Over the last 5 years I have taken many photography workshops, both in person and online, always coming away with new knowledge and confidence. This summer I was finally able to attend one I’d been coveting for years, the PinkleToes Workshop in Austin, Texas. Michele and I go way back to when I was pregnant with Caden. Back then (which seems like a decade ago) the big deal in the photography community was Flickr. Flickr was what we used to help daydream before there was Pinterest. One of my all time favorites to follow was this photographer “pinkletoes.” I LOVED everything she posted. And I mean everything. From a leaf to a portrait of her daughter (who was a BABY at the time Michele!). I was fascinated by how unconventional her portraits were. They were more documentary style then family sessions, what I would later come to know as lifestyle photography. It didn’t help my obsession that I was very pregnant at the time and saw her sharing amazing maternity images left and right. As a present to me, my parents gifted me my maternity session and I was able to meet and be documented by my photog heroine! She was amazing and lived up to every expectation I had. I mean, come on, who else could have made me look so graceful and serene (I was 50 lbs overweight and a constant ball of stress). I was so fortunate to have met her, and over the years as I worked on my craft I found continued strength to one day be able to document the way she does.
Cut to a few years later, when I was perusing her blog I noticed she offered photography workshops, online mentoring and other various goodies (all of which I very much wanted). If I could go back in time, I would have done everything I could to attend one of those workshops YEARS ago. And if anyone is starting their business now, or fairly new and looking for guidance, I urge you to run, not walk, to the next available workshop she holds. So many of the things she talks about are things I struggled with, spent months researching, and countless hours stressing about. I joked with Nick that the weekend spent in Austin was as close as I’ve been to college in *ahem* years. We sat in our “classroom” listening intently, taking notes, gaining more confidence in ourselves and our work and validating that we weren’t alone in the journey! It is possible for local photographers to be friends, share, and help one another. I am so grateful for the friendships I gained and the calories I burned from laughing so hard that my stomach hurt the next day (11pm underwater selfies are real, and they are amazing). Sorry Michele!
I wish I could say that I have more photographs from my time there, but for me, the workshop was more about reflection and observation. I was truly happy sitting back and watching, listening and learning from both Michele and my fellow attendees. It was fun to see we all shared some methods and techniques and learn new and innovative ones as well.
And I mean, leave it to me to go off the beaten path of capturing humans and get lost in the beauty of the nature & landscapes around me! It’s just what I do
And don’t forget the AMAZING maternity session I came home with. Sunrise sessions really hurt in the beginning, but they are always worth it. This one was my absolute favorite!
I can tell you, the business knowledge I came away with was amazing, and again, I wish I would have learned it years ago. But I think for me, the most beneficial thing was coming home with more confidence. Confidence in my abilities and peace of mind in the anxious storm inside of me. I’m proud of where I’ve come and proud of where I’m headed.
And I’m proud of my MAD meme abilities. Two of my triumphs I HAD to share
Want to hear about the other SUPER talented girls that attended the Austin workshop with me??? Well guess what! You CAN. Check out what Jennifer Maley – Houston Family Photographer – had to say about her time with us as well. And keep following the links to visit each of the attendee’s blogs about the weekend including miss Michele’s!