I can’t even put into words how grateful I am to have been able to attend the first ever Storytellers Photo Conference. I’m not sure how I first found out about it, but I committed immediately and it has been my “something shiny” to look forward to for more than 9 months.
This past week it was finally time! I didn’t know a single person. I flew to Miami and just did what I always do…started talking to people. Connections were made left, right and centre. Imagine a hundred photographers who all love documenting real life. Imagine putting them all in one space. Imagine adding unbelievably talented speakers. Imagine the stories that you could tell.
Since Kirsten Lewis‘ first Creative Live class I have always wanted to see her speak and she was just what I imagined. But photojournalist Ryan Christopher Jones stole the show for me. I really appreciated both his perspective on documentary and storytelling photography and his teaching style. The added, and thoroughly entertaining, bonus was that Ryan walked us through his growth as a photographer, which was both refreshing and relatable. I am looking into the possibility of doing some mentoring work with him because I think that might be my next step.
I have so many ideas running through my head for my own personal projects, collaborations with other photographers and how it all connects to my “what if” statement.
What if nonprofit organizations had real life stories to work with and families who shared their stories through my lens were gifted the photos?
Ashleigh Raddatz of Documentary Family Photographers asked us to create and send her a video addressing where we would like to be one year from now. Her plan is to send it back to us next year. My plan is to make it heard, mascara smears and all…
To Blimie + Row: Thank you for putting the Storytellers Photo Conference together. I was just saying to a friend how I am seeing in pictures again. This was exactly what I needed and I will never forget this experience. Please, please do it again. This community appreciates you.
Storytellers feels like the beginning of the next chapter of my photography journey. On Friday, I stepped in at the last minute to present a session at Park Memorial’s Finding Grace in Grief event. I presented Expressing Grief through Photography. Tomorrow I am off to the ULEAD – Summit of Educational Leadership where I will be presenting a session called Making Learning Visible: Photographing and Co-creating Learning Stories.
I’m ready, what’s next?