I have returned! I know you’re probably thinking, oh she finally returned to her blog. Well, that too, but I just arrived back from WPPI in Vegas, aka: big ‘ol photography convention and trade show. I’m so happy I decided to go once again this year. I have to say for some odd reason I was on the fence about going at first but in the end I realize I jumped on the right side of the fence in going! I went in hopes of gaining inspiration, vision, new ideas, new products, new friends, seeing old friends, and a darn good time ( it is Vegas ). Well, I came back a happy girl, I got that and a whole lot more. Typically I’m happy if I go to a convention or a workshop and come back with one ” ah ha ” moment. Lucky Me, I had lots of these moments! It started out on Sunday when I arrived into the fabulous Las Vegas in the early morning strictly so I could be in time to see the fabulous Audrey Woulard. Now Audrey, yes, she’s a rockstar and a sweetheart all in one. I won’t forget getting to see her last last year and when I went up to say hi after she spoke she said she knew who I was and called me by name. I was in complete shock when she had said this. Me, how could she know who I was I thought. Well she made my week and I had run up to my room to call my husband to tell him that, “thee” Audrey Woulard said she knew who I was. ( I still wonder how she had any clue who I was, I think she might have gotten a peek at my name badge, I don’t know, but I was excited! ) Then this year I come back to hear her speak again. She was the main one on my list, the must see for me and anyone else would just be a bonus I had told myself. LIstening to her again I was inspired, again! I waited again after her class to say hi ( sadly for us photographers, this happens to be our once a year opportunity to see each other when we come to Vegas ). So like I said, I waited, and well, I waited some more, and some more. Yes, she’s a popular little lady and her line was long. I was close there was one more group ahead of me. They chit chatted awhile and the group of very excited happy go lucky ladies looked back and saw me waiting, ” oh no sorry, you’ve been waiting, you can come talk to her”, they let me know. Audrey quickly replied as she threw her hand out, ” oh she can wait she’s fine, we’re friends, we’ll chat awhile” Oh my, I was all giddy again. ( I know, I’m a dork ) But guess what . . . this time I don’t doubt, she knew who I was This time I also don’t doubt that I can call her my friend. Heck she lets me bother her when I don’t know what do with my little Ollie’s unruly hair! * * * *
Monday came and I had some tough decisions to make. I have to say, the amount of talented people that speak at the convention and the amount of them that all speak at the same time make it hard in choosing which class you will go to. After going back and forth between many wonderful speakers I finally decided on hearing the fabulous Gerry Ghionis. Ah-Mazing! I had heard he was inspiring and thought, ” who can’t use some inspiration ” well I think everyone was thinking the same thing. The room for 1800 people very quickly filled up while many still waited outside the door hoping to get in. After listening to Gerry speak on how he photographs what he looks for, his album development, and his humor he added to his talk, I understood why so many left his classes with such high praise of him. * * * * At this point I was pretty excited. I knew I could leave the convention satisfied because I didn’t just have 1 great class but I had 2. Remember if I leave with one “ah ha” moment I’m good to go but I now had two full classes of ” ah ha” moments, I was feeling set! * * * * I was happy, I was satisfied with what I had gotten out of the convention. I have to say I had no idea what I was still in for though. To think there was a class that evening that I didn’t even think I was going to go to at first. I went back and forth on if I would or not and frankly I locked my key in my room earlier so I wasn’t going back to the room so I figured I might as well hit up another class. I have to tell you. I’m a very strong believer that things happen for a reason. On this night I believe I was meant to lock my key in my room. The class I am speaking of was given by the beautiful, and when I say beautiful I really whole heartedly mean beautiful inside and out, Jasmine Star. When I go to these classes I expect to get photography related help. This class gave me more than I was expecting. I have to start by telling you it has been a bit of a rough year for me. See, this is the year I hit 30. Once I hit 30 I couldn’t help but wonder where I’m headed exactly. Also in hitting 30 I’ve realized how much I haven’t been enough of “me” cause I’m too shy to bring that out to most people in the beginning. I know, I know, those that know me are thing, shy, yah right. But, if I don’t know you I typically get that way to start, granted if you come up and say hi to me first or after I get to know you, you won’t be able to keep me quiet. Anyhow, I end up in Jasmine’s class and while she speaks she tells us a lot about herself, but not in a bragging or this is how I do it kind of way. She talks to let us in to know about her. She explains to us that it’s good to let people know a bit about you and not just “business” you. Many times you can go to a class, hear advice and think, ” well maybe it works for you but not sure it’s true.” THis time is different. I’m sitting there listening to her and while she talks I truly find I’m connecting with her. She speaks about herself and she becomes real and not afraid to tell us about herself. All too often I know I hide from the real me, or from letting people know how I feel. I guess it’s the fear of what people will think or say but as she talks I connect with her and realize there are so many similarities. She explains how we should really just be ourselves, be different by being you cause we are all unique. Too often we all try to fit into a mold. It’s true though, you are special because you are YOU and not like everyone else. Each one of us is unique. Whether we let people see how we are unique is up to us. Jasmine stood on her stage ( I call it her stage because she owned it, she stood there proud and true to herself ) she had no problem telling us she is afraid of the dark, ( hey wait I thought, that’s me too! I guess I assumed I was always the only one, yes I bring night lights to hotels) She explained a story of her first convention and her first night there which I very easily related to. It made her real, this made me connect with her and realize first hand she was right on what she was speaking about. Oddly at the same time I realized I was getting life lesson. I was learning that while I just turned 30 I needed to get out there and live and BE ME, not a mold. I needed to stop hiding and that if I want to succeed in something I have to reach out for it, it won’t come to me. To succeed I must fail and still move on from that. I can sit there and do nothing because I’m afraid of failing or I can take life head on and learn from whatever failures come my way. All I can say to that now, is, ” Bring It! ” * * * * You will slowly start to notice some changes coming to. I’m going to try and blog more often, some business, some life, and some goodies I find along the way. I’m also hoping to get my blog and website more “me” soon. Now to figure out how I turn it all into a happy, go lucky picture taking cupcakes eating look of goodness, ha ha! Anyhow if you made it this far thru my post, you rock! Here is a sneak peek into a blog post coming later this week. Make sure to leave comments, I love them!