In high school, I had a deep desire to take the photography classes that would allow me to learn about the mysterious dark room and all the voodoo magic that I presumed went into developing film.
However, it was years later on a summer break from college when I finally enrolled in a photography class at Wenatchee Valley Community College. By then, I had traveled to Spain and the Caribbean on my own in addition to growing up in riveting, photogenic places. I knew that camera-worthy moments were slipping through my fingers, and I felt helpless and entirely ill-equipped to capture them.
I came out of that summer class even more intrigued, but not necessarily more skilled with a camera.
Fast forward twenty years, two kids, dozens of additional destinations and a chunk of time in the tourism industry: I still have a deep, enduring passion for pictures, and my fairly fancy camera remains set on automatic 99.9% of the time.
My phone gets pointed into the general direction of vignettes that I can see captured perfectly in my mind’s eye, and my appetite is only mildly satisfied with VSCO and Instagram filters. To add insult to injury, there is even a dedicated photography page on my blog – but I use it to talk about photos (i.e. In Defense Of The Blurry Ones) rather than share them.
Enough is enough.
This is the year of making stuff happen.
A few years ago, I struck up an internet friendship with Ruthanne Genco, a fellow blogger (and photographer!) based in Austin, Arkansas. Thanks to her bio proclaiming her love of coffee, wine, snorting and Jack Bauer, I knew I’d found a kindred spirit… so I commenced stalking her (like I do), and she was fairly receptive to my advances. I told myself that one of these days, I’d go to one of her workshops… and I continued to lurk and love every photo she posted.
But then 2016 arrived, and I knew it was time to stop wishing and start doing. I accosted Ruthanne, and she gamely (or with terror?) agreed to come to northwest Arkansas this spring to conduct her signature workshop, The Shoot Shop.
And while I love our crazy old house with its many photo-worthy nooks and blooms, I knew we needed an epic location – a place that would be dripping with wildflowers and native wood, vintage goodies and stories of Arkansas.
So, I’m crossing all my fingers and toes that you will dust off your camera and give it the adventure it deserves.
Y’all, the location is dreamy. I’ve done a handful of events – a writing workshop, blogger work day and strategic planning session, among others – at the Artist Retreat Center, and it always delivers on inspiration and visual appeal. Here are a few (rookie) photos, just to whet your appetite. I’m so excited to have Ruthanne on-site that I’ve commandeered her to do family photos for us while she is in town!