Brooke Schultz | Photo Native Photoshoot

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It’s better to be ridiculous than to be boring, I preached to them. JUST LOOK AT THIS SHIRT I’M WEARING and remember that. And that shirt? It shed all over the floor like a freakin dog (an emerald green fringy dog with questionable fashion sense) which was absolutely ridiculous, so, mission accomplished.
 
I’ve been my share of ridiculous. I’m much more proud of those moments than the times i’ve been pitifully boring, wanting to fade into the background and melt into the floor and have no one notice me. I still find myself wanting to hide, find some normal status quo groove and kick back to rides. stop getting fired up about things. stop ughing back and forth between this need to be vulnerable, open, honest, real, and the desire to shell over. So it's a process, folks. All of us are works in progress.
 
Which brings me to PHOTO NATIVE. i joked about the nervous pee (hashtag pregnant) but standing up and laying my whole process and deep caring out there for you all to see and feel too was sky high flying and like walking on whipped air. it was a positively glorious experience to share and connect and be with so many wonderful like minded creators and my only regret is not having enough time to really talk, really see and hear on a deep level so many of you who were so kind to me.
 
We got to dive deeper in the shoot I led, with 13 of you wondering why in the world you signed up to listen to this dog-shirt-clad totally uncool person tell you about shooting a family. But you know–in the course of our shoot, magic happened. And before you roll your eyes cause I will confess I totes overuse the word magic–let me explain. A hundred different times these real, gorgeous moments would happen in front of us without me doing anything. It was pure family love unfolding all by itself the way it does when a dozen cameras aren’t on it. I kept pointing and whisper-screaming “this!!” and then with a chorus of head nods, we all sank in to that knowing: there’s something about family that transcends everything else, and all we gotta do is show up and pay attention to it. 

Of course, you can't get to that pure creation state without having your tools tack-sharp, so we talked about film, about how to help a family feel comfortable, the road map of a shoot from where to start to what to do when you get stuck to the perfect ending that works every single time. each photographer also got a chance to direct the family and receive feedback from me, because we can all be inspired but actually hitting the pavement and applying the concepts is where it gets tricky, so dissecting the moments that rocked and the moments that fell flat (for errrbody, me included!) were some of the most educational and eye-opening highlights for all of us.