A few weeks ago, my friend asked me to join her in a workshop taught by Meg Bitton. It was focused on getting everyone out of their winter rut. And man, was I in a rut. Living in Chicago through this crazy polar vortex has not been very easy. I missed those beautiful days of Spring, Summer and Fall. So without hesitiation, I signed up. I had attended a workshop with Meg last fall in NYC, so I knew I was in for a uplifting and eye opening experience.
For two weeks, I was a student again. Everyday we had an assignment. They were challenging and thought provoking. I had to think about ME. At the beginning I was nervous. Opening myself up to someone I looked up to so much was a bit overwhelming. Meg was kind, encouraging, and was able to push us where we needed to be pushed. It wasn't about the technical parts of our images it was about why we took certain images. What we were trying to say, what they meant to us. Not to our kids or family, but what they meant to us. It opened a whole new part of my soul.
Looking back through my 2 weeks, I realized something. I realized how much my images coorilated with the Wizard of Oz. I had no idea this was happening as I was photographing each day. How and why did this happen? I have always loved that movie, but what had driven me in this direction. I guess that is something I need to reflect on.
My first image signified the beginning of my journey. On the yellow brick road.
Another day, I drove for hours trying to figure out my rut... Where was I stuck. Then I met some fun little characters and they encouraged me to walk my own walk...
Then there were the balloons, "Letting go, Defying gravity."
Finally, there I was at Oz park, finding my rainbow.
Our last assignment.. How did you feel at the beginning of class and how did you feel at the end... Here's what I wrote...
When I sat down to think of this workshop and how I felt when I started and how I feel now, it was hard to put the feelings into words. I was thinking about what happened, what changed, what happened along the road that made such a big impact on me. Starting out, I felt bored, uninspired, and waiting for this miserable winter to end. Today, I feel ready for the journey ahead, it's like a switch has been turned. I needed time to think, think about me, think about what I love, what I am proud of, what I value, and think about who I was. Completing each assignment was a daily hurdle. Posting them on this board for criticism definitely took some courage. I feel like I really did go on a journey, I met some wonderful people along the way, and finally realized that everything I need is here, I just needed some guidance and a little push to show me the way. These images were taken the day I took my rainbow photo. I love them because they were a turning point for me. I took an idea and translated it into something meaningful to me, I hope these images translate how grateful I am.
I woke up today, missing class. Missing Meg. I missed the group of women I had gotten to know through their images. I thought about what I was going to focus on today. And I created my own assignment.
Thank you Meg!