“Shit, who cries this much?!? Aren’t we here for photography? Taking pictures? Posing?” Those were my thoughts. I think I cried daily. Happy tears. You best believe God was in the forefront of this conference. Even though, the “F” word was used quite often, I was so here for it! It made me feel more comfortable. This was my kind of place. No. Really!!
I had the most amazing time at BLINK! I wasn’t expecting what I received.
In the world of photography, I tend to use the phrase “One of the cool kids” quite often. This just means, if you’re not a known photog, with a great following, You Tube channel or celeb shooting, many others will pass by your talents and look over your comments.
Here are the events that led me to BLINK.
I reached out to Tasha after I’d seen her maternity photos.
I was just happy to see a black female doing it, in this world of photography. I think I’d just read that she was stepping out on faith. As well as her husband. You see, it comes down to him believing in her dream.
I remember asking her about her colors popping in her photos. She responded!!!! That never happens. Or the response is something like, “You couldn’t shoot like me even if I told you my settings.”
I kept following her.
I moved away to Chicago (suckville) and reached out to another photographer who would be in the area. Honestly, I didn’t feel comfortable paying $900 for 6 hrs.
3 weeks before moving back to Austin, I got Ambien courage. I reached out to Tasha just to tell her how awesome she was as a business woman and that I’d like to meet with her.
Her BLINK Conference was in Austin!! The day before I moved back. Dang!!! I missed her again.
I told my husband that I was ready to meet her. We were planning a trip to Tacoma to have family photos taken, just so I could chat with her.
A few emails later, schedules and timing just wasn’t right.
As soon as she announced Palm Springs, I was ready. I WAS IN THERE and was one of the 1st to sign up. That day, I bet on myself and them.
I’ll be honest and say that I picked my breakout sessions, blindly. I wanted to work with Tasha soooooo bad. I was slightly disappointed before coming here. That was only because I didn’t know how involved she’d end up being. Wednesday evening, she eased all of my anxiety. She greeted me with warmth! So warming. And selfie city, it was.
My name hadn’t been called so many times!! I won something everyday. Every single day. I even played the lottery. I won that too!! Nothing major. No need to change my identity over $2.
I took something away from all of the speakers. Rachel Brenke said to put that shit in writing. Everything. Amanda Holloway had me in the clouds, just envisioning lap loads and 8 figure salary. Kirth talked about finding art in everything. The Amburgeys made me entertain the idea of being a dynamic duo with my husband. Tiffany Burke reminded me that the client is my priority. I make coins because of them. I’m allowed to choose my client and feel great about it. Wyn taught me to make the best out of my situation. Slay, slay with what I have. My niche is what makes me, me. Cyndie Spiegel is f**king awesome. I don’t have bow to assholes. Promote myself to the fullest. Creative Soul left me speechless. They were so humbled. Their photography style alone, is changing the game with kids. Can I admit that I peed myself a little when Kahran sent me a friend request?!? It was to add to me the group, but nonetheless, we’re facebook friends.
Our 3rd speaker, Candice of Blissful Maven, was just as dope. I wish I’d heard her speak before discrediting myself. I didn’t enter the print contest. I was so afraid of not seeing stickers placed on my photo. That night I called my son to tell him I’m sorry. Sorry that I didn’t think our work was good enough. He said, “It’s ok mommy. I like it. I’m still going to be famous.” I showered then went to the BLINK kick-off. Here is my photo.
A little photobooth fun from the BLINK Kick-off and pool party.
My second breakout session was with Amy and Jordan Demos!!! Afreakinmazing, they are! I learned posing and lighting tips from them with the help of Blake and Katrina!! Check my belly button to hip action! You’ll also see them shielding my belly. I hadn’t announced anything yet.
Holy hell!! I didn’t get a selfie with BLCKPRNT (The Britneys)! Dang it! Well, I won a seat to their branding workshop, so I will take many then. 👅 Uh Hahn. Their presentation was very impactful as well. Had me second guessing life on the web.
I fanned out on a few Cool Kids (who are dope in real life). Some, I didn’t get pictures with, but got to hug them in person.
See, there are moments where photogs can get away and hang with the likes of themselves. Being this was my first experience, I had no idea what to expect. Chile, it was so fulfilling. Tremendously. Ike & Tash have mastered something effing awesome. I say mastered because hearing where they’ve come from since the first BLINK…. I’m speechless. If you’re looking for a conference with a clear and concise message, BLINK is it. The ultimate goal is to provide you with the tools and confidence to get out there and kick some ass behind the lens. You will leave a better person and photographer. No more thoughts on competition. I know what works for me. I can’t sell or mentor that.
I just wanted to tap into my emotion. And I did. But you haven’t read the best part. The best part of this conference was the encouragement wall. If you had the potential of coming in as nobody, you left as somebody to someone. I’ve read these notes over and over. My best advice is to make the most of it. You never know who you’re touching when you open your mouth. Carrie Swails, you’ve been my rock and you don’t even know it.
Feuza Reis, I dedicate this blog to you. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have documented the worst and best time of 2016.