#yeahfieldtrip 3.0

Three weeks ago, I was in the middle of one of my most favorite experiences each year. Tucked away in El Capitan Canyon, just north of Santa Barbara, over 400 photographers gather to connect and to learn from each other and to play. We call it Photo Field Trip.

I’m having a harder time this year finding words for my week at field trip. I think I was more present. I was busy and I was over-stimulated with new information and socializing and the fresh air and the lack of sleep, but my mind seemed to stay quieter, in a good way. I focused on connecting with old friends and new friends and being comforted by the fact that these people are kindred creative spirits. I took some practical classes and some live-shoot classes. I scribbled notes and documented what I could while remaining conscious of the experience of it all. I navigated among the familiar settings and new faces with a little bit more ease. I laughed a lot. I took some deep breaths. I looked at the stars, guided by an astronomer. I talked to people about my hopes for my creative business and was greeted with encouragement. I asked questions. I listened and watched more than anything. There are so many options of how to fill your time at field trip, but even if you love what you chose to do, there’s always a trace of FOMO. But I very much enjoyed my time and the friends I’ve made through this wonderful community. The words and feelings I’ve collected from all three years at field trip have stayed with me and have deeply become a part of my business and philosophy. I’m so very grateful.

Here are some of my favorite photos from the week!
(click to view my posts from year 1 and year 2

I always wish I had more time. I wish that I was better at socializing. But I did my best to learn and I have good conversations with interesting people and get some images that I love. And that's more than enough.  

xo, Michelle

P.S. I did a little illustrated portrait project while I was there and I’m still working on it, so I will share those when I’m finished :)

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Photo Field Trip!

I FINALLY got some time to blog about this incredible experience I had! From February 28 - March 3, I attended a Photography Field Trip/ workshop/ camp at El Capitan State Beach, California. It was basically 300+ photographers from all over the world "glamping" and learning and socializing. I don't even have enough words to summarize a weekend filled with so much goodness. I summoned a lot of courage to go to this retreat, where I didn't personally know anyone going, only photographers whom I follow & love on instagram. I drove 3 hours in the POURING, terrifying, zero-visibility rain by myself, the furthest I've ever driven alone, and I never drive in rain that hard. But it was so so worth it. For some reason, I only took a handful of photos. I was just in sponge mode- absorbing information and watching people and being present in my settings. I think that was good for me. So here are my favorite photos that I did take!

Some of the grounds at El Capitan Canyon

a route on the grounds

My little cabin :)

Just a little bit of the swag we all got!

the view from my cabin door- yurts/tents! And rain.

The Big Tent / Dining Hall

perfect pair.

El Capitan State Beach

Wandering with James Moes, this is Stevie.

wandering with James Moes, this is Kaley.

I've followed Kaley on instagram for a while, but I didn't even know this was her until I got home!

Rog & Lyndzee during Sean Flanigan's shoot + burn class

again, Rog & Lyndzee during Sean Flanigan's shoot + burn class

Sean Flanigan leading us in a shoot.

me & the brilliantly talented Yan Palmer.

my roommates, Kay & Chelsea.

so many people in this one lol.

Some of the sweet girls I got to hang out with: Simone, Jenna, Kelly, & Racquel.

Group photo before we all went home! Our only sunny day!

After I got home, I was inspired to create a little commemorative art piece of all the imagery that stood out the most: tents/cabins, notebooks, cameras (duh), backpacks/swag, and muddy muddy boots! A bunch of the attendees ended up buying prints of it, and it was so so encouraging to know my illustration was well-received by fellow artists.

sketch of my illustrated memories

my illustrated memories

It was such an unforgettable experience. No one complained about the rain and the unbelievable amounts of mud because we we all just so happy to be there. I met a ton of new, creative people, which I needed so badly. I got so much support and encouragement and positivity. I feel so hopeful. I learned SO much from these professional photographers who are incredible at what they do. I loved being in such a beautiful environment. It felt like camp. Like Parent Trap & Dirty Dancing style. Only with people who love photography & adventuring as much as I do, and no 11-year-old Lindsay Lohan clones or beautiful Patrick Swayze (RIP). It was all just so fun. So unique. Just as I was feeling very comfortable and making friends, it was over. I can't wait to see what happens next year. Thank you, Field Trip, I love you.

To see more photos from EVERYONE who went, browse Instagram: #yeahfieldtrip.

xo, Michelle

P.S. any Field Trippers who still want this art print can order one from me here in my Etsy shop!