Oh Photo Native, where do I begin?! I have had the opportunity to go to this conference for the last three years and I love it! This is me on my soap box and telling you all the reasons why.
First, asking people “Will you be my friend?”
I have major FOMO. As introverted as I am, I really don’t like to miss the party and this year was no exception. One day at lunch I was sitting and chatting with the girl sitting beside me, turns out she is from my home town! Another time before class a girl was asking for some advice with her clients, and it clicks that I have heard this story before. Turns out we are in the same local photography group on facebook. And this happened again! With another girl was sharing a story about how her dog ate a package of film that was delivered to her door and wouldn’t you know we are part of the same film groups on facebook. This world is small, and I enjoy it being even smaller and having these connections.
Second, just call me Spongebob Squarepants.
I enjoy being a sponge. Soaking in all the tidbits of knowledge, strategies and fluffy feelings that come when you discuss being in a creative profession. Sam and Jessie the founders of Photo Native do an excellent job selecting the classes. They always seem to have the perfect balance of classes that push your creative side and your professional side.
I love the technical classes, hearing other people’s systems and finding ways to implement them into my work flow. It makes life simpler on the backend of my photography business. I love that many of the teachers are mothers and they share the realities of what their home life is like. I love listening to these photographers who are pure artists at heart. They ooze imagination and inspiration and I just sit in awe of them.
You know what else I love about the classes is that the instructors disagree. In fact sometimes they have opposing views. I have attended a workshop that was taught by one, amazing person, but all you got was that one person’s perspective. With multiple instructors, who have differing opinions, and perspectives there is something you can learn and take away from every class.
Third, take off your flats and put on a pair of sequin heals.
What I’m trying to say is Photo Native provides SO many opportunities to try something outside of your comfort zone. At Photo Native there are optional photoshoots you can attend. This year I chose to try something different and attend a creative conceptual shoot taught by Miesh. She is a pure creative soul. She developed three different sets, each one with a different objective and challenge. I’m totally comfortable taking photos of toddlers, poop and fart jokes are my jam. But, photographing models?! Terrifying. You know what though, I survived, and it was incredible. I loved being out side of my realm and photographing something conceptual.
Fourth, who says it has to be one and done?
You might ask me, “Rosalyn, you have gone to Photo Native three times isn’t it a lot of the same same?” and my answer honest answer would be yes, but also no. Every year an instructor has talked about finding your voice, being true to yourself and breaking creative boundaries. However, each of those instructors has walked a different path to be where they are creatively and professionally. Even though their overall message is similar, their approach to teaching and coaching you to discover these things for yourself are different.
Overall, there is no where to go but up.
At the end of each conference, I have walked away with a list of attainable goals and personal epiphanies and I be more grateful than that.