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a project by Tif Holmes Photography

About the Project (Guidelines)

The Collaborative Photo-Haiku Projecta project created and directed by photographer Tif Holmes  —  encourages exploration and expression through digital photography and modern haiku. At the heart of the project is mindfulness.

Participants respond to visual stimuli by means of haiku — a form of traditional Japanese poetry which consists of five, seven, and five syllables in three units, respectively. Because other languages do not lend themselves to this syllabic structure as easily, the number of syllables in each line may vary.

Inspired by Japanese Haiga, and Miksang — a form of contemplative photography based on the Shambhala and Dharma Art teachings of Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche — this project is rooted in perception. Form, color, texture, patterns, etc., all contribute to an initial understanding of an experience. Whether temporal or spiritual, the transference of this understanding into haiku creates a powerful awareness that can be shared with others.

General Project Guidelines

There is no “right” or “wrong” way to write haiku in this space; the only “rule” is that it must be three lines in a general short-long-short line structure. If your entry is longer than three lines, it will be too long to print beneath the photo and will not qualify for print services (Monthly Print Giveaway and photo-haiku print sales).

If you wish to learn more about haiku, there are many knowledgeable haiku poets who regularly participate in the project. You should feel free to communicate with them via Twitter and Facebook and private e-mail correspondence. I do not wish to debate haiku “rules” here on this project site and any attempt to do so will be deleted. This space should be considered one where everyone–however skilled or unskilled in the art of writing haiku–is welcome and encouraged to share their words in a creative and positive way.



Monthly Print Giveaway*

Directly below each haiku posted are two arrow buttons with a number to the left of them. Click the “up” arrow next to each haiku that resonates with you. The “down” button should not be used on this website unless voting “down” comments by trolls or spammers that may have somehow gotten through the system. Such comments will be removed immediately. 



The author of the haiku that receives the most “votes” at midnight (CST) on the last day of each month will receive a free 11×14 (unframed) print of the photo with their haiku captioned below it. If there is a tie between two or more individuals, a drawing will be held to determine the (1) winner. All site visitors may vote “up” haiku, whether or not they contribute haiku of their own.

Each series will be archived for future viewing, and the comments will remain open. This means that haiku can be entered after a series has ended. “Votes” may also be placed after a series has ended; however, print recipients for each series are final.

Free prints are given according to number of “votes” received on a specific photo/haiku combination. Unfortunately, I cannot accommodate requests by print recipients to choose which photo they receive for free. You can purchase any photo you like with any haiku of your own at any time. Additionally, there is a “Buy Print” button below each photo in the project for anyone wishing to purchase a photo-only print.

Print prices are:

  • $59.00 for 12×18 photo-only
  • $39.00 for 11×14 photo-haiku

Each print is fine art quality, includes lustre coating, is mounted on 2mm styrene, and is ready-to-frame. Additionally, I sign and date the back of each print.


Sample free print (click image to enlarge)



Printing and shipping may take several weeks. If there is to be a delay, I will notify you of that delay. I will also notify you when the print actually ships. Out-of-country shipping takes longer (often several weeks). I only ship USPS unless an alternative is requested and paid for by the participant. The cost of making and shipping these prints comes out of my personal pocket. I am not a wealthy individual. In fact, not even close. Please be considerate of this fact and the fact that you are receiving a free fine art quality print. The idea behind the free print is to reward individuals for being creative and expressive in such a wonderful medium. The idea behind the project is to be positive. If I feel that a participant is not “getting” these ideas, I reserve the right to ban such an individual from the Project. 



All questions (as well as custom print orders) may be addressed to Tif Holmes using the “Feedback” button which should appear on the left side of each page on the site. Also, check out the FAQ page for answers to the most commonly asked questions.