Follow your heart, but be quiet for a while first. Ask questions,
then feel the answer. Learn to trust your heart.
These were the words in my heart as I was traveling to Sante Fe a couple of weeks ago to teach an Ace Camp Workshop. These were the words I wanted to give to the attendees the same way they were given to me. As a gift from someone on a creative journey. Indeed, my editor Jenny gave me this quote one day I was having a difficult time telling her how I approached assignments. "That's it!" I exclaimed.
I wanted to give it so badly to the attendees but I refrained as much as possible. I wanted them to feel what these couple of lines were telling them without explicitly writing it out.
Together, twelve attendees, myself and Angela who organized everything made an unspoken pact when we signed on for a photography camp in Sante Fe. We agreed to discover and share. To like, dislike and grow. To find our own battles and obstacles. To reach out within our strength and ask of others. To give and take. As a whole, alone, out with words or in our hearts.
We knew we'd have to be out there and vulnerable. We knew we'd come out stronger. I personally had no idea that twelve people would impact my life this much in the span of four days. I miss everyone of them. Not a day goes by that I think about someone from the workshop. Every single one of them gave me something huge right from their heart: they left them open and free. In a world where we are sometimes misinterpreted or judged without being known, this was a gift indeed.
As Angela noticed in her recap post, I had come prepared. Well, I was following some big footsteps of creative workshops and Angela was trusting me to bring the same level of quality and care to our camp. Hence, I could not fly by the seat of my pants...well not completely...!
Our workshop schedule was intense but so were the hours spent laughing and coming together as a group striving to learn and have a positive impact on one another. At the end of the day, our sessions ended with a group discussion and critique of all the shots taken that day. As you can see in the post here, a glass of wine made the whole exercise way smoother. That's the French in me, always trying to mix work and play...!
Seriously though, I wanted to make sure that each attendee had the opportunity to explore the journey behind their picture. I challenged everyone to shoot at the complete opposite of what they usually did and then take the whole group through their own reactions to help them word what they had learned, disliked and liked in the process.
Maybe they would try one new thing in the future, maybe two. Maybe none. At least they tried and were not left to fly solo on this discovery.
There were laughters and frustrations. Moments of discoveries and growth. There were moments that moved me as a teacher and moments that touched me as a photographer. It changed me.
Leslie, Kay, Lisa, Megan, Elysia, Mike, Selah, Julie, Xarene, Janice, Sasha, Pilar and Angela: Thank you. You have made me a better person, a better teacher and an even more motivated photographer.
Yes, if you ever have the chance to take an Ace Camp with Angela, do not hesitate one second! Angela will feed your belly well (just look at this spread!) and your soul and creativity will soar!
When the doors of perception are cleansed. Man will see things as they truly are...infinite.
- William Blake.