As some of you may know, I recently ‘joined forces’ with 3 other female photographers to organise a ‘female only’ photography workshop. Together with Asther Lau, Fiona Lim and Grace Tan, as well as Diane Lee who was behind the scenes, we worked hard on Bloom Workshops months prior to the March 2012 event. And we were thankful enough to have immense support from our main sponsors Canon Malaysia as well as Schmidt Marketing, WCA Fine Arts, Tech Garage (Kelly Moore bags!), Simplr Album, Laura Mercier Cosmetics and Liez Cakes & Etc.
The weekend came, and like a nervous bride (with 3 ‘grooms’ in Asther, Fiona and Grace ;p), I actually had the jitters the night before and couldn’t sleep! It was a weekend filled with insights from all four of us and together with 30 participants, I myself learned a lot from the other three presenters as well :)
Fiona’s presentation was on starting up your own photography business and hearing her share business tips made me wish that somebody had shared all this to me when I first started up my business. Grace’s session on ‘seeing light’ was very much a practical session peppered with tips on how to see and use both available and artificial light for on-location shoots. With 2 gorgeous couples to work with, I reckon we all had fun fiddling around with the reflectors and external flashes. Asther’s baby photography session not only got us all going “awwww…” but it also got us all gobsmacked as we didn’t realise just how much preparation is involved in newborn photography. It was also then that I found out there’s even an application which emulates the sound waves babies hear in their mummy’s tummys!
You can check out all the pics on Bloom Workshops Facebook page here :D
As for me, my presentation was on bringing out the natural side of your subjects where I actually went blank for the first 5 seconds. Despite my tendency to ‘tokkok’, I actually get stage fright and am not very good with public speaking. But I thought to myself, I’m gonna be talking about what I’m passionate about, what I love doing, this shouldn’t be hard. And true enough, once I started, it felt like I was born to share about my passion. What I can remember from the session was that there was a lot of laughter – I just hope they were laughing with me instead of at me 0_o
The whole weekend was truly an awesome learning experience for me. Meeting the participants reminded me that even though I’ve been doing this for 4.5 years, there is still so, so much for me to learn and by sharing, I’m learning more. Some have asked why we’re sharing ‘trade secrets’, why bother letting others know easily what took us years of trial and error to learn.
I believe that one way or the other, people are going to learn. Be it through workshops, magazines, google, it’s just a matter of time and effort. Whilst it’s true that we’ll have more competitors, it also means we’ll have to upp our game and work harder at being better. Another thing I always remind myself when it comes to sharing is that, at the end of the day, there can only be one ‘you’. Your personality, your style of photography, your business ethics will be your own. Even if someone else knows all your trade secrets and buys all the gears that you use, no one else can be 100% you. So there.
There’s so much more I wanna write about how I feel (cos I haven’t had the opportunity to gush to anyone about the joy and gratitude I felt throughout the weekend!) but lest I bore you all, let me just end this post with a ginormous THANK YOU to all the participants, speakers and sponsors of Bloom Workshops inaugural event! You all reminded me just how blessed and humbled I am to be in such a wonderful industry!
Much love and gratitude xoxo
Group shot of Bloom Workshops’ participants & speakers courtesy of Wei Ming :) Thank you!