Vancouver 2016: Experience Conference

Last month I had a chance to attend the Experience//Arc conference in Vancouver.  While it primarily was geared towards photographers, it was more a collection of creatives challenging each other to push the limits of their craft, love their work, and really see and listen to the people for whom we work.  After the first couple days I felt my creative spirit implode and I was crying and wondering these challenging questions like "do I even love what I'm creating!?"  Then on the final day my soul was able to calm and I began to look with a more positive eye at how I define success, and began to feel excited about where I am headed.  

Above all that, I spent the rest of my free time in Vancouver meeting and catching up with some amazing people who live there. I felt incredibly blessed that they would make the time to meet up with me (even people who I'd never actually met before, only know through social media) and even more encouraged and excited by the tidbits of their lives that they chose to share with me.  

This conference was definitely more idea heavy and didn't have many options for hands on sessions, so I took the one opportunity I could on the "City Adventures" afternoon.  We had a chance to walk around Chinatown with Dan Cristea, who specializes in street photography.  It was super cool seeing how he would visualize and run to capture a shot.  It was also super uncomfortable! Photographing random people on the street is something that definitely takes practice to get comfortable with.  

I stayed with my sweet friend Christa, and while I may look like a bad friend having only taken photos of her cat, I know she would understand because SHE only takes photos of her cat too.  It was so nice having that comfortable, normal life time to just catch up at the end of the day instead of trying to fit it into a long text message or packing it into a one day visit. We visited this amazing vegetarian restaurant called The Acorn which was the highlight of my culinary experiences this trip.  Beer-battered Halloumi.  Enough said.  

As is typical for Vancouver fall, the weather was mostly grey the whole time.  But on the last night of the conference the sun came out so I decided to duck out early and go for a photowalk (that's why I was there right!?).  I watched the sun light up the golden trees that lined Beach Avenue and stream through the lush forest of Stanley Park.  I walked and shot until the streetlights came on and my soul felt sparkly and content.  I got cheap sushi for dinner and met up with a couple of beautiful women for beers and it was the perfect way to wrap up this stretching and inspiring week,