I’m sitting in front of my computer right now, not quite sure how to type this post. It’s been just over a week since I attended The Gathering event hosted by Caroline Logan and Hope Taylor in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and my brain is still trying to process all the information I gained, all the quotes that struck a spot in my heart, and all the talent that was in that room filled with over 100 young photographers.
I am still rereading all of my notes from the day, and new things are popping out to me that I can implement into my business. It is just so AMAZING to me that these two incredible, inspiring, and uplifting photographers would take time out of their crazy schedules to bring a group of us together and just pour their hearts out, so we can grow as photographers. They not only stood up at the front of the room and presented to us but also genuinely cared for each of us and were so honored that we were there listening to them. They each were so transparent and real about their business and the mistakes they have made in the past!
To be honest, I was so nervous leading up to this day. Until I get to know people, I am a pretty big introvert, so being in a room with over 100 people that I don’t know is a bit nerve-racking for me. One of my very close photographer friends, Katherine Petersheim, reached out me one night with a thought to go to this workshop together. She said she hadn’t ever been to one and was interested in attending. I had also not been to a workshop and was very hesitant to say yes because I didn’t want to be the person that knew the least going into the workshop.
Eventually, I realized that I had to take that step and get out of my comfort zone, or I would never grow. It’s so ironic because at the event, Caroline said these words that rang so true to what this event meant to me: “If you are not going forward, you are going backward because you will stay in the same position while everyone else passes you.” WOW…Is that not exactly what I was battling with or what?! That simple statement right there made this entire event so worth it, but that was only a fraction of everything I learned during that 8-hour workshop.
Hope talked about Peter when he saw Jesus walking on water. He instantly said, “If it’s you, Lord, tell me to come to you on the water.” Jesus, without hesitation said, “Come”. Then Peter, without thinking twice, got out of the boat and walked on water towards Jesus. He trusted Jesus, until a strong wind blew, and he started to sink because he lost faith and trust in the Lord protecting him.
She challenged us to figure out what that thing is that is keeping us in the boat. What is holding us back from fully stepping out of our comfort zone and pouring our heart into our business? The only way we can truly grow is if we let go of our fears and trust God and his plan.
I want to capture natural yet meaningful images that families can carry with them for years to come. Each photo is a memory! A memory that loved ones will cherish when they have to say “See ya later” to those they hold near and dear to their hearts. I keep this as my intention every time I raise the camera to my eye and click that shutter during a wedding day or family session. If I don’t, however, step out of that boat and push myself to be a better photographer, I won’t be able to create those memories for my clients.
I am so beyond grateful for this day and all that it has challenged me to think about in my business. I am so thankful for Hope and Caroline and all the sponsors who make this event possible. I have never felt so much excitement and motivation to start taking the steps needed to grow this photography business. I am so BLESSED to be a part of this industry with such encouraging, strong, and good people, and I’m so thankful for the impact that they have all had on my business.
My heart is so full right now, and I am so excited to see what is ahead! I can’t wait to see what the future holds, and I am so excited to have you along with me on this journey!
XOXO ~ Heather Marie