I recently attended the Out of Chicago Photography Conference in Death Valley. It was incredibly fun and rewarding and filled with new relationships and photography adventures. While I do my best to work through my thoughts before going on any kind of trip, this one was an interesting one to navigate mentally.
On a typical photo trip, I’m solo most of the time so I knew heading into a conference with 100+ other people would be much different that what I’m used to. I’m also a pretty social person but I was expecting that being in the field with more than 1 other person might be a little challenging. Some other possible challenges were: sticking to a schedule, not being able to choose locations or instructors and being with people I didn’t know. Here are some thoughts I CHOSE to think:
- Meeting new people will be rewarding as I’m naturally curious and look forward to new connections.
- There are more than enough subjects in the field for everyone, including me, to make photographs of what we are interested in. Death Valley is an awesome location!
- I can quiet my mind and be creative no matter how many people are around me.
- I’ve been to Death Valley before and am open to seeing the same locations with a new perspective, no matter what time of day it is.
- ALL the invited instructors are amazing and, if I’m open, I can learn from any of them that lead my group.
Thinking all of this kept my mind free of distractions (including complaining) and helped me to keep my curiosity for new experiences in my photography. Overall it was an amazing conference and I believe I came away with some new work I’m proud of. I even had a chance to experiment with some black & white photography (more on that to come). The good news is that I can now apply this thinking to all kinds of adventures I might have in the future!