Denver Boudoir Photography: WPPI Connections

Confession: I have never, ever felt like I belong within groups of people. This year, I traveled to WPPI alone, without my husband as my buffer for when I was really feeling like I didn’t belong. After all, when Tom is with me, even if I’m not really fitting in, we can go to dinner together and enjoy each other’s company. This year I didn’t have that. As such, I was reminded with even more intensity that for some reason that I can’t really put my finger on – I don’t belong.

Were people out and out rude to me? A few, but that wasn’t really the problem. I feel like I am constantly being reminded of this fact so that I can become okay with it – like God is trying to remind me that I’m not SUPPOSED to fit in. That I’m SUPPOSED to stand out, which is highly uncomfortable, and I’m not sure I like it.

What is fascinating to me is that being at WPPI this year was another reminder that I don’t belong, but there were certain people I was really drawn to, and spent more time with than all of the others combined. And those people are equally as different, standing out, loving others, and CHANGING THE WORLD. These people are at a point in their lives where they just don’t f’ing care if they belong, and I want so much to be there. It is a work in progress!

One thing that I was thinking about on my flight home, was that my attitude this year was completely different. I intentionally kept time open – imagine that! I had time in the hotel room to just BE. Instead of running nonstop with classes or shoots, I allowed myself to just take things in, and build relationships. And THAT, my friends, was the number one bonus from WPPI this year.

I had the opportunity to room with three other women – and there was zero drama. Wh-wh-what!? Yes, I was shocked too. These women are all local to me, and respectful, and fun, and funny. And because we were rooming together, we actually got to KNOW each other, instead of just talking about business. I think that sometimes it is easier to talk about lenses, contracts, or any of the millions of different things we go through as professional photographers. Those are things we all have in common, they’re easy conversation starters, and SAFE. But I had the chance to talk with these women about some hot button issues. Some deeper subjects, common grounds as women, mothers, and wives – NOT JUST photography. I am a relational person, I love to learn peoples’ stories and why they do what they do – but so often I am running at such a pace that the opportunity to learn these things is so short. That is part of my Denver boudoir photography: I love to learn about my clients and what makes them tick! Rooming with Molly, Jennie and Tina meant that I got to talk with them and learn more about them as people, not just photographers.

Sounds like a “duh” statement, right? But it meant so much to me. To take the Vivid & Brave class, and cry with the others around me… to learn a little more about the people that I have been getting to know online – THAT is my number one takeaway from WPPI this year. And it has affected my perspective on upcoming studio events too, be prepared ladies for some awesome opportunities. ;)

The amazing people that I met and spent time with are just too many to name here – from the classes (I didn’t take one WPPI class this year, they were all external!) to the dinner, to the shootouts – there were personalities that surprised me, personalities that drew me in, and people that were straight up jerks. But I loved it all, learning more about these amazing people.

Thank you to everyone that I had a chance to laugh with this week. I can’t wait to learn more about you, and learn from you and make awesome things happen.

Because every post is better with a photo, how about one from Stacie Frazier’s shootout and class? You may remember that last year some of my photos from Stacie’s shootout were published! Stacie is the owner of Haute Shots in Las Vegas, and is amazingly talented. Even more important – she is just so freakin’ sweet and genuine. I really love authentic people.

PS – yes, I know I broke a photography rule in this photo, so please don’t email me. I don’t care, I love it anyway.

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