Today was the final day of Meg Bitton & Pebbles and Polka Dots Photography‘s photography workshop at my home in Lake Wylie. There are no words that can truly describe this experience, but I am going to try.
It was about this time last year when I discovered Meg and Mary. Their work is honest, powerful and emotive. Each time I see one of their photos pop up in my newsfeed I stop to look – every.single.time. They each have a very recognizable, consistent style, yet the images they create always seem fresh and new. This is exactly what I dreamed of for my own photography. Getting the opportunity to not only learn from them, but meet them and host their maternity/newborn/child workshop has been life-changing.
After everyone parted ways today I came home and finally sat down to pull up my images from the past 2 days. I felt amazed, exhausted, a little unhinged, energized and SO so happy. This is the first in-person photography workshop I have taken and I don’t know how things usually go, but I can not imagine a more intense growth opportunity than what we learned this week. Here is a brief breakdown of all my feelings.
~ amazed ~
Without meeting Meg and Mary, their insane amount of talent is clear. But the thing that amazed me most was to see how they do it all – family, kids, work, teaching, travel and still totally grounded. They are smart, business minded women who have created their own success. Running your own business isn’t easy…at all. There is SO much time and resource that goes into it. New photographers are popping up every day, yet are similarly burning out because they don’t understand all the things that you have to consider. There is a big difference between just being a photographer who works and making a career out of photography. It was amazing to learn about why they created their unique business models and how they make it work. No fear, no excuses. Their heart and soul goes into everything they do.
~ exhausted ~
Every single muscle in my body hurts – in the BEST way. A common misconception is that photographers just “click a button”. How hard can that be? Really. Let me tell you – if you want those amazing images, be prepared to sweat and get dirty. On the first day we were up to our ears in water. Second day, we sweated it out in my 85+ degree studio, then moved outside to a nearby forest and field in 90+ degree June weather. Mosquitos, ants, grass and a little rain didn’t slow us down for a minute.
~ unhinged ~
The best teachers are those that want you to grow and learn. They help you do that by giving you new ideas, more effective ways of reaching a goal, sharing what they have learned along their journey and what piece of your puzzle is missing. Then they tell you how to find that piece, where to look and how to excel. This is how Meg and Mary teach. If you show them a photo they tell you how to fix it, what you did right and if you did anything wrong. I think that a reeeally good workshop should unhinge you – take you out of your comfort zone and push you into a whole new light. There were so many takeaways that my mind is spinning and I can not WAIT to bring their wisdom into my own creative process.
~ energized ~
As an artist it is verrrry easy to get in a rut, second guess yourself, lose inspiration. But the passion and drive that they brought to us was contagious. Their vision for their own work and seeing beauty in unexpected places was a huge eye-opener. Meg and Mary do not teach you how to be like them, they teach you how to be YOU. An artist that creates what you LOVE, stands by it and doesn’t bend to naysayers. They instill a level of confidence that is truly energizing.
~ happy ~
Yes, we worked hard. But we laughed hard too. Meg and Mary have been doing workshops together for a while and their dynamic is nothing short of amazing. It was awesome learning from them, but equally awesome learning about them and hearing their stories. I think it’s safe to say they left here with a few new ones of their own. 🙂
Here are a few of my favorite images from the workshop. I can not thank them enough for their guidance and kindness. Absolutely priceless. <3
Beth Wade Photography is located outside Charlotte, NC in Lake Wylie, SC. Beth Wade is Charlotte’s premier newborn photographer specializing in artistic custom family photography. As a professional photographer, Beth captures maternity, newborn, baby and family portraits in Charlotte, North Carolina, Lake Wylie-Fort Mill-Tega Cay, South Carolina and all surrounding areas.