I rarely (actually, never) post anything personal on here. This, however, was incredibly important to my business and my personal growth as a photographer.
In March of this year, I attended Photo Field Trip in Santa Barbara, California. Field Trip is a gathering of about 400 photographers from around the world. You could call it a conference or a workshop, but it's more than that. It's a chance for professionals to let loose, create, and learn in a beautiful, supportive environment.
The educators that attended were somewhat fresh in the industry, not people who've been in the business for 30+ with jaded war stories of weddings gone wrong. They had new perspectives. They didn't sell you their overpriced products for workflow or lighting. They didn't tell you that there was one right way of running your business. I can't tell you how many times I've attended workshops that turned out to be giant infomercials. This was, refreshingly, the complete opposite. The educators that I met at Field Trip had a genuine interest in your success as a business owner and were so incredibly open about their lives and experiences. We were encouraged to embrace the creative process and to figure out who we are as photographers and business owners.
Coming into Field Trip, I had no clue what to expect. I had heard mixed reviews, but the idea of an adult summer camp that focused on photography sounded right up my alley. Fortunately, I followed my gut and went. It's taken me a couple months to process the experience that was Field Trip. I left feeling overwhelmed and emotionally drained. Looking back on it, it was easily one of the best experiences of my life, both professionally and personally. Since coming home, I've never felt more of a drive to refine my personal style as a photographer and business owner, or more free to do it whichever way I choose.
These are my favorite images from that week.