What If Cabo
It’s hard to wrap up into a blog post what happened during the What If conference. I knew I’d come away inspired, encouraged and ready to tackle some big projects, but I had no idea that my life would be turned upside down! The community that was built during the 5 days we spent in Cabo was just mind-blowing to me, someone who has never been to a photography “industry” event before. The photographers & innovators who were our speakers for the week are some of the most accomplished leaders in the photography world, but there was no ego trip or speaker / attendee divide. We all hung out together, ate too much chips & salsa, danced all night, laid out on the beach, laughed a LOT, cried together, and exchanged ideas of pushing each other to fulfill our dreams. Each of the people we were privileged to meet were so humble and passionate about their art. I felt so lucky to be surrounded with such an amazing group of people!
Sarah and Chris Rhoads (of We are the Rhoads) totally inspired me. They are so young, and yet making things happen on a huge scale! I loved how they showed us their personal projects turned into the fun commercial work they’re known for. Jesh de Rox showed us how to communicate with couples on a deeper level than just capturing what’s on the surface, and continuing to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Steve and Jen Bebb, who were the inventors of this conference, are some of the coolest people you’ll ever meet. They encouraged us to not let any excuse get in the way of following our dreams, and to constantly ask the question “What If?” Dan O’Day, besides having a cool Aussie accent, encouraged us to shoot for ourselves — do personal projects to keep our work fresh and inspired. Jesse and Whitney Chamberlain of Our Labor of Love kind of blew our minds with their smartness, hah. They’ve created an entire network of businesses to surround themselves with other creatives, which I completely loved. Justin Lyon (the producer of Yo Gabba Gabba…for real) really challenged us to give back. His stories of working in Haiti alongside refugees were touching, and I think even the guys in the group were sniffling a little bit. 😉 Of course, each of them went into much greater depth, but the emphasis was the same: be successful so you can give back to the world — whether it be your time, money, art, or story.The funny thing is, after I got home and checked out all our new friends’ work…oh my gosh. They are all so talented! I love getting to follow their work, inspire each other, and plan reunion trips 🙂
If you are a photographer or any other creative: GO TO THE NEXT ONE. July 23-26th in Portland, OR is going to be insane! I can’t wait to reconnect with new / old friend, meet tons more inspiring people from around the world, and be seriously challenged in my creativity. Sound cool? Check it out more HERE! Also, it’s not open to the general public until Feb. 14th, but if you want to sign up now, just ask me and I’ll send you the link 🙂
Illustrating Jesh’s deep-stare-into-your-soul techniques 🙂