Photography is so often a solo pursuit. To be honest, I think that’s one of the things I love about it. I don’t need a team to play this game. There’s a feeling – I call it FLOW – of the weight of the camera in your hand and the connection to the world around you as you see the light falling “just so” and you, the camera and the subject are all alone together in that moment, and it’s perfect. As much as I love those solo moments of communing with my environment and my camera I have found that experiencing them with another photographer – or two, or six – can really elevate the feeling.
For four years now I have had the absolute pleasure of spending time each year with a group of like-minded women photographers in some pretty inspiring places – first as part of a larger group and later as our own group of seven. When I tell friends (non-photographers) about these trips, they are always impressed with the places we go – California, Vancouver Island, the mountains of Colorado – but for me, as beautiful as these places are, I always say “Imagine doing the thing you love for months at a time on your own and then imagine getting to do it with people who love it as much as you do”. That’s the big draw for me. The beautiful surroundings are just the cherry on top. It’s the connecting that’s the magic.
A week ago I was deeply embedded in that magic, up high in the mountains of Colorado. There’s an ease to being with other photographers. No one minds pulling over to get the shot. Lingering in a pretty patch of light is encouraged. Everyone is a willing photography subject and happy to take direction or make wardrobe changes.
photo credit: Cherish Bryck
Coming home last week was coming down, literally and figuratively. The group is dealing with the all-to-soon separation and trying to keep the connection up via text and Facebook messages and #latergrams. I know it will be months before I can connect in person with these women from all over the continent so I sought out some connection closer to home.
This past weekend was the 10th Instagram World Wide Instameet and, as luck would have it, my local IG group was having a meetup. The meetup took place at the Canadian War Museum, with participants’ entry and a tour sponsored by Ottawa Tourism. Aside from the exhibits, the War Museum is an amazing building, thoughtfully crafted by architect Raymond Moriyama. It was a great treat to wander this space with other photographers, all connected to this thing we love to do.
photo credit: @minkwilliams
Of course, I love connecting with you all here and on Instagram. This community helps to keep me going when my in-person photo connections are months away. I’d love to hear how you all connect with other photographers near and far.