Sometimes you need to give yourself a gift. I did that last October when I attended The Saltwater Retreat in Hatteras, NC. For several years I had been working my full time job, maintaining our home and caring for my aging parent’s. It drained me both physically and emotionally. I had no time for me! Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a moment of that time. I was there for my parent’s when they needed me the most. I’ll treasure that time we had together and know in my heart that I did my best. But I was tired, lost and struggling to find my balance. The Saltwater Retreat helped me find my footing again.
When you have a passion, you need to surround yourself with others that share that same passion. We, the first group at The Saltwater Retreat, were all different in our art but the common glue of photography brought us together. We learned, laughed, cried and challenged each other to grow and expand our vision.
Jennifer was the perfect host. We thrived from the talks, home-cooked meals, guidance and knowledge she shared. What I loved the most….wait…it’s not just one thing but many! We meshed so well as a group. Never once did we stumble over each other but instead pushed with gentle reassurance and sharing of techniques or lessons learned. I was amazed at the different images we compiled from the same photo walk. We all do see the world differently and sharing how we see it opens the eyes of others.
The best gift I was given on the retreat was from Jennifer. She didn’t try to change me, only suggested ways to improve my style or editing. She took the time to study each of us individually and encouraged and guided us on how to grow. To stop and look, feel the moment before pressing the shutter. I’ll be forever grateful to her for not trying to make me into someone I’m not. She gave me the gift of confidence, while there is always room to grow and expand, I don’t need to change my style to fit into a preconceived box. Just be me and express that thru my photography.
Give yourself a gift this year! Follow a dream, take a class, join a group or attend a conference or retreat. You won’t regret it!
Love these ladies; Carolyn (Muffin), Nancy, Charlotte, Joan, me!!, Donna and Jenny! The FIRST Saltwater Retreat, 2017! Group Photo by Jennifer Carr Photography
If you’re interested in The Saltwater Retreat visit JenniferCarrPhotography for more information.
I agree with every single word! So happy to have you as a friend – and this is thanks to the Retreat. And you pointed out something I hadn’t fully appreciated – how Jennifer encouraged each of us while respecting our individual differences. The retreat was a kind of turning point for me where I came to accept myself and my art.
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