WARNING…LONG post. Yes…heading off into a tangent (the girls at IHF now know what that is).
Dear I Heart Faces Conference Attendees,
This post is for you.
It really is hard to believe that I am writing this wrap up post for the 2013 I Heart Faces photography conference that was held last weekend near Columbus, Ohio. It was a year ago that Angie and Amy asked me so kindly to be a part of the speaking and teaching team. I accepted this opportunity because it was Angie and Amy…..it was for I Heart Faces.
Weeks of preparation behind the scenes by a small team of us got me ready for this conference. I could not have done it without them…Gillian, Mandy, Brittany, Alex and Jen. I have the most incredible women around me. I am so blessed and grateful. Thank you all. xo
The week leading into the conference I woke up with a constant flutter of nerves in my tummy. I have done more public speaking in the last year but I still had a few jitters about standing amongst a group of photography peers to talk about my journey for the very first time. However, my greatest anxiety came from wanting so desperately to NOT fail any of you. I wanted each of you to take away one thing that would make you think…whether it be a marketing strategy, a shooting tip or simply and most importantly a stronger belief in yourselves that you CAN make your photography dreams happen.
To say that I gave it all I had was an understatement. That first morning of talks when my room filled and I looked out onto my “sea of photographers” I was speechless inside (clearly not on the outside though….ha ha). To see you nod your heads, tear up and walk away with new hope made me the happiest person alive that day. I am grateful for every single one of you. Everyone that came to hear the talks. Everyone that took the time to speak to me, write me and stay in touch since we left. And to those who gave those Canadian Lays ketchup chips a try!
I won’t ever forget any of you and the experience you gifted me as a person. I do hope to see you all again someday. A big thank you to my conference helpers too!
Dear Conference Speakers and Leaders,
Where do I start to express the pure gratitude and love I feel for all of you? (Big lump in throat as I type this) I walked into the room that Thursday night before it all began not knowing anyone but Angie and Amy. I was over tired (we won’t go into the GPS freezing story thing…), anxious and in awe of the talent that sat in that room. You ALL made this middle aged Canadian gal from Waterloo, Ontario feel welcome, equal and cared for within minutes. To say that I am lucky isn’t enough. You are some of the kindest, most talented and genuine people I have ever met in this industry. I am beaming proud to call you all friends and I look forward to keeping in touch with you all! I feel connected to each of you for different reasons and each of those reasons is very special to me. We are so fortunate that we were brought together by two amazing women. Good people attract good people. End of story.
Dear Angie and Amy,
There isn’t any way to properly thank you for giving me this opportunity. You believed in me before I believed in myself. I will never forget this. Ever. You have brought the winds of positivity into my journey and have given me the chance to inspire others as I have been inspired by great people that have been with me along the way. I look forward to all that is ahead of us. Thank you thank you thank you.
And to my Jess and Melissa,
None of this would ever have happened if it weren’t for that photography workshop we attended three years ago this August in Ohio. Not knowing a soul there; bonding each night at Starbucks in that cute little town. It was the best $3000 I ever spent:) I have appreciated every ounce of your friendship and support. I have roomed with you both now and I can say that it’s a good thing ONE of us keeps their crap in the corner!!!! I look forward to the next time I see you both. You are lights in my photography life.
I am honoured that you chose me to work with. You all made my job so easy. Beautiful children, loving connections and patience. The light followed me to Ohio…and I could not have been happier to have shared this experience with each of you. I am looking forward to you having your images as a little reminder of our time together. And to my most amazing family from Georgia…I still cannot believe you came all that way for photos with me! Your appreciation and gratitude is overwhelming. You ALL remind me of the very clients that I am so fortunate to work with here in Ontario. You fit right in! xo
One last thank you. Karen. My new Ontario photographer friend. Thank you for enduring our 6 hour drive turned 11 hours on Thursday, for listening to me practice all of my talks in the car and then attending every single one of them…even though you heard the material. And for getting us home safely through 6 hours of pouring rain so that I could allow my brain and body to let go. Best part is…you are here. xo
Journey on ladies and hold tight to our experience together.
I will see you again next year?….EH?:)
A few iphone snaps from our 3 days together at the Cherry Valley Lodge!
My amazing families….