not sure I would learn very much new info from this class, but I love Heather's images, so I decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did because I learned so much! Heather presented new material everyday! There was a mix of written material and videos. She gave so many inside tips, especially about the way she gets her amazing shots. The variety of the materials is incredible. Heather is a wealth of knowledge and she does not hold back! I highly recommend this class for anyone who photographs his or her own family as well as other families. Unfortunately for me, full participation sold out very quickly, but I was lucky to snag a study along spot. Hint: register immediately; I did and still missed full participation."
"Heather guides you in finding the beauty amongst the mundane of ordinary life, and helps you have the courage to transform it into extraordinary images that radiate with light. However, the greatest gift she gives is the tools to fearlessly tell your own story and to embrace the unique identity of your family. This class was perfect for any stage of photographer as she taught so many ways to see and capture our lives- a total inspiration!"
“The Family Historian was an absolute game changer for me. Working with Heather and alongside the other workshop participants was motivating, inspiring, fun and moving. Heather took meticulous care to scaffold our learning and open us up to sharing depth in our visual and written work. She did this by getting to know us and talking to us about our lives and her life and how our collective stories intertwine. As the nature of this class is personal memoir photography and writing, it was crucial that the workshop space be a safe haven. Heather navigated that space beautifully and inspired honesty in me that I didn't know I could share. This has been a literal blockade for me in tackling personal writing and photography. How do we handle the hard stuff in our lives? She addressed it both elegantly and pragmatically throughout the course of the workshop through her prepared materials and spontaneous discussions. She encouraged and fostered an environment where we could be vulnerable and share our stories with each other, which inspired so much confidence and improvement in the work. I didn't want it to be over. I might have to take it again!”
“The "Family Historian" class was beyond just photographing your daily life. It was about documenting, inspiring, and being an important part of your family record. By combing real world examples, inspirational video, and constructive feedback, this class will push to be a better photographer and even get out from behind from the lens to become part of the your history.”
"Heather has brought a wealth of experience to this course - not just as an artist but as a mother and human being. Her class materials prompt good, rich discussion among students as well as the sort of "a-ha" moments of self reflection that (for me) are often the springboards that take artistry to a deeper, more articulate level. Her assignments push you towards more sophisticated camerawork - use of unique vantage points, layered compositions and low light - but also to photograph with more intention, vulnerability and heart. As a silent participant, I did not expect a great deal of feedback or interaction but was completely blown away by the level of engagement and rapport among students - oftentimes, i couldn't keep up with the level of discussion! Even alumni or active students made their way over to the silent section to offer their insight and encouragement, which was an unexpected and pleasant surprise. Heather has created an environment, for silent or active students, that is welcoming, warm and honest. She an engaged, thoughtful and responsive teacher. She lays herself - as an artist and human being - completely bare and encourages her students to be vulnerable in their work as well as contributions to the class. The class is intense - full of opportunities to grow technically, artistically and even as a parent. I strongly recommend this class to anyone looking to go deeper into their work as the family historian."
"This class was incredible. It was the most meaningful, well organized, relevant, and full of content classes I've ever taken. I've taken a lot."
"Inspiring, emotional and well written. I have taken several online workshops and this one has by far been my most favorite experience. You can feel Heather's passion through each lesson, it was a real treat to wake up to a new love-filled lesson every morning. Heather has changed my outlook on documenting my own family for the better, can't recommend this class enough."
"I absolutely loved this class! Heather's lessons are full of information and examples. She shares openly and is vulnerable which in turn invites the students to do the same. This is by far one of the best workshops I have taken (online and in-person). I'm so happy I was able to have an active seat too because her feedback was so kind and helpful. I would recommend this class to anyone who truly wants to create a family heirloom of memories through images and narratives."
“Heather opens herself up completely raw in this incredible and intimate course. I was incredibly inspired by her and encouraged to apply the same honesty in my own images. She is so attentive with students and even answered some of our (silent students) comments, which was so nice of her, considering how busy she must be! Overall I am impressed by Illuminate and by Heather's course. I will definitely be taking more classes, if I am quick and lucky enough to get in.”
“This is hands down the best course I've taken ever. Heather was so open and giving during the course run -- it was an absolute gift. She is a talented and loving instructor. Thank you doesn't even begin to touch my gratitude for you and this course. I was fully dedicated to preserving my family's story before I enrolled in your class, but it's opened up my heart and passion for creating a family legacy in completely unexpected ways. If you are interested in creating a family legacy AT ALL, I couldn't recommend this class highly enough.”
“The Family Historian is the perfect class for those looking to find their way in creating their family legacy. Heather is an amazing teacher, extremely gifted, quick to respond and provides constructive feedback from which to build your skills upon. I highly recommend her and her class. She has motivated and cultivated me throughout this entire three weeks, and in this short time already I am and will continue to be a better photographer and family historian because of her.”
“I enjoyed this class so much. It has already changed the way I photograph my family and I notice huge improvement with my images. I honestly don't know where to begin in describing how wonderful this class is. It is more than a photography class (although it is definitely going to improve your photography, which is at the core of it), it is also about why we photograph and how the answer to this question is very personal and translates to our work in a way which is unique for everyone. I am so so impressed with the amount of research and work that Heather has put into this class. There is so much information, so much to learn and so much to think about. It is incredibly thoughtful and full of meaning, which sometimes is so easy to lose the grip on in day to day lives. Heather's guidance is gentle in helping you to discover your own purpose and values in photographing your family. I will continue working on the lessons I learnt in the class and hope to return as an alumni soon.”
“I expected to be moved and affected by Heathers course, I have followed her for sometime so I timed my application to get on her workshop so that i had the time to really make the most of it... which is massively important with this course. It encompasses so much more than taking daily photos and writing narrative. I loved the detailed look into the psychology and the power and impact that the written word alongside thought provoking images can have. At times this course really challenged me not just as a photographer but as a person, emotionally. This course is a huge eye opener and a wake up call and I couldn't recommend it more highly. Heather is so dedicated and generous with all she gives this, I seriously didn't want it to end.”
“I can't stop thinking about it! I keep playing the quotes, narratives and feedback over, and over, in my head! "The Family Historian" with Heather Robinson allowed me to embrace the noise, the mess, the learning, the artistic side, even encouraged it, and I am smitten! Heather's ability to develop your writing and photography skills through her collection of images, video, feedback and words, feel like a close friend teaching and encouraging you all along the way. Heather's honesty and teachings have not only touched the lives of her students, but helped to create hundreds of legacies to be passed on to future generations. What a priceless gift! So grateful a friend introduced me to Heather's class. It really was an honor being her student.”
“I took this as a silent participant and loved this class! I plan to come back as a full participant in the future. Heather packed so much into every lesson. It was so well thought out, and informative. The info really spoke to why I am doing photography and for the first time in a long time, I am feeling confident. For a long time I was so focused on the technical aspects, and wanting everything to be perfect that I really forgot about what I want to leave behind for my family. I am shooting more than I have in probably a year, and looking for all the little details that I want to leave behind for my kids. Please take this class! Out of all the workshops I have taken, this has been my absolute favorite!”
“After committing to taking a break from all of the photography workshops, I decided to take The Family Historian. I love Heather's work, and had so many friends who had taken it and were inspired by it. It was a really great experience- Heather was fully invested, thoughtful, responsive, and comprehensive in what she covered. Even as an advanced photographer, the material was incredibly useful in re-calibrating my purpose as both a professional photographer and a mom with a camera- documenting family, and doing it in a way that will be valuable to them as the years go by.”
“Heather's class not only covered the image making side of being the family historian, but also the emotional and narrative sides as well. The narratives that accompany Heather's photos were moving and inspirational! For me, that story-writing side of the class will linger on with me for years to come. Already my family image books have changed. There is so much material to mull over and Heather is so responsive to all the questions and comments-always it seems, searching heart and mind and given her most heartfelt answer.”
Mary Pat Reeve
“Heather is an open book. She opens her door and shows her life like we are part of her family. She make me want to take more pics of my kids and the most of important something that I wasn't doing : she makes me want to write to them to leave them a beautiful Legacy ! i hardly recommend this workshop!! and to follow her work!”
“Taking The Family Historian has been such a powerful experience for me. Heather has a remarkable way of sharing her knowledge with kindness and sharing her world with such beautiful care and sensitivity. I feel more connected to my experience as a mother and a photographer and know that I am a better version of myself after these past few weeks.”
“Many courses are technical driven in nature. This course is different. Though it incorporates many technical aspects, this is an emotional journey. Instead of leaving you exhausted from a three week intense course, leaves you inspired and ready to pick up the camera even more to apply what you have learned. I have a new appreciation for every day photos and documenting how those moments make up my life.”