Photo Native 2017

Last year, I was looking at all my favorite photographers and I noticed that every single one of them had attended this conference called Photo Native. I was so jealous because to each of them, it had totally changed their mindset and rocked their worlds. I was so jealous of the knowledge and the inspiration they had gotten. So this year, when registration came around, I made sure that I would not miss out on this experience. And I’m so happy I didn’t.

This weekend was life changing. And I know that sounds a little silly considering it was just a photo conference, but it was exactly what I had needed. The amount of knowledge I was going to gain this weekend far exceeded my expectations. And this was the biggest thing that hit me the entire weekend: I have lost my way.

I didn’t even realize that I had lost my way as an artist. I was kind of starting to notice, because the amount of video I have been taking has been extremely low (in my personal life and for my own personal videos), I didn’t have the drive or energy to edit what I had filmed, and I was filming what I wasn’t loving. And I especially noticed that in my wedding videos. I liked what I was filming and there were parts of each wedding I have done recently that I loved, but it didn’t make me cry or feel what I wanted to be feeling (or what I felt when I made my first few wedding videos). I kind of felt this weekend that I was kind of on auto-pilot when it came to filming weddings. I would get similar shots to what I had done or replicate what I had seen. I wasn’t really pushing myself creatively. And I was disconnected from my work. 

When I first started doing wedding videos, I fell in love with them. Not for the money or for any of that stuff, but I fell in love with my couples. I fell in love with the way they were loved and supported by friends and family, and I fell in love with the way each couple loved one another. I was so naive when I started and hadn’t quite realized that each person loves totally differently and each couple loves totally differently. And I loved being able to capture that. I think my dry spell of weddings really put me in a funk of creativity. I started to film more of what everyone else was doing and all the “typical” shots. I started doing “cut and paste” with these weddings. But I DON’T WANT TO DO THAT ANYMORE.

One of the last sessions I attended yesterday was India Earl’s (if you follow her on Instagram, let me tell you that she is just as sweet, fun, outgoing, and just awesome in real life). And it blew my mind. I have always loved her work not for the editing or cropping (even though I really do love her work for that), but for the way she was able to capture such pure, genuine joy! And she shared how she is able to capture that all. And I felt like I had been given a shove in the right direction to getting back to that. To getting back to capturing the small moments and the in between moments. 

So I guess I’m sharing this all, well, one because this “Life” part of my blog is somewhat of a journal for me, but also because I want to put this out there to the world to say I am going to do better. I am going to start pushing creative boundaries for myself and start developing real relationships with my clients. I want to get back to what I was while also moving forward. I cannot wait for my next couple of shoots/weddings. 2017 has had the greatest start and I just have a feeling that it will be my best, hardest, biggest year of growth yet! Let’s do this!