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.