I was going to give you a long, boring recap of Imaging USA 2013. But, I’ll keep it short and sweet instead.
Yes, I had a wonderful time. Yes, it was just the boost I needed to push harder than I’ve ever pushed before. Yes, I’m even more in love with this path I’ve chosen. Yes, I soaked up lots of great info. Yes, I met a lot of really amazing people. Yes! Yes! Yes! It was just as I’d hoped.
So, you want a recap of Imaging USA 2013? How about a gratitude list of the experiences from this trip I’m ever so grateful for (along with a few photos from my trip sprinkled throughout this post)?!
1. Reconnecting with my reason.
Over the past few days, I was reminded why I love photography. Why it makes my heart happy. Why it makes me feel alive. Why it’s something that I cannot imagine my life without. Why it’s the medium through which I want to leave my legacy. Why if I were to die tomorrow, I would still be content because I experienced the true love that comes with being completely and utterly in the moment… How blessed I am to have that passion in my life. To have my “thing.”
2. Magical reminders.
I heard the following quote/story not once, but TWICE during my trip. Once from a speaker at the conference, and another from a really awesome guy I met in a restaurant. The fact that I heard this twice, and from two completely random people pretty much blows my mind… You may have heard it before (I hadn’t):
“When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment. I told them they didn’t understand life.” – John Lennon
Life really is that simple. But, sometimes, we forget… or we just don’t know, because society teaches us the exact opposite. I chose photography because it makes me happy. But, sometimes I forget why photography makes me happy. During the trip, I reconnected with that source. And, from this day forward, I’m going to start taking assignments and seeking out projects that make me happy (and saying no to the ones that don’t).
I met a few very talented, seasoned photographers who were a true inspiration. Spending time talking to people who could offer advice was pretty damn awesome. I am so grateful that those people took the time to share their wisdom with me.
In addition, I met a few real gems outside of the conference. Atlanta has some of the most intelligent and open minded people I’ve ever met.
During my trip, I was limited to the downtown area. I just didn’t have time to do anything else. For the first couple of days, I wasn’t very open to the beauty of my surroundings. But, on the last couple of days, I started to see the magnificent texture of the urban scene… and out came my camera. I realize that I need to start shooting a lot more – just for the hell of it!
(This reawakening reminded me of my “Vegas Evolve” awakening.)
That’s it for now! I hope you enjoyed my ‘sort of’ recap of Imaging USA 2013.
(P.S. The above image of the model in a veil was taken at a live demo outside of the World Congress Center. I don’t know the name of the stylist, model or instructor, so I can’t give them the proper credit on this post. I just saw them outside, and started snapping. If you attended Imaging USA 2013 and happen to know who they are, let me know so I can credit them. Thank you!)