When I applied to be in Alex and Rebecca's workshop, I did so for a variety of reasons. I've been inspired by both Alex and Rebecca's work for some time now. Though my style is very different, I knew I could learn something by branching out outside what I was used to.
Alex and Rebecca, who are kind and incredibly knowledgeable photographers, are gentle yet firm when it comes to their editing process. They never hold back in informing you when something works and when it doesn't, but do so in a respectful way removed from ego. Photography is entirely subjective and for that reason they remind you that in the end the artist makes the decision about their work. The way they explain their process from start to finish is almost poetic and as the workshop comes full circle you begin to see the beauty behind it all. Throughout the week I experienced the expected frustration, defeat, insecurity, disconnection among many other feelings, but all were necessary to push me further within the process of being uncomfortable while photographing. If there is anything I have learned over the years it is this: in order to break down barriers, the uncomfortable must become comfortable. It was refreshing to be reminded by Alex that 99% of the time you are going to fail, but when you push past the exhaustion of failure that is where you will find your 1% of success.
Photography is not just about seeing, but about feeling. It's not just the moment, but the colors, the light, the mood and the movement or lack there of that contribute to a photograph. Sometimes less is more and sometimes it's not. When I thought about what I would photograph in Italy, I didn't think I would choose to "Rome" the streets at night by myself and photograph (I blame most of this on jet-lag). However, I quickly found myself curious about the graffiti, the hip culture, the moody lighting and the colors that surrounded the Ostiense district. By day three I began to see the correlation in how I photographed. I began to understand the difference between my group "A" cull and group "B". Overall the workshop pushed me in ways I haven't been pushed before allowing me to view not only my approach to photography differently, but allowing me to become more aware of how I photograph and how I might make changes to grow. In the end, it was an experience I will be forever thankful for on my journey as a photographer.
A few highlights from the week.