Okay, where do I even start? I guess…..at the beginning…..
It’s been a hard year. It’s one of those years that, as a photographer, I am blessed to have because there were so many great clients who put their trust and their memories in my hands. Between me finishing my Bachelor of Science in Photography in May, my husband getting a second (for intents and purposes, full time) job in the early fall and still being a full time student himself, not to mention our kids baseball schedules and a jam packed Christmas portrait season, by December I was feeling the pressure of my workload.
Jump back to August, conversation flitted in our photography circles about a wedding seminar in Portland called Mystic. Curious, I hopped over to their website and noticed the rockstar lineup….including a photographer I admire greatly, Susan Stripling. That pretty much had me ready to try Mystic.
So here I am, booked for a seminar in Portland, feeling like this is going to push me to be better and give me a much needed break from the hectic life I live on a daily basis between work, home and children.
I am not the most outgoing person, contrary to popular belief. I more often than not have to force myself to say hi and always feel awkward and weird after doing so. It was a relief to know that there were at least a few other photographers from the Central Florida area that I would be familiar with. These three women would become the people that I truly experienced Mystic with and I’m better for knowing them. More about them later.
I arrived in Portland after a long flight and as I waited for the hotel bus, a darling woman named Maya Myers asked if I was going to Mystic (my camera case gave it away). If this was any indication of how my experience was going to be, I was in for an amazing time. We chatted on the way to the hotel, talking about business and where we were from. We talked about the speakers and discovered we were both doing Susan Stripling’s workshop the next day…a familiar face to sit next to….score!
Susan Stripling’s workshop was one of a few different workshops that happened the day before Mystic started for a few select attendees who chose an extra day of learning. Her class married both explanation and example, showing us how she does what she does and how she explains it to her clients (who would otherwise think we’re crazy). My favorite part of her workshop was when we were playing with window light, mainly because the images of hers that inspire me so much are these ones.
These were my favorite images from the natural light portion of her class (OH MY GOODNESS! Click on the picture and you’ll get to see them in full size! Thank my husband for the awesomeness!!!):