Sara Weir | Photo Native Student Review

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Q: How have you grown as an artist since attending Photo Native? 

In every way imaginable. In so many ways and not in enough ways. I think what it did for me most artistically was allow me to call what I do art and get me thinking about what that meant to me. It's definitely something I'm still exploring and hopefully always will be. But yeah, giving me permission to think of it that way and how I can use that to have a business.

Q: What business skills have you implemented since attending Photo Native? 

 When I attended PN I was so so new to business. I'd been photographing for a long time, but had just launched my own brand. I felt lost on how to navigate so many things and still keep my voice - and still working to find what that was and what it meant too. I still fall back on that very first speech given by Just Hackworth about so many beautiful things, but what has stuck with me most is how he talked about we should treat each other as photographers. He said we were a community that helped each other even though we are in essence competitors. That has been the foundation of so much of my business and I know that it has lead to more work, better relationships, and meaningful experience in this industry.

Q: You mentioned you LOVED the community and friends you made here, can you expand on that? 

When I started this business I totally thought I could do it all myself. I thought it was a one man show. Fast forward 2 years and I've definitely been humbled. I need others in the industry for support, to bounce ideas off, and lift me up when it's been a crummy go of it. I love reconnecting with friends I've cultivated relationships with over social media in person and PN and I LOVE meeting and encouraging new friends. It's this encouragement that keeps me going, creating, and enjoying what I do!! And that definitely began at PhotoNative both from the people I met at the conference and through the classes lectures provided there. It's the core of the conference. 

Q: What is your #1 takeaway from Photo Native?

Oh gosh, really!? One!? Um you know it's the chance to get together with really awesome likeminded people. Meet face to face and talk about what we're all thinking about 90% of the time!! And to have my boundaries pushed and think in new ways. It's a chance to be re-insnpired after a year of work and looking forward to a new year of work. It's the people - always always the people, connections, and friendships I've found there!!

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