About a month ago I received an email from the folks over at oopoomoo.com, Sam Chrysanthou and Darwin Wiggett, asking if I would be interested in participating in a panel discussion at their upcoming Persistent Vision seminar and if I would also consider providing portfolio critique(s). Upon reading the email, I first swore out loud – out of glee and fear – and then quickly wrote them back to say, ‘YES…before you change your mind!’
I first met Sam and Darwin a few years back when I attended a Scott Kelby WorldWide Photo Walk that they led. Over the past few years we’ve come to know each other a little and I consider them friends, and I consider myself lucky to call them friends! We’ve shot together, we’ve had beers and coffees, on an evening walk/landscape shoot I participated in their oopoomoo launch video (a shot from that same night accompanies this post), we’ve shared struggles and successes with each other (mostly me & Sam over lengthy latte dates!), and I simply think that they are wonderful people & photogs who also happen to provide tremendous resources to the photographic community (their work, workshops, eBooks, life views, and sidewalk banter are all terrific!).
When oopoomoo.com announced in March 2012 that they were hosting a seminar with guest speaker David duChemin I immediately (after checking with the bank/husband!) signed up…which was quickly followed with a post to my Facebook wall saying that this seminar would be an ‘un-missable’ opportunity if you were interested in photography! I knew that being in the same room as Sam, Darwin, and David, would be of great value toward my goal of continually bettering myself, both individually and as a photographer.
Flash-forward a year and you find me beyond thrilled by their recent invitation; however, I was also concerned (read: intimidated!) about being a live-and-in-person-example of ‘which of these things is not like the other’, given that the panelists consist of photographers whose lengthy bios include multiple awards and publications! That said, maybe the fact that I am so different, at least in experience and my chosen photography path, is a worthwhile addition to the panel? And so, as happens often, I find myself contemplating all the psychology and philosophy that I have come to believe in...I choose to remind myself of the encouragement that I would offer a friend if she were in a similar situation…something along the lines of: “Stop asking yourself, ‘why you?’ and instead ask, ‘why not you?!” Why is it that we treat ourselves differently than we treat our loved ones? In reflecting upon this opportunity I recalled a quote of Albert Einstein’s, “All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.” Indeed, reaching and dreaming toward being our most robust selves serves our own life purpose and, in turn, our families, communities, countries, and, ultimately, humanity.
My friend Bruce Kirkby, accomplished adventurer, author, photographer, and, speaker, has been encouraging people to push past their fears and perceived limitations for years…this is absolutely an occasion when I have heard his encouraging whispers as I step outside of my comfort zone and wait for the ‘magic to happen’!
And so it is, with utter humility and gratitude, that I will lend my voice to this discussion. I am honoured to have the trust and respect of people whom I trust and respect, and I look forward to this incredible opportunity being gifted to me.
Life is beautiful!