I had the most wonderful day in the mountains in Asheville, NC at the Asheville Folk Photography Workshop. The beautiful thing about workshops and conferences is that you get to build relationships with other creative, passionate people.
The greatest thing I walked away with from the workshop were new friends. The room at Atomic Furnishing was filled with about 50 people infused with creativity, passion, energy, and a love for photography. I was rejuvenated and inspired just by being around all the amazing people there. Workshops are not about going to exchange business cards. They are about fostering a community and sharing and listening to the hearts and stories of other people. I’ve always hated the word networking. It makes me feel weird, but thinking about networking as building meaningful relationships has been a game changer for me.
It can be overwhelming to enter a room of talented creatives with the pressure that you need to meet everyone. But you can never get to know everyone around you. Community is built one meaningful conversation at a time. I am thankful for the connections I made with the two women sitting beside me, Dragana and Heather, and our plans to meet together in Raleigh soon. I am also thankful for reconnecting with old friends in the photography community and building stronger relationships with them.
The amazing speakers, Christina Foret, Sadie Culberson, Megan Gielow, Cheyenne Shultz, and Angela Cox, shared so much of their heart and what they have learned over the years in the wedding photography industry. I learned from a photographer I’ve interned with, a photographer I worked with in the past, and photographers I have never met before. They were all amazing. The amount of pure value that I got out of these amazing women was worth way more than I paid to be there. Here are some takeaways that better me as a person, as a photographer, as a business owner, and as someone who wants to serve the people who honor me with their stories:
You are not for everyone ///
Don’t try to be anyone except for yourself. This means how you interact, how you photograph, and how you serve your clients. You will never be the perfect fit for anyone, so be comfortable with being true to yourself.
Get rid of your ego ///
At the end of the day, it is about your clients and their stories. Find joy and purpose in serving them in the best way possible.
A huge part of your brand is how you treat your clients ///
With everything that you do, you are communicating whether or not your couples should trust you. Give them every reason to trust you!
What is your why? ///
The why behind what you do should be your compass for everything that you do.
Put yourself out there ///
Angela shared how the only reason she has been able to work with the people she has and has traveled for styled shoots is because she has put herself out there and has been bold enough to reach out to people. She said the only thing that can happen is they say no or yes.
Courage + Hustle is a force to be reckoned with ///
Angela’s courage and hustle inspired me greatly. I worked with Angela years ago when Eddie and I were filming a wedding. It was when she had just gone off on her own. Seeing how her hustle and her boldness to go after her passion has gotten her to where she is now is encouraging and motivating.
Being able to be a part of this workshop was such an incredible experience. I love the NC photography community. It is encouraging to see how supportive and for one another everyone is. Your community can only grow stronger with putting yourself out there and sharing your heart with others.
I am grateful for Asheville Folk for putting on such a beautiful event that inspired and brought together 50 strangers that became friends and family.