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Be Brave

I’m back in Canadaland from my trip last week to Boston. I’ve never been there before and my knowledge about it roughly added up to tea parties, Red Sox, Harvard, New Kids On The Block and beans.
I was at an amazing workshop put on by the extremely talented Jenn Hudson and Josh Kane. I first learned about Jenn a couple years ago as she won basically every award that WPPI had to offer. Last year I was so awed by her Traveler series that I went to her website to see about purchasing some photographs. While I was there I saw that they offered workshops, and I signed up immediately.

One of the themes for the week was “Be Brave” and for me, it was a mantra for my entire trip. I was supposed to head down with another photographer but she wasn’t able to make it, so all of a sudden I was solo. I also didn’t have a room booked, and had to ask a perfect stranger if I could share with them. Yes, I seriously did this, much to my husband’s chagrin. I flew there by myself, taking the red eye and changing over in Montreal. I had to take a puddle jumper to Boston – it had PROPELLERS for pete’s sake, but I survived. Once there I rented my own car, and DROVE MYSELF AROUND! I am shouting this because I hate driving here at home, and have never, ever, ever driven in the United States. I had a meal at PF Chang’s because I was hungry, and I went to a giant mall because I wanted to go to Anthro. All on my owny-loney. If you can hear the pride in my words, it’s because I definitely got out of my comfort-zone and it was fabulous. Anyone who knows me well knows that I can be a bit of a scatterbrained child. I like to do things with others and I often rely on my friends and family to be the grown-ups.

My roommate Jess VanLue and I hit it off straight away. We immediately bonded and spent hours talking the first night. I don’t think the other people at the workshop even believed us when we told them we had never met before. We were total peas in a pod. We also met a bunch of really cool people at the workshop. It was held at the Wayside Inn, which is the oldest working inn in the US. It’s only miles from Sleepy Hollow and Louisa May Alcott’s house. It’s an area that is steeped in history and you can definitely feel it.
The workshop was intimate with only 10 people and that was perfect. Again, with being brave – I was able to talk with strangers (even though I have a big blabby mouth, I’m actually very shy with new people) and was so thrilled to meet other admirers of Jenn’s work.

We did things at the workshop that I would never have thought to do at home, but now am excited to try again. I printed my VERY FIRST photo ever. With a darkroom and chemicals and everything. Coming into photography only 7 years ago, I have been all digital and have always used a lab to print my work. There was something absolutely magical about spending those hours working on a single print, holding your breath during that final rinse to see what will be there. We also made collages – it was like grade school art class and we all loved it. They taught us how to make couture gowns in 5 minutes, how to build a tank to shoot subjects in water, and we did figure studies and learned the patience of getting your posing just right. We watched an amazing film called Ashes and Snow, had hours of really neat conversation, made our own filters, learned lots of Photoshop tips that I never knew (command+Z!) and one night laughed so much that my stomach was still sore the next day (thanks, Josh).

I can say without a shadow of a doubt that it was one of the most incredible, humbling, inspirational and motivational experiences of my life. I am so happy that I went, my life will be forever changed. As cheesy as that sounds, it is so 100% true.
And now, I will “be brave” and share some images from the workshop that I took, processed in a VERY different way than my norm, but that I love in such a unique way. I give the setups and posing props all to Jenn though, she is a master at her craft.

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  • Deanna - HOLY CrAP.. I LOVE.. SIGH.. my fav hands down is the sepia-ish one with the fERN.. Im so SAD i missed this… but so very proud of you for all your awesomeness aloney things you did…!

  • Danna - you already know how absolutely incredible I think these are but just have to say it again! WOW!! and I am super proud of you for going and getting out of your comfort zone 🙂

  • Dawn - SO cool!!!! What an amazing and artistic workshop… one I’d love to attend. Beautiful images Brandy!!

  • Nichole Drevenak - Simply stunning images! Love the out of the box look, great job!!!

  • Avelaine Scyrup - Beautiful textures!

  • Jenn Hudson - Brandy, reading this was one of the sweetest moments of my teaching career. This truly blessed my heart, thank you. 🙂 Remember Anne of Green Gables says…”At the end of my days, they cannot say I haven’t been brave.” That quote got us BOTH to Boston!!! 🙂 SO GLAD we met, what fantastic laughs and memories. I hope our paths cross again super soon.

  • Jonae - Wow! I absolutely love these. I am now jealous and your trip sounds like something that I would have written:-) My favorite, if I had to pick, is the one with the girl leaning against the stone man. She looks like a wonderful ghost:-) How in the world did you do it? Please dish. I would love to learn that to use for Halloween:=)

  • domenica - Wow! What an awesome experience. Sounds like it was just amazing. BE BRAVE is right! Your pics and processing is so beautiful! 🙂

  • Lee-ann Harder - This is ART! All I could think of was Goddess as I viewed each shot!

  • Jess V - Brandi … WOW! I love the perspective that you took on each scenario. So beautiful. I treasure our new friendship dearly. Can’t wait to meet again. 🙂

  • Julie Miller - good for you Brandy! Everyone needs some time for self discovery. Good for you to take the time to do this! In such a cool city too. Good for you!

  • Jennifer Pearson - Wow Brandy – sounds totally amazing! Good on you for always pushing your boundaries. You rock, girlfriend. Great stuff!

  • Olecia - This shoot looked like so much fun!! Gorgeous pics…wish I could have been one of your models!

  • Corey Sewell - Gorgeous images, Brandi! Love that the whole trip was a growing experience for you!

  • Rebecca - Holy gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Rebecca - Holy Gorgeous!

  • toni raper - Absolutely breathtaking! They are so ethereal and spirit-like , I was captivated by them. So glad you got out of your comfort zone to bring us these! x

  • Toni Raper - Absolutely%20breathtaking!%20They%20are%20so%20ethereal%20and%20spirit-like%20%2C%20I%20was%20captivated%20by%20them.%20So%20glad%20you%20got%20out%20of%20your%20comfort%20zone%20to%20bring%20us%20these!%20x

  • Beth - Brandy – these are simply stunning…. EVERY.SINGLE.ONE.OF.THEM Way to step out of your normal processing and be brave – it shines through! Thanks for sharing – I am feeling inspired :o)

  • Nancy - These are so, so beautiful. And editorial. And gorgeous. And poignant. And amazing.

  • Melissa Zimmermann - Fantastic! My fav is the first of the three girls in the water — so much femininity. Congrats on your first travel alone!

  • gina - WOW WOW WOW! these are amazing!!

  • stephanie - Just came across your site from NACPA. I am actually on a wait list for Jenn’s workshop next month! How serendipitous! These are beautiful. Some literally take my breath away. Fabulous! Glad you had a wonderful experience. And laughing til your stomach hurts? Not much is better than that 😉

  • Chantelle Turgeon - Absolutely STUNNING!!!!!!!! They literally took my breath away and gave me goose bumps! LOVE them all!!!!! You did an amazing job Brandy and you should be so proud of yourself for all that you did for yourself through this amazing experience!!!!! <3

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