I had the best weekend of my photography career on September 22 & 23. After taking an amazing workshop with Stephanie Lemmon in Cape May, New Jersey called The Blissful Retreat, I was eager to get involved in another live workshop. When I found out that she would be offering another two day intensive workshop in New York City with Lindsey Lee of Lindsey Lee Photography I jumped at the chance.
I waited all summer for the weekend and as it approached I became increasingly nervous. I hope that I had improved from my last workshop, that I would get some new information and learn some different techniques from the last workshop, and that I would be able to ask questions on aspects of photography that I feel I still struggle in. I think it's important to know and accept our weaknesses but also recognize and appreciate all the things we excel in.
When I walked into that New York City apartment and saw everyone, all my fears quickly flew out the window. I learned so much that first day. My head was spinning with all the knowledge that I walked away with prior to even going to the styled shoot in Coney Island. Growing up in New Jersey you would have thought that I had been there at least one time in my life. The only memories I have of it, however, are driving past it on the way to JFK airport when I would fly out of there. Coney Island was definitely an interesting place to visit. While I can't say that it was what I was expecting, I will say it was exactly what I needed. The models really brought it. This was my first experience photographing children models before. I was afraid that they would be difficult to work with and that their moms would be even worse. DEFINITELY NOT THE CASE! Everyone was wonderful and I was amazed every time I glanced at the back of my camera (which was a lot)!
When I got back to my hotel room later that night (after an amazing dinner and conversation with Lindsey) I really had a moment of clarity unlike anything I've ever experienced i my entire life. I have always thought I would go through life and not know what my purpose was. That I would go through the motions, do the things I needed to do in order to survive, and have many regrets later on in life. That night I realized how much that I truly LOVE PHOTOGRAPHY. I know what you're thinking, "duh, I would hope so", but it was so much more than that. I've never been happier, smiled more, been more confident, approved and appreciated myself for the work that I have been putting out there. Am I the best? No. But I am certain that I will continue to work harder than everyone else out there to reach the goals that I have set for myself. South Jersey you better watch out because I am coming for you and then after that, the world!
Here are some photographs of the Coney Island shoot from the 1st day of the workshop. I will continue to add to the gallery as I finish editing more photos and will create a separate blog for day 2, the French Revolution, as I begin to work on those!