"Most people tiptoe through life, hoping to make it safely to death." - Earl Nightingale
What makes a good photographer?
Prior to my experiences in eastern Europe, I would have answered this question very differently. Today, my answer is pretty clear and simple. To be a good photographer, you must first learn to be a good person. It takes practice, patience, hard work, persistence, skill, an open mind and most importantly the ability to look internally at oneself honestly to allow for awareness, growth and change. In order to know your craft, you must first know yourself.
What is Fearless Photographers?
I feel blessed to have been able to travel all the way to eastern Europe to spend time learning from and making friends with some exceptional talent from all over the world. Fearless Photographers is a group of the world's best wedding photographers who are not afraid to push the limits. A special thanks to the speakers: Ben and Erin Chrisman, Huy "Wii" Nguyen, Sergio Lopez, Todd Laffler, Anna Kuperberg, Carlo Carletti, Candice Cusic and White Smoke Studios.
Having never been to Europe, or eastern Europe for that matter, I didn't really know what to expect when I first arrived in Bucharest, Romania. When I travel I seek out places with culture, diversity and most importantly a place where I can learn from the people and the surroundings. When I found out the Fearless conference would be held in Romania for 2015, it was a given that I had to go.
I was instantly impressed with Romania and the people there. Staying in the Old Town area and eventually visiting Brasov, I was instantly drawn to the environment that was rich in good conversation. I spent hours people watching, noticing that the people there don't just sit and drink either coffee, beer or their favorite liquor drink of choice, they actually invest time into their conversations and the people they are with. Phones are put away, cigarettes are lit and ears are open. It was a refreshing display to say the least. From the women who take pride in their fashion sense to the poverty found on the streets, Romania was a pleasant visit, one of which I would recommend to anyone.
If I could give anyone any advice before traveling it would be this: Ask advice from those who have been, do not always believe what the rumor says and most importantly keep an open mind when you travel. I had many people openly express concern regarding safety to me before traveling to Istanbul, and given recent circumstances, it can be understandable. I must clarify, however, that my experience in Turkey was nothing short of spectacular. If you want culture and beautiful architecture to look at, Istanbul is a place you must visit. There is nothing like being woken up by prayer that sounds through the streets, walking the alleys of the Grand Bazaar or tasting the delicious street food on every corner. If you have common sense, constant awareness and appreciation for culture, you will be nothing but impressed by Istanbul, Turkey.
© shauntedittmarphotography 2015