I’ve thought a lot over the last few months about our last Inspire retreat. The thing I walked away from Inspire feeling, and still feel today is COMMUNITY.
Yes, I picked up some great tips and ideas from all of the talks, and I definitely walked away from Amy Deputy & Michael Donnor’s talks feeling inspired! But, what I saw more than anything was photographers coming together, in an increasingly competitive market, to encourage and support one another. I saw it when Kristin Chalmers had an exhibition of her personal project on autism and a mini Inspire reunion formed all around us. I saw it when a group of women I met at the very first Inspire went away to the mountains for vacation together, and really opened up about our hurts and failures and struggles over the last year. I saw it when Carla burst into tears watching Eric’s son lose his first tooth. I saw it even from thousands of miles away when our own Eric Langlois went missing while I was in India, and dozens of Inspirees joined in the search and posted daily about their love & admiration for him. I saw it earlier this week when the Planning Team got our families together, and my niece & nephews nearly cried when it was time to leave. I see it all over Facebook and Instagram as Inspirees work together, play together and reach out to each other. I see it every week as people post questions and ideas in our Inspire Alums Facebook group, and people chime in with answers and encouragement. And I cannot wait to see it live and in person this coming February!
Of course, we’re going to have awesome speakers & instructors at Inspire 2014, and of course we’re all going to learn a TON! But, I can’t wait to walk through the dining room and see groups of photographers who have just met each other laughing together, crying together, brainstorming together! I can’t wait to see speakers huddled on sofas with attendees reviewing images late into the night and encouraging them to grow as photographers! I can’t wait to see who gets up early for yoga, and who stays up late singing karaoke! I can’t wait to meet some of the local photographers I’ve only met online! I can’t wait to see whose talk makes me bawl my eyes out this year, and whose talk makes me feel like I need to revamp my entire business! I can’t wait to see all of the work we put in all year pay off because our community grows bigger and grows CLOSER than ever!
So my questions for you are –
Where do you see COMMUNITY among this little band of photographers?! And what does it mean to you?
And what are you waiting for?! Join us Inspire for 2014!!!