I have just come home from speaking at the Canada Photo Convention in Vancouver. While I was away, I received an email saying that Georgia needed a headshot for something. So, I knew that upon walking in the door, I would take her down into the studio and grab a shot or two. This, of course, will not do for the headshot. It's too 'artsy' ;) but...for me, her mother, it will do just fine. I can see glimpses of the baby she once was and the woman she will become and the freckles that will connect the two.
This was not the first time I have presented to an audience of photographers, but there was something unique about this conference. Throughout the 3 days, almost every one of the speakers contradicted another speaker. But, there was no bickering only head nodding. The community that has been created at this convention is unique in this industry(at least in my experience). We are all artists. We realized that there are no rules in art and what feels right or works for one person may not resonate with you and that's OKAY. This is your business, your art, and you get to make the rules that work for you.
I'll be honest and say that I have had a number of negative experiences in the industry over the last year or two. It has made me hesitant to spend time with photographers outside of my inner circle because I don't need the negativity in my life. What I need is support...it's what all artists need because being an artist is difficult in a lot of ways. And, at the heart of what I took away from these last 3 days is that supporting each other only makes the industry stronger.
I can truly say that I was overwhelmed by the number of people who came up to me to tell me how much they loved my talk. I was a bit worried as sometimes it seems that family photographers and wedding photographers are on different planets, but, the truth is, we can learn from each other. We can be inspired by each other. We can support each other. No matter which planet we are from.