So they offer these "shootshops" for photographers. It's an all day experience,--- like 9 am to 10 pm after dinner. And the day flew by. I went back and forth between rapidly taking notes and just listening and trying to absorb everything. There were 25 of us in a hotel suite at the Mandalay Bay gathered around listening to the couple talk about photography, business ideas... tons of resources, post processing... and lots more. We went out to some rain ditch on the side of the freeway and watched the magic while they shot some lucky couple-- and turned two kids against a concrete wall into art. Seriously. I thought there'd be more magic in the post-processing... but we watched as he uploaded them to the big screen tv and they were already BEAUTIFUL--- straight out of the camera and beautiful. Dangit.
So I'm SOOO glad I went. And I've never felt so inspired. So inspired and challenged to push myself and be creative and unique. I absolutely love what these two do. They shoot mostly weddings and engaged couples, so it's already different than most of what I've done--- but they just make every shot INTERESTING--- every wedding looks like the best party ever and every couple looks so ALIVE. Clearly it's something they're doing. I got to witness them first hand and pick their brains... which was JUST as amazing as I'd hoped.
But I've never felt quite so overwhelmed by photography either. These two are young-- like my age, but they started right out of high school and went through their cheesy phase in the beginning, for like a second, and are now doing anything BUT following the latest trend out there. They take pride in finding new ideas everywhere they go and really stretching their creativity. They were super photo-snobs--- in a good way. Like I knew they would be. Irritated by all of the "momtographers out there imitating each other through blogs etc.... pretty much me. Luckily I'd gotten that vibe from experienced photographers before (like Nicole Gerulat via a friend's blog ... remember that Denae? I was so heart-broken at first!) and felt ready for it so it didn't hurt my feelings this time... well not as bad... :) But I was grateful for the motivation to challenge myself creatively, but I still couldn't help but feel a little bit like throwing my camera bag in the ditch and running far far away. "I stink! Forget it! I'll never be able to wear dark-rimmed glasses and tiny skinny jeans and have everything I do scream RAD."
But I didn't. I decided I'd give myself a couple of days to let it all soak in and wallow in my self-pity for being such a tiny, insignificant fish in that big pond at Mandalay Bay---- and then.... and THEN I'd start putting it to work. Wish me luck.