I just got back from two days at Burn. For those of you who don’t know what Burn is, it’s a two day convention for wedding photographers in Northern Ireland, organised by the epic Rob Dight. (See what I did there ;))
This year was my first chance to attend Burn and it’s something I’ve been looking forward to for months. The list of speakers was crazy, with some of the most talented photographers in the world booked to come speak in little old Belfast. But what I was part of over the last couple of days blew every expectation and hope out of the water, let me tell you why.
Heart and Soulers
I’m lucky enough to be part of an amazing little community of photographers, again thanks to Rob, who share stories, referrals, tips and work. We chat regularly on instagram and Facebook, but I had yet to meet many of these people I already called friends. Let’s be honest, online friendships can be as awkward as online dating – you’re always worried that when you meet in real life, it’ll be awkward AF and they’ll be very different to how they are online.
Long story short, my heart and soulers are even better in real life than they are on insta. And the connection I have with the people I’ve spent the last few days with is actually humbling.
I’m a socially anxious person. I put on the big front, then I’ll go home and worry over every single word I’ve said. So to feel so relaxed and comfortable in the company of these guys was incredibly refreshing, and good for my soul. I can honestly say I have friends for life, which is weird because we’re all in the same industry. We should be competition, but instead we’re rooting for each other and celebrating each other’s success.
To have a great connection with those I’ve chatted with for months was great, but to connect so quickly with people I met within a day blew my mind. Again, for a socially anxious person, to feel so relaxed and at ease is already amazing, but this was more than that. I felt like this place was like home. I know that might sound weird, but to be in a room where every single person gets you, your vision and what you do, is a feeling I can’t describe in any other way. I learned something incredibly valuable from every person I met, and walked away with new friends from all across the world – how awesome is that?
Ok so it’s a convention with workshops; coming away inspired to take better photos is a given really isn’t it? I even expected to come away inspired to grow my business and my ambitions. What I didn’t expect though was to walk away inspired to chase every dream I’ve ever had, and have the confidence to do it – no matter what it takes.
The speakers I listened to, didn’t just motivate and inspire…they made me think and process. To the point where today I feel completely drained, yet energised to make my vision a reality. How powerful, rare and insane is that?!
I always say that my son and his Autism gave me the gift of photography with his unique view of the world, and he did, but it’s easy to lose where you came from in the midst of the business madness. Spending two days at Burn has reminded me of how to take the gift I’ve been given and do it justice for myself, my family and my clients.
I probably knew a lot of the things I heard over the last few days, but I needed to hear them in the way that I did, in that nurturing environment, to make them sink in. I had the seeds, the soil had been prepared, but they’ve been sown over the last few days. Now I have to nurture them and make sure they grow into their potential.
If you’re not a creative, you might not get most of what I’ve just written, but you should think about and apply it to your life. If you’re someone with a dream or a vision for your life, the same opportunities are out there for you to grow and be the best version of yourself.
I’m so thankful to Rob, Nadia, Fer, Yorkplace Studios, Jennifer, Igor, Paula, Michael and all those who made Burn so freakin’ awesome. Nadia said that all anyone ever wants is to feel like they belong, and for the first time ever, I felt like I found where I truly belonged! Lx