This is my happy place. Out here…camera in the passenger seat…very little traffic…the sun as my watch and the radio tuned to whatever music inspires me in the moment.
This past weekend I attended the Professional Photographers of Iowa Winter Conference. It was three days of eating, breathing and sleeping photography. Surrounded by some of the most talented photographers in the state and even in the country, it’s a dream. From the speakers to the entertainment to the wonderful group of ladies I had the privilege of sharing the experience with, it was an amazing weekend for me. I have wonderful family and friends who support me but being surrounded by so much talent and the chance to really talk about something I’m passionate about with those who share and understand that love is just too good. These people have lived or are living the struggle if starting their own photography business and their willingness to share their wisdom and encouragement is motivating and inspiring. The mass of information, tips and tricks, do’s and don’ts, can all be very overwhelming but in the midst of it I also know they appreciate that everyone’s journey is not going to be like theirs. There’s space in the middle for my own successes and failures, highs and lows, twists and turns.
On the last night of the conference I was sitting at a table with the three women that I have come to call friends and four sweet young ladies who recently graduated from college. As the awards began I felt so privileged to be a part of something that can land me in the middle of so many different and amazing creative people. People of varying backgrounds, beliefs, ages and strengths…so many collections of ideas, dreams and talents. In my photography I am often ‘out here’, alone in my happy place. I love it. I know exactly who I am when I’m behind my camera. Sitting at that table, laughing, talking and sharing the moment, I’m reminded that it’s okay to be out there. To not conform but to contribute. To step outside my fears and share my perspective the best way I know how.