One week in a beautiful foreign land, two days being trained by a world renowned portrait photographer. I've been quiet about this, which is unusual, especially if you talked to me at any point since last October and got an earful of how excited I was. Truthfully I think I have been dumbfounded, fumbling for words, completely astounded and overwhelmed to the point of complete silence about this experience. I'm sorry. In some respects I still struggle for words. It was all so....much to process. Taking in these mountain top experiences and coming home to try and implement everything was a big job.
If you're just joining my journey and are unfamiliar with Sue Bryce, let me give you a brief description (and if you're a regular then go ahead and roll your eyes and keep reading). She is my teacher. I'd just printed off all the paperwork to apply to nursing school when I stumbled upon an online photography class she taught three years ago. I didn't know how to use my little Canon Rebel on anything other than AUTO, but being the force of nature that she is, I was attracted to portrait photography. I decided to give it a go.
She is an amalgam of the following people: Gisele Bundchen, the drill instructor from Full Metal Jacket or your favorite military documentary, Zach Galifianakis (brilliantly funny), Oprah Winfrey, and finally your very best friend. Add to that an abundance of raw talent in several areas and you've got this total enigma of a human being. My photography journey began and continues under her direction - all online education. To say it was an honor to learn from her in person is an understatement.
That being said, this was far more than a photography workshop. We had the opportunity to photograph models in various settings, and to learn from other accomplished photographers who were there in a teaching role on day one. On day two we learned about business and marketing in a classroom setting, but we also searched our souls and really connected with one another. We laughed until our sides hurt. We cried. We experienced moments of reckoning within ourselves. We furiously scribbled notes. We faced our own demons. We learned. And to be quite honest I was far too busy taking it all in to take enough pictures when we weren't shooting. This was unquestionably the most intense learning experience of my life, and I've pushed through a LOT of formal education.
Here's a reel of behind the scenes from the workshop. You'll also notice the famous glamour Pug, Cookie Bryce.
The other major component of this workshop was the people - my classmates. It still brings me to tears to talk about the amazing relationships that were built around this workshop. We are all in nearly constant communication even now, supporting and inspiring one another and building projects together from across the globe. I am only sad that an entire ocean separates the four of us Americans from everyone else.
So what's really my point here, other than sharing a bunch of images and mushy words? I'm fully invested in learning to capture the most beautiful portraits and in serving you all to the best of my ability. I certainly didn't go against my will to endure this workshop, but I really worked for the opportunity to be there. It was an apex moment in my photography journey. My life, my vision are forever changed. I can now say I've been taught personally by the best, and I'm so excited to be translating that into the portraits I create.
Thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement, and for constantly nagging me about pictures from my trip so that I finally poured my heart into some words to describe it for you. All my love.