There’s a Field Trip tradition (that I was lame and did not participate in), of doing a polar bear plunge into the cold Pacific waters every morning at the start of the day, that seems like a good metaphor for what Field Trip is all about.
Having the courage to jump in.
In a nutshell, Photo Field Trip is camping and photography, a workshop in the woods/canyon/desert that feels like summer camp…exploring and adventuring, encouragement and learning. There are classes and campfire chats and photo walks and dance parties and so many ways to create your own experience and find or refine your inspiration.
I don’t know that I walked into Field Trip with a ton of expectations. I was excited, but unsure of what I was hoping to find. There were a few people I wanted to meet (and am so grateful that I did!), and I hoped to walk away inspired with new things to try during weddings and portrait sessions.
I didn’t expect to walk away with a greater sense of where I wanted to go/grow and who I am as a creator and artist, but somehow, in the midst of classes and walks and watching sunsets and napping in tents, I found something I’ve been searching two years for. I discovered my desires, my loves, my heart. And it has a lot to do with color and joy and warmth and hugs and stories.
There’s so much talk in the photography and creative world of discovering your “why,” of following that above all else to find your way. And while maybe I couldn’t put it into words when I left Field Trip, my heart was touched shortly after returning by this instagram post and the caption beneath:
Our “why” is not hard to find. In fact, it is the same for all of us:
To serve others in the present moment.
Although our “why” may all be the same, we are each unique in the knowledge and skills and talents and gifts that we have in our serving toolbox. And this was one of the most amazing things about Field Trip: although I was there to learn how some incredible and amazing human beings serve others with their talents and gifts, they taught me how to find it, and embrace it, within myself.
Now it’s up to me to find the courage to jump in and follow my bliss. And I have never wanted to do anything more.
(I didn’t take a lot of photos during Field Trip – not that there weren’t opportunities to do so. You can see some additional photos over on instagram. But sometimes living life is like trying to photograph a sunset…no matter how beautiful it is, it never looks the same in all it’s vibrancy and gorgeous hue in a photograph as it does in real life. Sometimes, it’s better to sit back and enjoy the view and take it all in instead of trying to capture it, because there will be another one tomorrow…just like there will be so many more times to take beautiful and amazing photos, but this was a time to just experience it all. I did, however, borrow a tilt shift from B&H, who were so kind to provide us with an opportunity to try new things during our time there, and had fun playing near the ocean at sunset making the photos that accompany this post.)
I am so grateful to the team at Field Trip and the partners and sponsors for making it possible for all of us to come out and camp and find ways to follow our bliss. It was truly life-changing.