I had the honor and privilege of attending Firefly Photography Camp a few weeks ago. It is difficult for me to put into words what the camp meant to me personally.
The atmosphere at Westerbeke Ranch is incredible. The cabins are shabby chic and filled with character. The beds are super comfy and have big down comforters to keep you warm on those cool Sonoma evenings. The food is not only farm to table and full of flavor, but beautifully presented at each meal.
The group of women that filled the camp was so full of life and of talent. It was encouraging for me to be around 50 like-minded women for five days. Not only was photography encouraged and talked about repeatedly, but all the women were artists in other mediums as well. We had cooks and writers and painters. The excitement and thoughtfulness that artists bring to the table were apparent at each part of the camp, whether it was in classes or during our group time.
Each camper had the opportunity to take five classes. The class lists were so extensive it was difficult for me to only choose five. One class that I took was the Food Styling class from Shutterbean author Tracy Benjamin. She was, much like all the teachers, very generous and full of information in her field. But food styling wasn’t the only thing I learned in her class. Two of the students in the food styling class were also teachers of other classes. They are women that are at the top of their field. To me, they had to know everything about everything. However, during our class, they were asking questions and engaging in the process, and while they definitely brought their amazing talents to the table, I watched as they took in all the information. This is when it hit me- Even if you are at the top of your field in photography, you do not know everything and should not stop learning.
In fact, a teacher at camp, Julieanne Kost, gave us this advice, “Every year you should try something new because it is good to be a beginner.”
It is good to be a beginner. It is good to try something new. It is good to ask for help and learn from someone that has mastered their craft. So while I am going to continue to try and master a few of my heart’s passions, I will also be trying new things and practicing being a beginner.