Most of my family thought I was nuts and there were more than just a few friends who felt the same way. But I ran across an anonymous quote around that time that says it all:
I can because I want to.
I want to because you said I couldn't.
I recently ran across a couple of photographs that bring back so many great memories from those summer programs. In 2010, Sarah Petty offered to fill in for Vicki Taufer, which brings back a whole story of its own. Here's the short version - Vicki and Jed were adopting their daughter and got caught in an immigration challenge and couldn't bring her back into the US for several months. Vicki stayed overseas, and Sarah jumped in to save summer school with an outstanding program. The story goes a lot deeper as dozens of photographers in the industry tried to help with letters to congressman, immigration officials, and a non-stop push to get Vicki home.
Friendships are the best part of this industry, and Kay Eskridge spoke that year as well. We kept the program simple with one big room, no breakouts and a dozen vendors who wanted to support education around the perimeter. Wifi was still a big deal, and the room was set up, so a new speaker kicked off every ninety minutes, but there were charging stations, and you could work at the same time - giving attendees the ability to stay in touch with business, but still pick up great ideas to market and promote their products/services.
After the 2013 summer workshop, like so many educational events we decided it was time for a change. Workshops events like this are incredibly labor intensive and with so many different events to choose from it was time to move on, but not from the goal of education, continuing to build a business and support an industry I love dearly.
With help from good buddy, Scott Bourne, SCU became a reality and my life morphed into that of a blogger, podcaster, and writer. I wouldn't change a thing in my life since leaving Rangefinder/WPPI. The best part of the last nine years is the friendships that have come out of everyone's mutual love for the craft and the support we all give each other no matter what challenges life puts in our paths.