This community means so much to me.
I just returned from Photo Field Trip, the yearly conference for creatives that I’ve been a part of each winter for the last 4 years. It’s one of my favorite times of year, and this year it almost didn’t happen.
The conference is usually held in an oceanside canyon outside of Santa Barbara, California, but this year was different. Less than a month before the conference, the canyon suffered devastating flood damage and could no longer accommodate us. The Field Trip staff worked tirelessly to find a new venue, one that could accommodate 400 people; multiple, simultaneous classes, and an epic dance party (no easy task). Miraculously, a new venue offered to host us last-minute and totally saved the day! Field Trip: Mountain Edition was born!
The new location, just outside of Lake Arrowhead, turned out to be a breath of fresh air. The snow and fog made everything feel pretty magical. The Main Hall acted as a home base for attendees. That’s where we drank copious amounts of coffee, met new friends, and stood in line late at night, after the last speakers of the day, to get delicious Cereal from a Van. Yummmm.
I got to learn / breathe fresh air / dance with many of my favorite people in the world. Real talk: owning your own small business can be isolating at times, so being face to face with your community is invaluable. And the classes? I can’t tell you how much they revitalized me. They did not disappoint.
It’s impossible to share with you how much I got out of this experience, so here are a few photos to at least kind of show you what I’m talking about:
above: teacher, Deb Schwedhelm
Verve Coffee kept us warm and caffeinated.
And somehow, magically, a few of us got to help Dallas Clayton paint a mural on a barn in a foggy meadow…!!!
One of the things that sets this conference apart from others is the organizers’ intention of helping business owners also grow in non-businessy ways. In addition to the technical photo, video, and design classes, attendees are also able to take self-care and lifestyle classes if they wish. Along those lines, I had the opportunity to photograph a mass meditation session with Biet Simkin, which was one of the loveliest gatherings I’ve ever witnessed. I’ll tell you about it in person sometime, if you’re curious!