So it’s the very last day of October and I got to thinking, I haven’t done this month’s self-portrait. Hurricane Sandy just swept through so the thought of going outside to take a photo didn’t seem like fun. Instead, I thought I would search through my little iPhone photos for a photo I took of myself, alone, in the month of October. There aren’t too many of those, but then, I found one from the Pursuit 31 conference that I attended earlier this month. It seemed like the perfect one to share. I snapped this one right before heading to one of the classes…
The conference was at Winshape retreat center in Rome, Georgia. (I worked at a conference center for the last 5 years and it will always be the one nearest and dearest to my heart and it is, of course, the best.) But Winshape… you guys, this conference center is amazing and the staff there were truly some of the nicest people, of all time. Not to mention it’s part of the Chick-fil-a “empire” so we had Chick-fil-a as an option at multiple (!!!) meals.
And then, there are the women who shared with us throughout the week. Some of my biggest photog celeb crushes. Like Mary Marantz… my goodness, the things I learned from this gal. Having lunch with her was pretty cool too. I think I look crazy-eyed in this photo… (so, I was excited, okay?!?)
Dawn Davis, people. This woman’s heart… she shared so much encouragement and joy with us. To see how she honors God in her life and business was one of the most beautiful things.
All of the keynote speakers shared pieces of themselves, their stories- and just about every time, we all cried. (Because when you put 100+ women together in a room, what do you expect?!) But in between we had some incredible photography classes too. From shooting techniques, poses, and design to business organization and marketing. Jane Johnson…
…and Jody Gray, were among those that taught us some about shooting technique.
Desirea Rodgers, Alicia Candelora, Katelyn James, Angelsea Urban, Suzy VanDyke… and the founder of this whole amazing organization, Karen Stott, were all there to impart their wisdom and love to us. It’s that moment when you get to actually meet and learn of the journeys of people whose work you’ve followed for a while. It’s that moment you realize that the same woman who shot Eva Longoria’s wedding, has hurts as well as triumphs and is willing to give you a hug (and the shirt off her back, if you needed it.) I know, I can’t help but sound a little mushy about it all. But this was such a refreshing conference. I left 100 sisters richer than when I arrived.
Oh, and if you love photography at all, click on every one of the names in this blog. I mean it. Do it… these women will inspire you.
*Please also excuse all of my slightly out-of-focus iPhone photos. They’re near and dear- even if they’re sub-par. :)