The Observant Photographer: Learning Narration to Power Your Creativity

with Caroline Jensen


$300 Full Participation | $150 Study Along


Are you feeling uninspired? Do you feel like your creative well has run dry? Learn to see what others miss through carefully chosen observation exercises. Designed for advanced photographers, either hobbyist or working professional, this course will increase your awareness and ability to be prepared for moments that matter. Learn effective tools that deepen your ability to creatively capture the world around you while exercising your technical ability, both at capture and in post processing. (Are you an alum of Caroline’s old course, The Art of Observation? If so please contact us before signing up to find out more about overlap between the old course and the new course.)


Participants should be comfortable exposing their images correctly in a variety of conditions.

what you’ll get

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5 PDFs + Worksheets

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Full participation students engage in instructor-led discussion and Q&A for daily interaction and support. Study along students have full viewing access.


Frequent audio messages to answer questions and explain more complicated aspects of the lessons


Videos of the instructor working through the lessons

Links to supplemental videos for enrichment exercises


Audio critique on each student’s work

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Full Participation students receive extensive personal video critiques of weekly assignment submissions.

Study Along Students have full viewing access.


Lesson One


Understanding the foundations of narration

Awareness exercises

Applying narration to classic art

Understanding the connection between classic art and detail observation

Observing the light

Composition, and color of classic art.


Preparatory exercises

Narration practice

Translating classic art into photography through narration

Lesson Two


Studying the connection between listening and creative inspiration

Observing music in Best Score Academy Award winning movies

Studying classical music in a visual way

Finding connections between music and emotional perception

Gesture drawing

Learning how to translate musical visualization to imagery


Preparatory exercises

Translate classical music into one image or a series of images

Lesson Three


Narrating the written word narrating short stories and poems

Learning to tell back through imagery

Exploring the art of haiku with a focus on observing life in the present moment

Anchoring moments with two to three senses


Preparatory exercises

Create an image supported by haiku

Lesson Four


Understanding observational limitations and how to maximize awareness

Practice with multiple observation techniques


Preparatory exercises

Create one image based on one or more observational technique

as seen on instagram


"Caroline just has something special to offer and it’s not something I can truly put into words"

read more reviews >

about your instructor

Caroline Jensen, a Sony Artisan of Imagery, is an award-winning photographic artist that lives on the wild prairie. Her passion for storytelling and creating art from the world around her has led her to photograph a wide range of subjects in her signature artistic style. She finds her niche in painterly images with dramatic light and enjoys focusing on one subject, whether that be a person, her original recipes, or flower. Her style, while ornate in processing, strives for a simplicity that guides the viewer’s eye to the heart of the image. A passionate educator and writer, Caroline has been featured in numerous publications and runs four workshops through Click Photo School.

how it works


download weekly lessons

Each week, students receive a set of course materials, which generally include a PDF and instructional videos. All course materials are yours to download and keep.

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chat online

Your workshop registration includes access to a private online forum for sharing and discussion. The classroom forum is open 24 hours a day so that you can learn and join discussions on your own schedule.

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study & ask questions

Study on your own time, and check in on the classroom forum for interactive learning. The instructor is present in the forum every day to answer questions and offer encouragement.

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complete weekly assignments

Students receive an assignment to complete each week that pertains to the topics covered in the course materials and builds upon class discussion throughout the week.


Full Participation students engage in an interactive online classroom experience that includes instructor-led group discussions and detailed, personalized guidance for the duration of the workshop. Full participation students post their assignments in the forum and receive critique each week.


Study Along students have access to all materials and are able to view all content and conversation in the main workshop forum. They also receive access to their own private Study Along subforum for peer study groups and image shares. Study along students will not be able to ask the instructor questions or request instructor feedback on their assignments, but they can follow along with instructor critiques of the Full Participation assignments.


  • It’s actually very complicated in this busy ife to listen news on TV, therefore I only use world wide web for that purpose, and get the most recent news.

  • Wendy says:

    I chose this particular workshop because I was in need of inspiration and the OP workshop delivered 100%. I took the SA option and despite not having 1:1 feedback on my work from Caroline and the TA’s, I learnt a lot from listening to the feedback given to the FP’s at the beginning of each week. Both Caroline and the TA’s were very attentive throughout the workshop and were always available for support and encouragement.

    Whilst I still have a couple of weeks assignments to listen to in the coming 2 weeks, I was so excited to complete the assignments and I had to post a review and encourage anyone who is in a photographic rut to give this workshop a go. Whilst it doesn’t offer technical photography teaching or post processing (it is assumed you already know the basics of WB, composition and exposure) it does offer a ton of inspiration that you will take forward into your photography for as long as you click a shutter button.

    Thank you Caroline for all the hard work and effort you put into this workshop. It is going to be a game changer for so many – not just past and present, but for those who have yet to enrol and soak themselves in this well of inspiration.

    Not sure if you check in here or not Caroline, but if you do, “Thank you for sharing all your insights and providing material which will be used for as long as I’m capturing images.”

    I found this forum very quiet which is not unusual re: any of the SA’s I have taken in the past. The reason I continued to post in the SA forums was because I knew that if I didn’t post my assignments, I wouldn’t complete the workshop or benefit from it to the extent I feel that I have. I’m so glad I persevered and got through the assignments because despite finding it difficult at times, it has been one of the most beneficial workshops I have taken anywhere.

  • Ronne Pierce says:

    The Observant Photographer was a class that I didn’t realize that I wanted to take. I have taken so many classes and breakouts and in a short time so I was reaching the point of burn out with classes but I also knew I needed something more. I cannot say enough about this class and how much it changed everything for me. In hindsight I can honestly say this was the exact class I was searching for ever since I started my journey with photography. Caroline just has something special to offer and it’s not something I can truly put into words. All I know is this class was where I turned a corner in understanding who I wanted to be as a photographer. And everyone in the class was so different from one another but I could tell we were all growing in our own ways and emerging at the end so much more awake, engaged and in touch with ourselves. Taking this class was unlike any experience I have had in other classes. Take it full participation when you are ready to open yourself up to the possibilities inside you and in the world around you. You will be so grateful you did.

  • Amber says:

    Innovative. Like a breath of fresh air has been blown into my soul. This course has changed the way I approach photography. Caroline teaches you how to see again….how to imagine and dream again. This workshop is about seeing your world through new eyes and capturing it with your camera. It’s about finding new ways to inspire your creativity. While many workshops will tell you to see your world through new eyes, Caroline has crafted lessons and exercises to show you how to actually accomplish this. Everything about this workshop was new and eye opening to me…none of the same old same old advice here. If you want to push your creative self and begin really developing the artist hiding within you….do not miss this one. For the first time, I felt like I was creating really expressive art….and it has been amazing!

  • Melina says:

    I just finished a run of Art of Observation and I am still soaring high!!! The past four weeks have been a breath of creative air! I have filled pages upon pages with ideas that I plan to revisit for months to come! Caroline is a rare creative artist, and it has been such a treat to learn from her, discuss, philosophize and experiment with her! Her material is thought provoking and educational and her exercises on careful observation are absolutely life-altering from both a personal and artistic standpoint! Her passion and desire for artistic experimentation is absolutely contagious! Starting on day one, we all abandoned our comfort zones and swam in deep, adventurous waters…and it was magical!! Gift yourself this amazing class, you deserve it! <3

  • Lindsey Burnett says:

    Since joining CM in January of 2013, I’ve taken so many workshops. And while I’ve loved every single one of them, Art of Observation was definitely one of my favorites. This course forced me to really slow down and think about my vision and find inspiration in the most unexpected places. Caroline is an amazing instructor with very thought provoking lessons and invaluable feedback. She encourages you to try something different even if it may not be your typical style. It can be challenging, but it really took my work to a level I didn’t think was in me.

    Now when I’m in a photography rut, I know I have the tools to find inspiration all around me. I highly recommend this workshop.

  • Jan Brier says:

    This class helped me remember why I wanted to learn about photography. If you can only take one class,take this one! I did take it Full Participation. Caroline and her TAs responded quickly to all questions and posts. The constructive criticism by peers and instructors was helpful and encouraging. This class helps you remember we all observe life in different ways and you don’t always have to have those “perfect” photographs, but through observation with all your senses, your photographs will have more soul and reflect your voice. Even though I have my handouts to go back through, I would even consider taking this course Full Participation again! It was an amazing four weeks that went by too fast.

  • Nicole Crane says:

    I was so lucky to be part of the most recent run of The Art of Observation and I am so very sad that it is over!! Everything you have heard about this amazing workshop is true. It is challenging, mind-blowing, exhilarating and life-changing. I would equate the breadth of this workshop to some of the graduate classes I took in college. I’ve studied and taught music for many years and this workshop allowed me to hear and visualize music in a completely different way!! I am so grateful for that! Caroline is just an incredible teacher. She gives you the tools to create and then encourages you to run with them. The PDFs are packed with insightful material that I know I will be going back to over and over and over. I feel like I’ve been given the most wonderful toolbox of inspiration. There is just so much to study and take in! The TAs and AHs were wonderful! And I loved working through this course with THE most supportive and talented group of women–I was in awe again and again by all of their posts and submissions. All I can say is TAKE THIS WORKSHOP!!!! I would take it again if I could :)

  • Julie Kiernan says:

    This course was fabulous! I took it when first offered. I would have taken any class Caroline taught as I’ve admired her art for a very long time. This class was so thought provoking and absolutely filled with inspiration. Caroline is a fantastic instructor. She is always available and very encouraging. I cannot recommend it enough. From day one I learned to be so much more observant and it has really stayed with me and become part of how I now think and see. I had never written a haiku and now find myself playfully creating them. If you need inspiration, or just a gentle nudge to shoot daily, this will be a wonderful experience for you. The materials are well done and left me with a lot of ideas to go back later and try. There is so much to learn and explore in this course. It’s one of my all time favorites- both in material and instruction.

  • Melanie says:

    This class was, hands down, one of the best I’ve ever taken. I felt freedom in completing the assignments. I didn’t feel pressure to produce technically perfect images for others, but felt like more of my heart/soul was being tapped throughout this course. The techniques and exercises that Caroline suggests can be applied long after the class ends, and helps shape you to become more observant in every aspect of your life.

    Caroline is a fantastic instructor. She gives you the tools to find inspiration in basically anything, while using your own voice. She is also always available to discuss a topic further and encourage you. Her passion for the arts is contagious, and I can promise you that you won’t look at a painting or listen to music the same way again. The teaching assistants were wonderful also, and very thorough with their feedback.

  • Kristen R says:

    Amazing!! This class will not only change the way you approach your photography but also the way you observe and see your life and the world around you. Caroline is a most astute and thoughtful instructor with materials that guide you through so many thought provoking exercises that raise your awareness of the details around you and the emotion they invoke in you. While you are guided through the study of paintings, music, and poetry, significant knowledge or experience in any of these areas is not necessary to achieve inspiration. The interpretations are so open and endless and you are encouraged to take this inspiration and create images that represent your own artistic voice and style. While this can be challenging at times, it is also freeing and encourages students to take risks and step outside their comfort zones. This workshop is not about the technicals of an image but about the emotion, the story, details, movement, the artistic vision.
    On top of being a fabulous 4 weeks, you will leave this workshop armed with an arsenal of ideas to tap for future inspiration anytime you feel creatively challenged. This class is definitely for an experienced photographer very comfortable with their technical and post processing skills. Dive in with an open mind and a willingness to take risks, and no doubt you will come out a more inspired and observant photographer!

  • Allison McSorley says:

    This class will completely re-shape how you approach your own photography. It will guide you through the process of using alternative methods to express your creative vision. Through her detailed course material, Caroline encourages students to study paintings, music and poetry and apply elements of those artistic genres to their personal work. It is a transformative experience that will leave you feeling re-energized about your own photography journey and your ability to produce authentic, meaningful work. I highly recommend this class. It is perfect for the advanced photographer who is looking for the creative push that will take their work to the next level.

  • Angie says:

    This course will benefit every single photographer at some point in their journey.

    As a lifestyle photographer, I envy those photographers who are able to look at a scene and pick out an interesting detail and make a compelling image from it. I also admire those who can look at a scene and anticipate the possibility of a great shot and wait for it to happen. I had gotten to a point where I knew those were two skills that I personally lack, but I couldn’t figure out how to get better. Then the Art of Observation was added to the CMU lineup. I knew from the course description that this workshop would be the push I needed. It was, but it was so much more!

    Not only will you learn ways to slow down and take in your environment interesting details in order to make interesting photos, you’ll also have a lot of fun doing it. Caroline provides a TON of different exercises that teach you to find inspiration anywhere: art, movies, music, literature, and more. Not only are exercises provided as a part of the class, but she also provided an appendix full of additional exercises to complete after the course is finished. I haven’t had this much fun in ages. It was very freeing to let go and experiment in a safe environment and to stop worrying about the rules so much. I have had so much shooting over this last month and I feel like I have a bunch of tools to get out of a rut if that ever happens again.

    All that said, it is a 301 level course. It’s assumed that students have a solid understanding of the rules. There isn’t time to CC exposure, WB or other basics, so before you sign up, make sure you have those things down solid. But you should sign up when you’re ready. This workshop is destined to be another legendary CM course like C&C, MNLI, and so many others, so be ready when registration opens. :)

  • Allison Fay says:

    I have taken A LOT of workshops, most of them being from CM. You probably know how awesome CM workshops are, but this one absolutely blew my mind. It isn’t technical at all- it’s purely artistic, creative and completely liberating. It teaches you to study other forms of art, and find inspiration from that to use in your own photography. i.e., You will never have an excuse for lacking inspiration again. After taking this WS, anytime I’m having a hard time finding inspiration I can refer back to the PDFs, practice one of the preparatory exercises we learned, look at a painting, listen to a piece of music, watch a movie….. anything……. and find something in there that inspires me to create. It might be a texture, a feeling, a color, an angle….. but I know how to find it now. And I know how to channel that into my photography.

    I also just have to add that Caroline is my hero. Since joining CM, she has continued to inspire me with her work, so naturally I jumped at the opportunity to learn from her for 4 weeks. She amazes me in every single way, and if nothing else, I will continued to be inspired by her passionate love for and study of art. As if that isn’t enough, the teaching assistants- Anne , Sarah and Celeste are just as amazing, inspiring, kind and encouraging.

    It was an absolutely amazing, mind-blowing, life-changing 4 weeks. I mean it. It was that good.

  • Ground-breaking. I’m not quite sure I can put into words what this class has done for me, as a person, and my photography. You learn to see, to be inspired, and to never ever again be in a rut. This course takes you on a personal journey of epic proportions and helps you to create work that comes completely from you.

    Who this course is for: A photographer with a solid grasp on technical/shooting/processing skills, for sure. You don’t want to end up frustrated because you have a vision and do not yet know how to make that generally happen in your camera/processing.

    I HIGHLY recommend this course.

  • Kellie says:

    This is not the kind of class that is going to tell you what rules to follow when taking photographs or how to process your images. You won’t be told what is right or wrong, pretty or unappealing, acceptable or not. This class assumes you already know the answers to all of those questions, even if they are hidden deep inside of you.

    Here, you will be given the tools to find your voice not just as a photographer, but as an observer and participant within your world. You will learn to see in a way that is deeper and more true to who *you* are by studying those who have already mastered artistically conveying their vision. Caroline’s lessons and exercises are thorough and intense, but if you allow yourself to dive in, you will be forever changed for the better. She is passionate about what she does and incredibly knowledgeable, and she is a constant participant in the class offering the sweetest encouragement and effective critique.

    If you want to make the leap from being a skilled picture-taker to a photographic artist, this is the class for you. It is a challenge, but the outcome is a fantastic reward.

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