The Joy of Communing with Creatives and Other Fun Atlanta Photography Stuff!

Photo taken at the Brooke Shaden conference

Model: Kiunna Lowe


This past Sunday was a super-Sunday-fun-day thanks to Brooke Shaden and Sony!

Sony sponsored Brooke's Promoting Passion tour, making the Promoting Passion conference this past Sunday an affordable $50. 

Brooke started her talk around 10 a.m. Her talks are wonderful because they're interactive. She doesn't mind people jumping in and making comments or asking questions. 

After attending her four-day conference in Joshua Tree in October and now on Sunday, I have to say she's one of the best speakers I've ever heard. The ideas pour out of her, and she's so at ease. She rarely looks at a note. And she doesn't get thrown off when people do jump in or ask questions. 

Of course, it being Brooke, we started off with an exercise - literally exercise - walking and then running around the conference room we were in at the Westin Hotel downtown.

Then it got a little uncomfortable - staring deeply into the eyes of a partner for 30 seconds. You had to pick someone you didn't know.

I don't want to give anything away for anyone else getting ready to attend the conference in another city. But I love that about Brooke. She knows how to get you out of your comfort zone. And it gets you thinking and looking at things from a different perspective. 

After that, Brooke got right to work. Her lecture was so inspiring and there were so many people I wish I'd brought with me to hear it. 

I went with my friend, Lauren, because we do all things photography together. She and I have a lot of the same photo and creative interests. She had the same feeling - darn, we should have asked so many other people - not just other photographers.

Brooke's talk touched on the importance of legacy and how so few people ever use that word in relation to themselves. We think of the word in the context of inspirational figures, like MLK or Gandhi or even some sports heroes. 

But if you're working on figuring out what it is you want to do with your life, why not think in terms of a legacy?

I don't want to regurgitate all my notes. But I was so impressed. More than that, I was inspired to think about the process of discovering my own legacy. 

I also loved what she said about unlearning what success means. 

As Madonna once sang: We live in a material world.

Success for many people means going to school, getting good grades, going to college, figuring out what you want to do before graduating college, majoring in that focus, and then getting a job, house, life partner, kids, etc. 

Too often we let society define what success means. And society's version of success is driven by advertising. And advertising is all about selling us stuff. So success is mostly defined by materialism in today's world.

Look at how many people in this world are depressed, miserable, unhappy, restless, and unsettled. 

We seek stability when what we really want is a purpose. And when we don't have a purpose, we grow restless and depressed. 

We're told if we don't seek the "right" type of career, we'll flounder in life and have no stability. 

I know I struggled for years figuring out how to combine a purpose and a passion into a career. Honestly, I overthink things that way. I definitely suffer from analysis paralysis! I'm working hard on that. 

It's the lizard brain getting in the way. The lizard brain tells us all the things that can go wrong if we try something out of our comfort zone. Back in the cave days, the lizard brain is the reason we survived. 

We identified all the things that could go wrong so we were prepared. We saw the snake in the grass and lived to see another day. 

Today, the lizard brain works against us. 

I've been reading a lot lately about brain waves and electromagnetic fields and how we can alter them and affect our reality. This isn't woo-woo stuff, it's science. But it does sound kinda far out. I'm sure it was no coincidence that I found myself at Brooke's lecture after reading and thinking about all this. 

Personally, I think the other thing that's missing in the equation is spirituality. People have thrown the baby out with the bathwater. In rejecting religion, many people have rejected spirituality as well.

We're connected to the universe. We're spiritual beings.

That's not to be confused with religion, even though they are, of course, closely connected. The more we're driven by the material instead of the spiritual, the more we lose touch with ourselves and our true purpose. 

When we're driven only by the material, the whole world suffers. We can certainly see that in today's world. Our priorities are all screwed up. 

If we focus on what we're good at and how we can serve others as well as ourselves, we become more in tune with the Universe and God. 

I digress...

Brooke spoke for almost four hours. It went by quickly! 

After lunch, a wonderful Atlanta photographer, Gary Chapman gave a talk with his wife Vivian. They're a dynamic duo! Vivian is the writer/ideas person, and Gary does the photography. 

After Gary and Vivian were done, we had the opportunity for a little creative collaboration.

The lead photo at the top was my final edit from one of the settings we worked with. 

I started with these three photos:

Working on a photo shoot at the Brooke Shaden event

 Another photo from the photo shoot


One of the photos from the Brooke Shaden event


I didn't get too fancy with this one.

I'm a huge reader and writer, and I love books. Brooke suggested having the model pose while we threw pages around her. 

I think the idea was great, and I was happy with my final edit. 

I also used some photos of smoke and added a texture photo over the top. 

What do you think?

Thanks to the lovely model, Kiunna Lowe. She was very patient! She stood for a long time while we threw pages and took photos. Then she put on a mask that someone brought and stood a whole lot longer. 

I spent some time helping out with throwing pages. It's harder than it looks!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend too! 

I know I'll be thinking more about my purpose and legacy now. I hope you think about yours!

Have a great rest of your week...and see you between the raindrops - of which we've had many lately!