Have you ever had one of those trips that felt like it nourished your soul? I just did.
A little over a year and a half ago, I took a chance and decided to fly to Oregon to attend a free photography workshop offered by Improve Photography. I knew no one that was going to be there. I had no knowledge of the area where I was going. I had very little information about accommodations or schedule. But I decided that it was something I needed to do. You see, I had three year old twins, a challenging marriage, a demanding job, and this was my lifeline.
On that trip, I made three friends that I could never have expected to have made. They were fun, witty, generous, and kind. John, Jill, and Mark. I was lucky to have been standing next to John when we split up into cars that first morning. We traipsed across beaches, climbed down very scary cliffs, and travelled hours to see the redwoods. What I learned about photography on that trip launched me deeper into the craft and converted a hobby into a passion.
At the conclusion of our trip, we chatted about meeting up again sometime to do it all again, perhaps in the Smokey Mountains to see the fall color. So after some time and a lot of Facebook chatter, we picked a date and invited a few more friends, and started making travel plans for Townsend, Tennesee in October of this year.
It was over a year and a half since I saw this crew, and yet when I saw them again this past Thursday it was like time never passed. I could see that our excitement about photography had only grown over time.
So for four days, we travelled the roads of the Smokey’s looking for that beautiful fall color. We even set up our very own educational sessions given by some or our group on macro photography and Lightroom techniques. There was no agenda but we had a great guide in Jill who is from the area and a great location scout in John who wasn’t afraid to climb down cliffs to look for the best spot before the rest of us pulled our gear out of the car. We shot sunrises and sunsets. We shot water and leaves. We shot light trails and abandoned historic houses at dusk. We shot each other. And we had an incredible time doing it all.
Again, I came away with so much more knowledge than I came with and a chance to try out techniques I kept reading about and listening to on podcasts. Now those are solidified in my brain.
We had 11 total in our crew and represented the states of Texas, Tennesee, California, Washington, Oregon, Montana, and South Dakota. We added a few new friends who will hopefully join us on the next trip.
I can’t thank everyone enough for all the knowledge they shared and their generosity. It’s not often that you meet people that are the salt of the earth, but I think I did.
Next up, Santa Fe?