I had been searching for a workshop for quite some time, it seems like everyone out there is doing one these days. I came really close to signing up for one in Atlanta with some photographers I really admire. For some reason I never did, I dragged my feet and couldn't figure out why. This was the opportunity I had asked for? One night while stalking some of my favorite photographers, I came across FIND
and knew this was the workshop I was meant to do. It was crazy, really. I hadn't ever shot film, and many of the photographers I admire most had done the workshop in the past. That meant the caliber of attendees would be high. I am a self-taught, stay at home mom who is making a go at my passion. What was I thinking? It didn't matter, I signed up before I had time to let fear talk me out of it. Instead I let the fear motivate me. I didn't want a workshop where I was the norm, how would I grow? When I was cycling a lot and preparing for an event, I would ride with people much faster than me. It was hard and I got my butt kicked, but I improved much more rapidly.When I walked in, I was so intimidated. The studio is ridiculous and you know right away that you're not at a little league game. Jon
asked me what I wanted to get out of the workshop and about my experience. When I told him I hadn't ever shot a film camera and I had had my business up and running for approximately 2 weeks, I could tell he was thinking, "this girl is crazy". But the first thing you learn about Jon is that he's the most open, nurturing and egoless man you'll ever meet.
Half of the days were spent in the studio furiously trying to take in all that Jon
has learned in his career. The second half of the day was spent shooting bridal, engagement and family sessions. The first day we went out to shoot I was so nervous having my peers watch me pose the couples that I couldn't eat lunch. But, the next thing you learn about Jon is he is encouraging, non-assuming and instantly puts people at ease. The other attendees were also so lovely, talented, open, encouraging and there really was a sense of community between us. There were photographers with well established businesses and photographers just starting, but the one bond between us all is we were all there to grow and learn. Jon created the perfect environment for this to happen. Among the other things I've talked about, Jon is honest, wickedly talented, goofy, insanely passionate, driven and the ultimate family guy.
When I left, Jon gave me a huge hug and I cried. I cried the whole drive back. In looking back, I think it gave me the opportunity to focus on myself and my passion. I wasn't a wife, friend or mom; there were no clothes to clean, no lunches to make, no noses to wipe. Just an artist trying to find a voice and grow. I also learned that everyone is insecure and that it takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there for the world to critique. That is a gift few people can give to another, and Jon gave it to me. For that I will always be grateful.
Taking my personal journey aside, the workshop is amazing! Jon will answer any question you have, the food is off the hook, the models are gorgeous and you will leave with this uber talented, supportive, tight community. You'll learn everything from how to work a light meter or even load film, to why most photographers fail, how to get blogs to showcase your work, how to price your sessions and how to sell prints.
Thank you Jon and all of the other photographers who attended and created such a safe, nurturing environment where I could be vulnerable and grow.
And for those of you who haven't ever shot film, here is what you can do after the first half day of FIND.