Foundation Workshop 2016
“I’d love to say that I came back, those next two days, and rose to the occasion, knocking it out of the park. But I didn’t. Even though I was lighter and happier, I still walked through the doors without a solid story or great photos. That wasn’t the point. It was the process….Even though, I thought I would pull something out of me but didn’t, I learned that the hard work starts now. Foundation Workshop is a jumping off point. And it starts with being honest. There’s this partnership between the photographer and subject. And my job is to get back to remembering what it means to be human.”
“The biggest thing I took away from the week was to trust my instincts. I was constantly doubting myself and my composition and thinking “is this a good shot?” I learned that no one sees the world like you do, so shoot the way you see the world. That’s what will make you happy and help you stand out. I stopped doubting every composition I made and stuck with them. Now when I have a camera, I shoot what I’m drawn to. No more thinking “is this weird? Will anyone get it?” It’s made photography even more appealing, intriguing and thought provoking than it was ever before, which I didn’t think was possible.”
“Ultimately, I was surprised by the emotional roller coaster…I knew trusting in the process and believing there is a purpose for every exercise and every assignment was key and that left me open and vulnerable. As a result, the feelings of defeat, failure, determination, and more failure were magnified to a point that I really did not know I had in me…But just as I felt extreme lows, the small victories felt amazing. And the new friendships forged and community support were overwhelmingly positive. I made some amazing personal connections at Foundation Workshop. Seeing everyone’s mind-blowing work it after all the emotional and mental anguish and hard work was nothing short of inspiring…”
“If there’s one thing I’ve really realized this year at Foundation, it is how easy it is to love anyone who has allowed themselves to be vulnerable, honest, and authentic, especially in such a challenging environment as Foundation (Foundation’s website describes the workshop aptly as “the workshop your friends have been warning you about”). After all, we’re all fighting our own battles, and in our Facebook-perfect world it is so easy to forget that we are not alone in our struggles to live a good, balanced life. And when I allowed myself to be so honest and open with everyone in the room I felt like I had achieved something profound.”
“That’s when it hit me. My “holy shit” moment. My guilt, and my ego to control the situation and make everything right, were deciding everything for me. They were preventing me from seeing anything other than the fail…At that moment, I was not allowing myself to feel good about any of the moments that I actually captured and got in focus for the family; I was only focused on the photograph I didn’t get. I looked deeper, and I realized in life I never allow myself to feel like a good father; I’m only focused on what I’ve missed or haven’t done. I never allow myself to feel like a good husband, a good friend, a good person. I’m too fixated on missed opportunities and figuring out a way to try and make them all right. Dwelling on the past was preventing me from being fully in the present.”
And I remembered sitting there in the hotel room in Glen Rose, Texas, and Tyler telling me that it was my theme song. That I needed to remember to check yo self before you wreck yo self. I was clearly on the route to wrecking myself. Literally on the way. And musical fate stopped me in my tracks. I felt both of my Foundation teams there, in the car with me, cheering me on. I felt all my friends hugging me, reminding me that I have what it takes. For the first time, I felt the Foundation magic working. My alter ego, HELL YEAH HEIDI is alive!