At the beginning of this year, I decided to sign up for a 3 month boot camp called Refining the Artist, and mentor with the amazing Sally Kate Photography. I first discovered Sally’s work back in 2016 when I attended another shoot out where she was mentoring, and instantly fell in love with her work. Her photos are fun, real and in the moment! I couldn’t wait to learn from her.
Every week we received an in depth PDF on a different topic, along with homework. Week 1, we didn’t waste any time, jumped right in and did some soul searching. Have you ever taken a personality test?! If you haven’t click here and try it out! It’s quite interesting and very bang on! Turns out I’m a Defender Personality. It really tells a lot about who you are and even how you shoot and deal with your clients. From there, we learned to observe our surroundings, got a lesson in Art History, studied the Elements of Design, color and light and talked about the “rules” and also about breaking them. The list goes ON AND ON! This workshop was everything I needed and more! Every month, Sally would host a shoot out that she would put together where you could go along and shoot beside her and ask all the questions or even just observe and listen to how she shoots. She held these shootouts in Dallas, TX, so me going there every month was just not realistic. However, I did make it a priority to make the last shootout.
This was honestly the second time, in 6 years of being a mom, that I was away, over night from my kids! If you go back to the “Defender Personality” this was WAY out of my comfort zone. If you have ever read any of my blogs, you would know that I seem to put my self “out of my comfort zone” quite often! The thing is, that’s where you learn the most! I also did a one on one mentor with Sally the morning before I left and talked more of the business side of things. I have never felt more excited and motivated about what the future hold for me and this amazing journey. Dallas was cold and windy the day of our shootout so we held it indoors. This was the best learning experience for me!! It really showed me to find the light and work with what you got. It showed me that you can take beautiful pictures wherever you are!
If I could give ANY advice to photographer who are just starting out, I would say this: Step OUT of your comfort zone. Join your local or community based photo club (if they have one). Figure out who you are as an artist and be true to who that is. If you can attend shoot outs with other photographers, DO IT! And lastly, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions. There is always someone who is eager to talk photography with you.