Last October, I had one pretty amazing day in London with a bunch of photographers called Welcome Home hosted by Emma Case. And there isn’t a day that goes by where what I learned, who I met, what I felt at that workshop doesn’t influence my photography, my business and my view on life in general…
All of us similarly minded but all oh so different photographers were all tied together by this shared experience of an awesome day, feeling right and having that kick up the ass to keep following our path. So with that in mind Emma and Pete planned Welcome Break, where us bunch of photographers could go and catch up again, meet others from other workshops, take pictures, play rounders, dance, drink and be merry in a farm in the middle of nowhere.
Now, Im not not exactly what you would call outdoorsy. I mean I love exploring the outdoors, and I frequently get lost walking around the of the Cotswold countryside. But I also like my mod cons; my wifi and hair straighteners and my morning coffee. Sleeping in a tipi worried me a bit. But new experiences are all where it’s at, and getting away from it all sounded like a great idea.
The place we stayed Talton Lodge was very cool. The little tipi was cute, if a bit chilly at night. The food was amazing. There were sheeps, chickens and pigs. We had a game of rounders, an Easter egg hunt, and a hilarious game of Goblin’s Wizard’s and Giants. It’s as fun as its sounds. We even had chance to arrange a couple of bridal dress shoots, including dunking the lovely Paula Broome into a bath tub….But what really stuck out for me was how easily and effortlessly we all met up and got to know each other so quickly.
For me photography has always been about collaboration rather than competition. Inspiration rather than imitation. Here we were, 30 or so photographers, some old friends, some new friends, some only knew each other from facebook profile pictures, but we all just got on so quickly and so easily. I’ll admit it now, some of these guys and girls were photographers I had looked unto and followed for years. I felt weird sitting opposite munching on breakfast while thinking “I love your work! Ahh! Don’t you realise how amazing you are?”
But regardless of where we are in our photography journey, where we lived or what we liked, we all just got on like a house of fire. I honestly think these are the nicest bunch of inspiring, positive and interesting people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. And that’s something I keep finding, the more weddings I book, the more portraits I take, that the absolute best part of this job is the people. The stories. I find the biggest inspiration out of listening and seeing other people do what makes them happy and inspires them too. When a bunch of passionate positive people get together to share and learn and collaborate, then of course awesome things will happen.
And Welcome Break was awesome. I had a wonderful few days away, that’s left my creative ass kicked and totally inspired and with aim to be more open and more appreciative of the wonderful people I’ve met (and have yet to meet) through my photography journey. Plus I really need to practice at rounders…I’m rubbish!