April 25, 2013
The BlogCademy Recap

The world is changing.  I know, it’s always changing.  No biggie.  But, I think this is an especially fascinating time to live in.  As someone who studied how Hollywood shifted from a vertically integrated studio system into the form we know it today, and then watched as reality TV, video games, social media, and pretty much anything requiring interaction became the new hot form of entertainment, I love seeing what is going on in terms of the way we take in information and get our daily dose of amusement.

(Left to right: Shauna Haider, Gala Darling, Kat Williams.)

In a few years, media students will be studying these three women, the way I studied auteur filmmakers in college.  While I was still working in TV production, and then becoming a wedding photographer, the headmistresses of the Blogcademy, Kat Williams, Gala Darling, and Shauna Haider, were busy creating blogging empires.  They are the new media moguls, and they represent a sweet new form of media — where they have, as an individual, a much stronger voice than even the most powerful television executive might have had.  Why?  Because they are the voice.  They are the entire company.  There aren’t board meetings that kill good ideas; there aren’t giant offices with overhead that must be met with major sponsorship.  They can pick and choose who they work with, and maintain total control over their brand.

(Look at the smiles on their faces.  It’s joyous to be oneself!) 

I might as well tell you, I have big plans for what I’m doing with this blog here.  There’s a lot more to me than photography!  As I’ve already mentioned, my bachelor’s degree is in film, and before photography, I was a writer full-time.  I envision my blog as a place where artists can come and play; where a space is provided for people to take a moment to ponder and explore.  It’s so easy to become results-oriented all of the time, and yet, without making it a practice to regularly dip into pure creativity, nothing new can never come, no matter how hard we work.

(My sweet and innocent “bloggerface.”)

I attended the BlogCademy earlier this month in Los Angeles.  Being in the room with these three women made me want to sing!  What happens when three very individual, self-actualized women stand in front of the room is that everyone in it gets zapped with energy.  They have a way of creating a space where, first of all, everyone is invited to be themselves completely and fully; and second, where you feel loved.  You just feel like all of those little ideas budding in your brain are welcome — these women invite them to the party, and treat them like the guests of honor.

The boost of joy and confidence this brought to my vision has instilled a whole new level of enthusiasm for creating and living a life of passion for me.  Within a week of the BlogCademy, I finished my very first ebook, entitled, “How to Take the Best Seflies.”  (Blogcadettes take a LOT of selfies.)  What I love about this project is that it simultaneously allows me to share my love for photography with other people who want to take it into their own hands, and at the same time, be the writer I have always been inside.  I want to thank Shauna Haider personally, for the one-on-one encouragement she gave me for this pursuit.  It is a scary thing to stretch as an artist, and someone lending an empathetic ear has a tremendously empowering effect.  (In fact, I’d like to pay it forward, so please hit me up if you are feeling the need for some encouragement!  Tweet me or email me.)

It’s easy to get defined by one certain thing we have been doing for awhile, and yet, as artist or an individual, we are constantly changing and growing, and finding new things to explore.  I walked away from the BlogCademy feeling totally sure of the fact that adding writing, blogging, filmmaking, and other experiments into my repertoire was the path I am meant to go on.  I have been feeling it for awhile, and in that space, where I was invited to be free and fully myself — with the added bonus of tons of useful and inspiring information — something clicked for me.  For a brief moment, I became the person I am becoming. 

Huge props to the headmistresses for everything described above and then some.  I am so appreciative of my experience at the workshop, and I hope everything I learned will make my future content even more fun and interesting for all of you lovely people out there reading this.

We were encouraged to take tons of photos constantly, which is never a problem for me anyway.  So, I’ve included even more below.  (FYI, the Blogcademy is on its world tour, so you should check it out when it comes to your city!)

(Bright accessories are a must at the Blogcademy.)

(Mirror selfie — this one featured in my new ebook!)

(Photo excitement!)

(Trying to be a very diligent student on my first day.  Photo by Caroline Winata.)

(Had the honor of creating this headshot for fellow Blogcadette and all-around brilliant person, Suzy Mae.)


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