about a year ago i received an email from Jasser asking if i would like to speak at the 2013 Canada Photo Convention. having just heard about this new convention he had started, i thought this would be the perfect opportunity for me to get my “feet wet” teaching. so i said yes. i would love to be a part of it. small. intimate. 70-80 people sharing ideas. talking. inspiring each other. sounds great.

fast forward to April 2013 and the convention had grown incredibly over that year. people from all over the world were coming to Vancouver. Canadians, Americans, Mexicans, Australians and a few Russians. some of the biggest names in the wedding photography industry were presenting and the list grew from what i expected to be 70-80 people to almost 300.

panic set in.

having ZERO teaching or public speaking experience, how was i going to get up in front of almost 300 people? if you know me i tend to shy away from the spot light. i observe people. i am not usually the observed. so the thought of 600 eyes on me for an hour bordered on nauseating.

my moment came. my turn. deep breath in. deep breath out. i took the stage and started my presentation. i let my nervousness show and told people how nervous i was. i didn’t try to hide it. i embraced it and before i knew it my time was up. my presentation was finished and this incredible feeling filled me. i was done. i did it. i conquered my fear and best of all i didn’t throw up.

a few days later i’m sitting on a plane looking out the window. sitting there thinking about what had just happened. how much those few days changed me. inspired me. moved me. not only on an artistic level, but the convention really inspired me on a human level. a personal level. the people i met. new friends made. old friends reconnected with. the people who approached me the hours afterwards and the day following. the notes and messages i received brought tears to my eyes. to hear so many speak about their mistakes personally and business wise. speak about their insecurities and not hide anything was truly refreshing. i really hope that as this convention grows (and i have no doubt it will) it doesn’t lose that honesty and open vulnerability that was shown this year. it was amazing to be a part of this and i highly recommend you attend it next year.

i wanted to share my slideshow i played during my talk and thank you again to all of you.