Monday, January 12, 2015

Gathering and Connecting

by Terri

As you’ve probably noticed, we have been talking a lot about each of our One Little Words for this year. Last year I chose “focus” which had a dual meaning for me. I needed to work on focusing on fewer things and simplifying my life and I also needed to work on achieving sharper focus in my photographs. I did a bit better with the latter than the former!

This year I pondered quite a lot about what I wanted my word to be.  I even started early so I would have plenty of time to think about it. But in November, my word hit me like a ton of bricks. I had the wonderful opportunity to attend Kim Klassen and Xanthe Berkeley’s “Gather” in California. I had only been home a month from our wonderful FOL gathering in Galveston, TX and was still basking in the glow of the friendship and inspiration that trip brought.  But since I was the only FOL contributor who attended Gather, I thought it was high time I filled you in on my experience there and how that helped me choose my word for 2015.

We all have talked in the past about how amazing it is to spend time with other photographers, learning, being inspired, and just enjoying the company of other women who share our passion.  So when Gather was announced, I knew I had to go. Two close friends were attending which made it a no brainer for me. 

With Carol Hart and Barbara Hurst.

Most of the other women who were attending I had either met at one time or another or knew online. One of the things that really drew me to this gathering was that it would be a small group, one where we could really connect. Here’s a shot taken the first day of the whole group. You may see some familiar faces here too!

L-R: Kendra Laflin, Bev Rogan, Terri Porter, Lorraine George, Carol Hart, Diana Foster, Karla Smith, Jamie Jamison, Kim Klassen, Suzanne O'Brien, Barbara Hurst & Xanthe Berkeley.

Our “home base” was a beautiful house on the beach in Sunset Beach, CA. We all met up there on our first morning, had breakfast and then took a walk around the area and down to the beach. We enjoyed a wonderful lunch on the patio and then explored the house where there was a photo op at every turn! 

On our second day, we went into town and explored all the wonderful little shops, a favorite being a flower shop called Petals & Pop.  

Flowers, candles, bottles and vases – we were taking in the loveliness of this little place and, of course, brought back things to photograph later. Then we strolled down to the beach to take some shots under the pier. 

 Shot taken by Xanthe Berkeley.

One of my favorite things about the house was a round window which looked out to the beach. We had all brought props to share and one of the things I brought was this starfish which I placed in the window sill of the round window for this shot:

There was so much inspiration that you almost couldn’t shoot fast enough, wanting to be sure to capture all of the beauty that there was to see. And you know what? Even though we were all shooting basically the same scenes, there were as many different takes on them as there were cameras.

So I’m sure you’re wondering what this all has to do with my One Little Word for 2015. I have chosen the word “connect”. I was lucky enough last year to have several occasions to connect with fellow photographers both near and far. I posted about our FOL group in Galveston here and about other connections here.  Being able to connect with other women who share the passion of photography and of life is such a gift and it is one I want to continue to give myself. So to be sure to remember to make time for this, I have chosen “connect” as my word for 2015.  And I know all of my fellow FOL sisters join me in saying that we want to continue connecting with you, our readers. What are you doing to connect with others this year? Are you making time to get together to share ideas and inspiration? If you do, you won’t be sorry. Being around the creative minds of others may be just the medicine you need.


Karen Pickles said...

Dreaming I was there.....!! My word is "action"... And with that said I must get off my iPad and get to the gym before work.... :/ !!

Linda said...

I'm so sorry I missed the Gather this year! It looks like it was such a great time! What a great word you have chosen! Connecting with like minded creatives is so good for my soul! Yes, I think I need to do more of that!

kelly said...

it one of the things that has surprised me the most about photography. and it has nothing to do with camera settings or gear. and that is how important these connections are and what a huge source of inspiration they are. i so love getting a peak into your gather experience. such a great way to start my week!

Linda R said...

What a wonderful trip. It really had to be a blast to connect with others. A wonderful word for 2015. Lots of amazing photos here!

Dotti said...

There is no way to put a value on connecting with other creatives. It's priceless, soul-fulfilling, heartwarming, inspirational ... And just plain FUN! Can't wait to do some connecting of my own this year.

Deanna said...

Oh I really wanted to go to "gather" and be with all my fellow "tribe" but the timing just didn't work. And a big yes in agreeing with you on being with like-minded women, sharing, having fun and photographing a scene 47 times together. Beautiful images of your times together and I will see you in a little over a month to have fun again!!!

Barbara said...

A fun time, I totally agree about the small group made this really nice. I think I need a do over though just like I felt about Oasis.
Sorry about lunch today, it was my water heater not the pilot light just going out, they couldn't replace it until tomorrow morning. My bath will have to wait until afternoon tomorrow. We just don't know how much we rely on hot water until you don't have it.

Carol said...

Its so funny, I couldnt sleep last night, and I was thinking about our little group. Somehow you popped in to my mind, and I actually thought " she never wrote much about gather-I guess she didnt like it!" Isn't that odd? So I am relieved to see this morning that you did! It looks like great fun -If I win the lottery I plan to become a full time workshop junkie -I live for all the connections! Your pictures are beautiful, and I it looks like a great place to play!

Kelly Kardos said...

I literally cried at being so close to Gather-and just not be able to go. But you all brought it to life for those of dreamers. Beautiful word-beautiful post.

Lisa Comperry said...

Love the little starfish on the window sill ..He looks as if he is a human who is taking a quick peek to check on his friends down below :-)

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