Sunday, November 7, 2010

In the company of friends...

I had a busy Saturday! I was out the door by 8AM, heading to my first of three shoots for the day. I spent some quality time with the world's cutest soccer team (seriously, they were so stinkin' cute!), then off to a portrait session with an old friend and her beautiful daughter, and then onto a new adventure at Old Dominion University to pick up my press pass to shoot on the field for this week's football game.

I know I talked about slowing down, and I have in a number of ways. This Saturday schedule doesn't seem to jive with my newfound desire for a little peace and adios to chaos. But there was something supremely different about this Saturday. The busyness worked! I was moving, fast, enjoying my camera, my clients and the chill in the brisk fall air. I didn't feel rushed or tired and wasn't battling my creativity. I could feel myself returning. The little changes I have made thus far are paying off in a big way already!

But the best part was the ODU game. It was here that I noticed a dramatic difference that was extremely captivating. The photographers in the media room chatted happily with each other, preparing their equipment, loading their zoom lens, starting up their laptops. From a variety of newspapers, university departments, and general walks of life, here was a common ground. A chilly Saturday, perfect for a good game of football.

At halftime, we headed back into the media room for a quick snack and a warm thaw. And then they started sharing. Going through photos, sharing techniques, style, placement. I was overwhelmed by the genuine encouragement and willingness to share tricks of the trade. No magician's secret, no careful protection of personal styles and shortcuts. Open discussion and meeting of the minds. These people love photography. And they will talk about it with anyone. Yes, we were all there working. But there wasn't the careful conversation, the share some, but not too much, that we can often find in this industry, especially in the wedding arena. It was a welcome, refreshing environment and I found myself speaking freely, being heard, hearing and learning. I found myself relaxed. And it felt good.

We need more of this. More of the encouragement. More of the candid sharing. More of the art that we all so desperately love. This is what I have been craving. A time to forget that this is a business for all of us and remember that we are artists first and as artists, we are all intricately connected and the world is our oyster to create beauty, reflect life and express our hearts. Even in something like sports photography, we are artists of the human form, its power, its prowess and the urge to win and the expression of drive, fight and challenge. In every way, we have an opportunity to create. And I firmly believe that true artists, true creators, true expressionists...should also be true teachers and sharers. To impart your vision and art to others is how the world revolves and how we keep it alive.

We are all in the company of friends. And oh how blessed are we.

A fave from each of this weekend's adventures:

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