Wow. What a week!
There is no way for me to tell you about everything I learned, or to explain the inspiration I feel after Photoshop World. Meeting all those professionals and hearing their stories and motives has made me a better photographer. Yes, I've gained skills and learned editing techniques, but I've also realized some super important things about myself and where I want to go with this photo stuff.
My favorite instructors where probably Jeremy Cowart [look him up, seriously], and Jay Maisel. They are both pretty amazing people.
First I'll tell you about Jeremy. One of the classes he taught was called "Making A Difference." He encouraged us to use our photography skills for good. To make a difference in the world. He showed us his work from Rawanda, where the government is encouraging victims of the genocide to forgive the people who murdered their families.
He also went to Haiti after the earthquake, and photographed the people there in way no one else had thought to do. It was amazing. I might have cried. He told us that he does celebrity photo shoots to provide him with the means to go out and serve the world with his skills as a photographer.
Hearing all the things that he had to say gave me hope. It made me realize that I can use my talents to make the world a better place. I have always had a deep desire to make a difference, and now I feel like I know a great way to do it.
You can find Jeremy's work here [this link will take you to his photos from Haiti].
Jay Maisel was my other favorite because of his philosophy. He loves, lives, and breathes photography. He doesn't go anywhere without a camera, and doesn't believe in lens caps. He's all about catching the small but beautiful moments that happen every day. They are gifts to us, but we have to train ourselves to see them. You can't capture those moments if you don't have your camera ready, and the skills to set up the shot correctly on a moments notice.
So you know how I've had the same quote of the month for like 8 months? Well I'm changing it this month to a quote by Jay Maisel, "Always carry a camera. It will make you look. It will make you see." There is beauty everywhere, we just have to be willing to open up our eyes to see it.
I'm planning on buying a point and shoot with manual settings, and I'm going to carry it with me everywhere I go, so that I am more aware of the beauty around me. I might even start taking at least one photo a day to capture life as I know it. Maybe I'll even share those photos here! We'll see :)
To see Jay Maisel's work click here.
Okay, sorry, I'm not trying to write a book. I'm just so glad I was given the opportunity to go. I want to thank BYU-Idaho for making that trip possible. It was amazing.
Here are some of the photos I took on the trip:
[click to enlarge]