Reflective Writing

I attended a recent zoom led by Andrea on reflective writing. I found it interesting and it pointed up several issues I have had about the topic. Like many of the people attending the zoom I have been reflecting after the event! Using reflection as ‘looking back’. This can be helpful, but it does depend on how long after something you are doing the reflection. I have recently read Annette Kuhn’s Family Secrets (see….for and extended review) – and she points out that when looking back over an extended period the memories become increasingly changed with the time, the viewpoint alters and other things become entangled in the memory.

During the zoom we discussed reflection from a different angle – looking forward rather than backward. Using reflection to think about what you are doing and where you are going. I found the revolving arrow a helpful way of looking at it, as are the questions around reviewing the issue and action to be taken forward.

Andrea suggested regular journaling or note taking as a way to keep reflection real and of the actual time. I started this earlier this year (having been given a diary) and try to write down what I have read and what I thought of it together with what I am doing. It does make it easier for my (roughly 2 weekly) progress reports. But I think I could take it further and write down more of my thoughts about where I am and where I am going.

Afterwards Kate suggested an essay by Mike Simmons with 3 core questions:

  • What?
  • So what?
  • Now what?

These are very useful points to consider as are the suggestions from Karen:

  1. One thing I am going to do is
  2. One idea I’m taking away is…
  3. I am going to think about…
  4. I have found out that…
  5. I’d like to know…
  6. In future I am going to…

The overall zoom was very helpful (even though I kept getting interrupted by family matters). I was reassured by Andrea’s comments that the tutors and assessors find the evidence of reflection valid – I have not really been adding to my blog – but will do so from now.


Norrington, A. (2020). OCA Discuss. [online] OCA Discuss. Available at: [Accessed 25 Feb. 2020].

Read, S. and Simmons, M. (2017). Photographers and Research: the role of research in contemporary photographic practice. New York: Focal Press.

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