I’ve been home for almost two weeks now, trying to settle back into the hectic pace of my work and life during the busy fall season. It’s been exhausting and disorienting. I feel like I’ve crashed from a child’s sugar high. I can’t help but smile as I remember the conference rooms filled with photographers eager to learn and grow, the lights of San Antonio reflected on the surface of the river at night, the women who laughed with me, thanked me, and hugged me.
When I started this business more than 6 years ago I didn’t imagine that in such a short time I’d be standing at the front of a room full of photographers ready to learn from me. That I’d be teaching at a conference with some of the most talented and respected names in my industry, photographers who I admire and whose work inspires my own. But there I was stepping in front of my first class, a group of women who had chosen to learn from me among all of the other classes offered. I was and am beyond humbled and grateful to look out at all of those faces. I secretly thought, in the months leading up to Click Away, that my classes would be empty. I imagined the embarrassment of having just a few students that I planned to play off as a big benefit to them, “wow, you guys get me all to yourself, look how much time you’ll have to learn and shoot,” I’d say. But instead I faced a full class of amazing photographers ready to learn from me.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. Even though I teach often, I’ve had a fear of public speaking since I was a child. The thought of being called on by a teacher to answer a question in front of the whole class made my heart race, my palms sweat and my stomach churn. But over the years, and really since my children were born (because after braving parenthood, nothing else is so scary anymore), I’ve developed a bravery that often surprises me. I step in front of that crowd take a deep breath and tell myself that I am strong, beautiful and brilliant and that I have nothing to fear. Because I believe in my words, my students will believe in me and we will all learn and grow together. And we did, and the classes were all incredible. They went so much better than I could have imagined.
We laughed and had an absolute blast, and all of my students were able to shoot and ask all of their questions. Things couldn’t have gone better! I think I got more hugs in those two days teaching than any other time in my life! And I do have to give credit to my amazing models! Chae Chambers is the most talented model with the biggest heart and best sense of humor. She rocked my boudoir classes! The students absolutely LOVED her!
And my wonderful maternity family, the Coronados were so sweet and lovely. The little girls were adorable and cooperative, and so was dad. And Mama was gorgeous and funny and did a fabulous job modeling!
Thank you to all of the amazing women who took my classes! Your kindness and thanks means so much to me! And thank you to my incredible studio manager Georgie, without your help, I don’t think I could have made it through the week! And a HUGE thank you to my amazing lab Millers, who sponsored my classes, making my trip possible and allowing me to give away a free Signature Album at each of my Click Away classes. My students were thrilled! Thank you so much Millers!