It was late November of last year when I received an email from Pictage about a scholarship that they were giving out and asking that you nominate a photographer that fell under the category of:
“An exceptional photographer who has faced challenges, adversities, and even disabilities and not only overcome, but shared, inspired, and motivated others to prevail.”
I thought what a neat idea. I really did not yet know a lot of photographers and to be honest, I didn’t do or think anything else about it.
January came along and I received an email from Pictage saying that I had been nominated as one of the 5 photographers for the Power to Prevail Scholarship. I believe that I just sat there and stared at the email for 10 minutes. I was shocked and excited. I could not believe that I was nominated. I guess I just didn’t see myself as an inspiring photographer. I felt like everything I do and am is because it feels right to me- never worrying about what others would think and say. Yet, so thankful for those photographers that saw where my heart is and nominating me. I was so thankful for this chance and I was so excited to learn that I would be able to go to WPPI. I think my husband was even more excited…
The trade show was unbelievable. My husband loved it. I hated it. Too many booths. Too many choices. Too many people. Oh my goodness, I was overwhelmed. All I wanted was a ShootSac. John took care of everything else- the new website, the video features that I will be offering for all my Seniors, new products..etc. (I really am excited for what’s in store for the business this year.)
That’s what I love about us. John takes care of everything I don’t want to deal with. I give him my vision and he puts it together. I share with him what I am looking for and he gives it to me and even shows me what I need to know to be able to use it. He completes me.
Jim Collins, John and I.
This trip began with a great dinner with Jim Collins, wife Angie, Misty Miotto and her husband Nelio. This dinner and time was truly one of the highlights of my trip along with the dancing for hours and hours at Studio 54. For the first time in 13 years of marriage my husband danced with me. He danced all night long.
I also had the privilege of a mentoring session with Joe Buissink. I loved getting to spend some time with him again. Not only do I love his work, I love who is he is. He is so simple and passionate. He listens and understands our love and struggles as professional photographers. His advice and words of encouragement are so powerful to me.
I listened to Jesh de Rox and fell in love with his concept Beloved. I had read in the PPA magazine a few weeks prior and was so excited to have the opportunity to listen to him. There is something about him… he just captivates you and brings you in and you feel what he feels. Beloved. “Beloved is the belief that, as photographers, we have the ability to change the world, one relationship at a time”, that’s what he said. This type of session is about bringing a couple together not physically but bringing them closer, emotionally. It’s not just about giving them photographs but giving them doorways. Wether they have been married for 2 years or 20 years. It’s about rediscovering what we saw in that person to begin with- what we fell in love with. I know with the busyness of life, we drift. The connection slowly diminishes and more often than not, you wake up one day and you just don’t know who that person beside you is anymore or what happened. It is so important to recognize that we live in an imperfect world and as imperfect people, we have to work harder at it; that is if we want things different for our lives. I share this from personal experience. The truth is there is only a certain number of times that we will still get to see, smell and feel our beloved- you just don’t know how many more times though. I know I don’t want to settle for taking life for granted.
I love his work. It’s not about perfect lighting or posing. It’s about the smiles. The love. The tears. The way he holds her. One day, Jesh will give my husband and I a doorway.
Had the privilege of listening to Blair Phillips, a senior portrait photographer also. He gave great tips and insight as to successfully running a business and what has worked for him and not. I truly appreciate all the photographers that are willing to open up and share.
Bottom line, this trip to WPPI was AmaZINg!