The past few months have been blindsiding. In November, I was invited to speak at the Fearless Conference, one of the most renowned photography conferences in the world. (If you’ve never heard of it, go here now). The same stage that has been graced by Pulitzer Prize winner Damon Winter, World Press winner and photojournalist Darcy Padilla, and dozens of industry talents. I bled my heart out, (accidentally cried), and spent time with some really, really wonderful people. It was the culmination of 28 years of struggle and perseverance, rolled into a 23 minute speech, and by far one of the most memorable experiences in my life.
And then there’s this:
A 2am text from a colleague from the Las Vegas Convention Center.
WPPI is one of the oldest and most reputable standards in the industry. Having never entered a print competition before, this was a bit of uncharted territory. If you want to find the best of the best of the best in the field, check out some of their past winners.
The highest honor given in a competition is the Grand Award.
… And here it was. On a 50-foot big screen.
I have no words other than “thank you” to the judges for your feedback and for this prestigious honor! To Rocco Ancora for the print, his assistant Tanya for expeditiously pushing this through, and Melissa Ghinois for her sweetness.
So many times duing client consults, I’m asked how I got started. Or what our “style” is. And my answer is always the same: I picked up a camera. In truth, the why is much longer, but I think these often quirky or poignant moments matter because there is universal truth in love. As a person, I want to know what the beginning of your story looks like. Who is there to celebrate it with you? Why are they important? As a photographer, I want to put all of these pieces together and give you a unique perspective that speaks to your life.
In a vast pit of conflict, uncertainty, political change, and a thousand opinions (and options) at our fingertips, perhaps the only thing we can all agree on in this world is that we are alive. And we are here. And I choose to think that people we surround ourselves with are, in part, what defines our life.
I’ve spent the last two years soaking up every moment with my first child and I’m excited to be going back full time this year. As my wedding season kicks off next month, I cannot think of a better way to start off down this path again.