I know it sounds crazy to say that I had a very pivotal moment in my life & in my business in Vegas, but it's true. The whole trip was totally God ordained. I don't know how else to say it but I finally felt like I was where I am supposed to be. He gave me this sense of confidence that I haven't felt in a really long time - not in my skills as a photographer, but in who I am in HIM. Who He made me to be is who I am & I finally got to a point again last week where I was more than ok with that. All the little quirks & things that people jokingly have given me a hard time about all my life - those are the things that make me, well me! and I felt like I was free to be me. It was an exhilarating feeling. I heard a few really amazing speakers that really hit home to me: Jamie Schultz is an amazing mom & wife & photographer & designer and throughout her talk I found myself really relating and it was like she was giving me permission to be ME and not who I should be in this business, but who I am. I ran into her later that evening and got a chance to tell her that & afterwards went to dinner with the girls and just cried tears of joy. I also heard the amazing Me Ra Koh who is the "expert photographer" on the Nate Berkus Show. I saw her on his show a while ago & when I saw her in the bathroom at WPPI, I stopped her and said something (please keep in mind this is NOT something I would usually do! But this week I'm telling you God just gave me the guts to not be afraid to talk to anyone, even if they are a famous photographer!, just to be ME and to confident in that). After we talked outside the bathroom, I met her husband and then I went to her platform class later that week & just loved what she said! She talked a lot about being confident as women and in photography & she talked about story telling through photographs. I left totally inspired and encouraged - Me Ra, you are amazing and I will never forget you! I also heard the fabulous Jasmine Star and she challenged me to better myself. To think about what my strengths are & to think about my weaknesses and start working on them. She encouraged me to have a balanced life - to live the life I want to live! I wrote down at the end of the talk she said "being me can allow me to live the life I want" and I LOVE that. It was just this ongoing message of "being me".
I am just so thankful to work in an industry of such amazing people. I met the wonderful people of Thirst Relief and can't wait to get involved in their efforts to bring clean water to people around the world. Some other awesome kingdom minded photographers that want to use the gifts God gave them for good. I am so encouraged, so inspired, so refreshed and so so thankful that I am working in the photography industry. You know, ti's like we don't really have too many "co-workers" so it's so fun to go to a conference and get to meet other people from around the country that do the same thing you do. Thank you Jesus!