My joints ache. My muscles hate me. There are unexplainable bruises (unless you’ve seen the video of me acting a fool…if not, I will post it at the end). But you know what? I LOVE it. All of the above means this past weekend was a successful one of learning, shooting, laughing, and creativity.
I just spent three amazing days with some of the TOP photogs in the country, guys and gals. You want to talk about your self-esteem as a photographer who only shot eight seniors last year teetering on the edge of a 12,000 foot cliff…spend a couple days shooting with Amanda Holloway, Kody Hadja, Mary Moua, Heather Owens, Jen Bertrand, Tara Rochelle, Christy Schmid, Hope Tolliver; those are just to name a few, I could go on and list all 40 and most of you would know their work. These are women who when I see their work, I drool. Yea, drool. I think, “I want to be like them when I grow up!” They are inspiring, talented, determined, and just plain freaking awesome.
The first day of the retreat, boy, was I feeling like a sunken ship. Not because I wasn’t learning, but because everyone around me is successful and creative. They shoot a lot; they are well known not only in their areas, but nationally as well. I’m not generally intimidated, but I kiiiiiinda was. Just a teensy bit. By the second day, I shed my self-consciousness. Maybe, I thought, just maybe, I had something to offer as well? I don’t know if anyone got anything from me besides laughing at my utter idiocy (I’m a goofball!), but what I took away is like, wooooaaah, my brain hurts right along with my body.
What does this have to do with revisiting education? EVERYTHING! The reason I was a part of this ridiculous weekend is all due to Amanda Holloway’s Kitchen Sink Workshop. You all are so lucky I’m an open book, because honestly, part of me doesn’t want to share how awesome it is. Or how many amazing things come AFTER the workshop. Or how many cool people you will meet and get to spend time with. But, lucky for you, I’m not so selfish, because I WANT people to have success.
As much as I love KSW, it isn’t the only learning opportunity for you all to take advantage of. Ask around. There are so many conferences, trade shows, shoot-outs and the like, I can’t even keep track. But what I can tell you is this: you NEED this. You NEED to push yourself in this business. It’s easy to get stale. It’s easy to get comfortable. It’s easy to think you’re at the top of your game. I promise, you can always learn something new. Sometimes we just need that JOLT of inspiration. At least I do. This time of year is always hard up here in the north, below freezing temps, snow and gusting winds. These workshops and time with other photographers makes me remember how much I LOOOOOVE what I do. And with every bit of education I get, I grow. I improve. My self-esteem backs away from the cliff. I need that as much as my clients need that from me.
I want you all to have that too, so find a kind of education that works for you. And remember, even if the talent around you intimidates you, you have something to bring to the table as well.
Get out there. Get re-energized, learn a thing or two, and this next season, briiiiing it!
P.S. Here is the video of me attempting to imitate another video, hope it gives you a laugh this Tuesday afternoon:https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10205981186439489&pnref=story
He is WAAAAY more graceful than I am…https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=778380095579364