This conference was a defining moment in my life, I know that sounds cliche and can you really believe that a conference on Photoshop could do more than teach you how to make a picture postcard.
The answer is YES!
You see up to this point in my life I have always strived to be better than I am today and my process for that has always been to learn more subjects instead of focusing on mastering one that I love. Over the past six months I have had the opportunity to step back and look at my life from a different perspective and I have seen that what I want is more creative focus and direction. I spent months thinking about what I really want and what I want to do with the rest of my life.
Enter the Photoshop World conference. When I saw that it was in Orlando I was immediately drawn to it and not to learn some new trick about Photoshop but to be around a group of people with the same interests to discuss and learn and grow from the people around me as well as to get some of those burning questions answered. The conference delivered just that! Not only did I get to interact with other people in my industry, I got to sit and discuss passion and direction with some of the best teachers in the country. The professionals that I had the opportunity to speak with and who took a moment to talk to me about what was next helped me to gain focus and direction on what I want to do creatively. Up to this point I believe that design and photography have been little more than a way to earn money doing something I enjoyed and my proclivity to learn and grow has been more about being better than the next guy and gaining acceptance than a simple passion for what I do.
The thing that makes this a milestone is now I will be moving forward in my creative career from a place of pure passion for what I do and my work has already begun to show that transformation. This is a portrait I took of my wife Alison just after the conference. In this portrait I used techniques that I learned at the conference and on my first attempt I captured probably one of my best portraits to date. You wouldn't know it by looking at it but this was taken on my back porch with one hot light, a neutral colored background and a piece of white foam core for bouncing light. No strobe, it's not outdoors and it's actually at night.
From this week I was able to make a decision in my own mind and for myself that photography is where I will be for the rest of my life and my design will continue to offer me a way to have a unique voice in the industry. Today I start doing for me and not for everyone else and I know I am going to have so much fun doing it. Keep an eye out for some really fun and interesting photo studies that I've already begun working on.
Always remember you have the ability to be whatever you want to be and that the world is at your fingertips to help get you there, all you need to do is ask for what you want and it will find it's way into your life.
Thank you to everyone that took the time to interact with me throughout the conference. You made more of an impact than you probably thought.