To say that last week was a whirlwind would be putting it mildly. Thanks to an invitation from the fabulous Dana Laymon (a fellow MTH alum), I got to experience the WPPI Conference and Las Vegas for the first time ever.
As I learned from WPPI U in Atlanta a couple of years ago, it takes time to absorb and digest all the information you intake at these sorts of events, and I'm still working on that part. But one thing I do know for sure is it fires me up and fills my heart to the brim to be surrounded by people who are so passionate about their work and about helping others create great businesses and lives, and I strive every day to be one of those people who inspires those around me to live out their dreams, whatever they may be. I had the opportunity to learn from some of the most incredible photographers and just generally amazing people (among them, Jesh de Rox, Elizabeth Messina, Matthew Jordan Smith, and the list goes on), make new friends and see old ones, and possibly most importantly, step away from a desk and computer and relax.
Sometimes, that word - relax - seems like a dirty word amongst entrepreneurs. If you're not working constantly, how can you be successful?! We love being classified as workaholics (oh come on, you know you like it), because that makes us seem like we're being productive, even if we're not providing our clients the best version of ourselves and our work.
One of the biggest things that I took away from this experience is that creativity and great ideas don't happen in an office. And they don't happen when your ultimate goal is only to make more money. They happen when you step away from what you're supposed to do and step into what brings you joy. That doesn't mean that business and joy are mutually exclusive... in fact, I think it's quite the opposite. When you do what excites you, the business follows. I began my business with that philosophy when I quit my 8-to-5 to follow my passion for photography, and somehow, in the process of turning that love into a business, I began to forget the joy part. In a way, I've come full circle, and I'm looking forward to getting back to all the things I love about holding a camera and creating something beautiful that also brings other people joy.
Above are a few of my favorite Instagram highlights from my trip, and I love that the things I loved the most about this trip are equal parts work and play. Reminder and note to self: WORK DOESN'T HAVE TO FEEL LIKE WORK. I'm going to be disguising more of my work as play a little more often, and I look forward to updated you all on the amazing things that come from it.
So my question for you is: What brings you joy and how can you incorporate it into your work?
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