What I'm doing. Where I've been. What I saw. And why I shot it.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

post-Inspire Photo retreat report

How to talk about the Inspire Photo retreat last month ? My fingers keep typing out.....inspiring. Because it was.  I could review the classes I took (Getting Unstuck with    Sharona Jacobs, All About Wordpress with Rachel Avery Conley , the Photographer's Blogger, and Why Facebook is So F***ing Awesome with Laura DeCarlo) .They were all great.  And the one I taught (Books: Getting Your Dream Project Published). I mentored 4 people, and took away as much as I shared. Because, you know, it's inspiring to see what people are up to....  
How did I not hear about Blogstomp before last month?
 Or I could give you a play-by-play of the three crammed-full days with 200+ photographers.
Then a pithy inspirational (aagh said it again) message going around a few years ago came back to me. It's  just three points and kind of silly, but they're really good goals. Inspire Photo Retreat? Hit 'em all.

1_ Work like you don't need the money.
DUH! We are photographers. You don't go into this business--or stay in it--if you don't have big passion. Which is not to say you shouldn't work smart, or earn good money. Better business management, balancing your life & work, vendors offering services to streamline your workflow, new technical skills and lighting workshops, finding a niche and going after it....and above all keeping the excitement and joy in your work. That's what the conference covered.
In particular, students in my books workshop reminded me that everyone has a story to tell. Some so beautiful, and tragic, and touching, and artistic....and inspiring (there it is again. Once per paragraph, OK?). 

2-Dance like nobody's watching  
Done and done. While the three days were crammed with ideas and re-evaluating yourself/business/outlook , the nights were filled with drinks and the dance floor was filled with Inspirees. This isn't based on science but overall can I just say? Wedding photographers are fun.

3-Love like you've never been hurt.
This one? Not usually something you experience at a professional conference and here, right here, is the heart of what makes Inspire so special. It's about community, about knowing you aren't alone, about sitting at a table of strangers who become your friends by the end of the meal.  It's about being exhorted to go about your day Eyes up, heart out. In Carla Ten Eyck's poignant keynote speech the first night, she bared her soul. The rest of the gathering followed.

Why am I still going on & on? Watch the video!
Inspire 2014 Retreat Video