Exposure Symposium 2010 Weekend

I thought I’d share about my personal experiences over the last weekend of February. Friday began with the PPOC (Professional Photographers of Canada - Alberta) print competition. I did well in the competition and for the first time ever had all four of my prints accepted into the print salon. Friday evening was enjoyable listening to Chris Keating, a family portrait photographer from Calgary. I want to thank Tyler Meade for teaching and speaking on Saturday about commercial photography. I learned a lot and look forward to improving the commercial work I do in 2010. Sunday was spent with Scott Robert Lim, an inspirational wedding photographer I have admired over the last 2 years. His story brought me to tears and I was able to talk more with him about my photography as well. He even mentioned one of my images during the day which definitely made me blush of embarrassment, but it was still pretty cool to be mentioned. The image he was referring to was The Tryst that won a Merit at the Print Competition. This image brought a lot of discussion among the judges there. First it was the title. 2 judges didn’t know what a tryst was, which I thought was really interesting since I took a poll of people of various education backgrounds and ages and 9/10 of them knew the meaning. To the people who didn’t know that a tryst was a secret meeting or secret love affair it was astonishing that because of this lack of knowledge it affected how they judged my print. One of the judges really enjoyed the image and asked for it to be rejudged and I ended up scoring higher which was awesome. Overall it was an image people remembered and was talked about often over the course of the weekend. I enjoyed having dinner with Scott and Chris Keating with several other photographers on Sunday evening. We’re all just normal people who love what we do and we got a chance to share and ask questions. Monday was incredible. Dane Sanders came to speak to us and man - he was inspiring and got to the hearts of many in the theatre. Guys and gals were in tears throughout the day hearing our colleagues speak. Through Dane’s words, he pushed a lot of us to share our real stories with colleagues we didn’t know. I got a chance to share with Javier Salazzar and him with me and it truly was an amazing experience. My friend Shaun Scade from Scade Photography posted on his blog last week his incredible journey and the story of his life and how he came to be the incredible photographer he is today. Here are some random thoughts that are sticking with me from the weekend:

I have realized that there is a cost to everything. If it doesn’t cost us anything, we simply won’t value it. Whether this is a gorgeous display of potted flowers from a greenhouse or a portrait of our children. I know that when I buy flowers, it cost me some money and therefore I better water the flowers and keep them alive and thriving for as long as the season lasts here in Edmonton. I value these flowers but it did cost me something even if it wasn’t a large sum of money, it still cost something. When it comes to photography - I feel it’s the same thing. I value portraits of the important people in my life, my friends, my family and the environment that surrounds me. I feel that capturing the relationship and tenderness between a couple is so important, that the little smile a child gives his/her mom or dad is the most precious thing in the world. The love that we share with our families are experiences and memories that pass so quickly. Having photographers capture and retell your story and life through imagery and art is something that many of us should treasure more than we do. When my clients tell me after they pick up their prints or albums that they would’ve paid me more, I know that what I have just given them is a gift that they will treasure and sometimes you can’t put a cost on these moments. They are special, sincere and slam the heart with emotion. We all need to love one another more and this brings me to the next thing I have been thinking about. 

Change. I want to the change the conditions so that change happens. I realize that there are many things about my life that I want to change. 

1. I want to change my relationship with fear. 

2. I want to change my attitude.

The last thing I was encouraged to do over the weekend was really go all in. What does that mean for me? I think this will be a continuous thing that I’ll be working towards but to me it means connecting with my peers in a more personal and supportive way. Connecting with my clients by sharing more of who I am with them and by being authentic. I want to make sure that my family is always first and my work is second. I need to take better care of myself so that I can better love others and have the energy to do my work and enjoy my life. I want to move people with my imagery and be a more creative and artistic photographer. I want to continue to mentor other photographers and be a leader. 

I know this is a mish-mash of thoughts but I wanted to share with you how important the Exposure Symposium Weekend was to me. 

Thanks for reading. I wish you all an incredible 2010 full of growth and positive change!

Love,

Rachel

PS. Below is a photo I took at a delicious Thai restaurant we visited last week called Sy Phay. Get their soup. Mmmm….

sy phay art-wb.jpg

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