East Side Represent! Last night Justin & Mary opened their talk at our Boston PUG with rally call of sorts to us Boston (East Coast) photographers. Mary said she was PROUD to be a part of our community of photographers, and that starting last night, it was our time to SHINE. She recognized the hard work and effort, that we as a collective group of people, have done to create such a robust and loving community of photographers. And this past week, I have been so proud to call this community my home and the people within my friends. On Monday and Tuesday, two huge players in the wedding industry gathered people from all across the region to hear them speak. I've already said it once, but I'll say it again, I'm SO incredibly proud to be a part of this community. I watched, somewhat from the sidelines, as friends met friends, strangers met strangers, and people gathered together in the name of moving our industry forward. There was no room for egos, bitterness or competition. We were all there to learn and help carry each other along the way. It was incredible to watch. This is the community that I have been longing to be a part of, and the last two nights I watched as it started to take place.
I had the chance to reflect lately about making the decision to become a wedding photographer. I thought over this past year and all the changes that have happened in my work life life. As I uttered the words "It was the best decision!", I thought, part of what made that decision so wonderful was the community of people I now call friends. Some of you out there may think I'm crazy, or cheesy, or lame. These people are your competition you might say and yes some of them are. But these same people, this same competition, has done more to help me GROW my business of these past two years than any other resource I have. This same competition is what makes my business successful. This same competition are the people I call my friends. This same competition are the people who help me through struggles, self doubt, fears and challenges. So yes, they may be my competition, but they make me a stronger business for it.
Am I cheesy and mushy and overly sensitive about this? Probably. But hey, that's who I am. And that's how strongly I feel about this community and what it represents. If you're a Boston area, New England, East Coast photographer, take note. Be a part of what is happening here. And if you're reading this and you don't have a community of support, reach out. Find one or two people who you can call friends, people that can support you and lift you up. You'll grow 10x more with people surrounding you and cheering you on, than going it alone. And I KNOW it's not easy, but let me tell you, it's worth the effort and the risk. I am proof. (*if you're a Boston area photographer and you need a community to belong to, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can help you get connected:)!)
On Monday evening, Jasmine Star came to town! Yeah, I drink the cool-aid and LOVE IT! I'm such a huge Jasmine Star fan, she is after all, the reason why I'm a wedding photographer! I remember finding her blog in 2008 and thinking "I have to do this." And ever since have been following that dream and making things happen. Sometimes I feel like I owe my career to her, or at least, owe the planting of a dream. As I watched her follow her dream, I only grew more stubborn in following mine.
So when I heard she was coming to town, I made SURE that I was going to be there. In fact I was lucky enough to be able to help set up beforehand (with an amazing group of people!! love you guys)! It was actually pretty exciting to watch what goes on behind the scenes to put on an event like The Fix. It really does take a community of people to make things happen. (Props to the team that travels with Jasmine and JD to make things run smoothly!)
Jasmine spurred us on to be better. To push the envelope and to dream bigger. Yes. I need to hear this. Everyday. Thanks so much for coming to Boston Jasmine! East Coast loves you! (and so does Canada apparently:))
Big thanks to Rachelle for leaving her family early and coming down to help out!!
New friends Rafael and Beria!
Jenny put me in charge of the Exposed magazine table. I knew they made a horrible mistake when I had to make change for a $100 bill. Then make change with the change. Math? What's math?
Lovely Boston friends!
My friend Alicia organized a group of Boston photogs to give a cake to Jasmine in the shape of her dog Polo. It was the HIGHLIGHT of the evening!
There was a lot of Ginger power going on!
The fabulous crew of people that helped make things happen!
The following night on Tuesday Justin & Mary came and spoke at the Boston PUG group. They drew such a crowd that they had to change venues! We ended up meeting Genesis Church (I was kinda proud, because that's the church I attend:)!). It was such an incredible night seeing old friends, meeting new, and being completely inspired by Mary. And once again, I was moved by the community we are cultivating. So, so moved.
I call this the Joe Don action shot. He moved just as I was taking his picture after he gave a rousing introduction for Justin and Mary.
Krista doing her thing!
Now onto Mary!
This just makes me incredibly happy!
If you've made it this far, thank you! I hope you've been inspired to be part of a group. A community. Whether or not you're a photographer, you know that we are all stronger together instead of apart. So get out there and join with others. Watch what happens.