A few weeks ago I attended Story 2018, an annual conference about creativity within various industries. I stumbled upon it a few years ago when a friend asked if I wanted to volunteer and I've been hooked ever since!
The first year I attended I remember several people saying Story was a "game changer" for them. Super cliche, right? Kind of like when people go on mission trips and all of a sudden their lives are changed for all of two months before they settle back into their old normal (okay, maybe not the case for everyone and I admit I'm generalizing).
But this year was my third year volunteering and I realized Story had indeed changed my game - I'm no longer talking about wanting to write or shoot, I'm actually doing it. I'm far from where I'd like to be but the process is happening! It was especially encouraging to be able to share the glimpses of tangible fruit that has been developing over years of wrestling, toiling, and waiting, with other fellow artists.
I've come out more alive than I've ever been greatly due to the fact that other insanely creative brave souls ahead of me shared their honest experiences and insight - the good, the bad, and the ugly of the altogether passionate, lonely, beautiful, communal creative life. Hearing others' stories and oddly finding a piece of me in them as well endowed me with the blessing I needed to step out on my own - it's as if God was reassuring me things would be ok - and could possibly even turn out great.
I debated on bringing my camera to the conference but since I tried really hard to stay committed to my "shoot everyday in September" goal, I decided to lug my little brick around. I had it hidden in my bag when I walked in (I always feel super nerdy and self-conscious when I have it on, still struggling to admit I'm a "real" photographer) but when I saw several fellow photographers proudly sporting their gear, my heart did a little happy dance as I confidently slung my Canon over my shoulder.
I am so thankful Story Conference has been a part of my life these past few years as it has given me the courage to shoot, to write, and to create. I'm also glad I ended up bringing my camera. :)
Here are my highlights from Story 2018: