Shutter Sisters Oasis

I have to admit, fear of the unknown almost got the best of me, and I thought about getting out of it after signing up, but I bit the bullet and went for it and I'm so grateful!   My time at Shutter Sisters Oasis was life-altering, beauty, love, friendship, creativity and FUN!
My first textured iphone image!

I didn't know a single soul when I arrived at ACE in Palm Springs but I was immediately embraced by many!   There were at least 100 women there from all over the U.S., and a couple from Canada, England and the Netherlands...all of them brilliant photographers!  The woman I first sat next to for our arrival cocktail hour is the woman I ended up spending much of my time with.  Thank you, Bonnie Blue Eyes!

The Shutter Sisters were designated their own pool and the area known as 'the compound', where we ate meals, played, swam, relaxed on cushy couches, printed our images, and learned new lessons from some of the Shutter Sisters contributors.

There were six of us who became an unspoken pack, but each person I had the chance to meet or share a story with is ingrained in my heart forever.  Even the women I didn't get a chance to know, you are with me.

Women are an incredible force on this planet..abundant in love, support and creativity so together we soar.  This was so evident in our time together.  I learned so much while there and although the event took place in my home state, I had a few firsts!  It was my first time up the tram at that high elevation to hike amongst the beautiful pines.  It was also my first trip to the Windmills where I nearly blew away in the morning and also my first trip to Joshua Tree.  The weather was beautiful, the moon was nearly full and the company was incredible.

It's me!.............Photography:  Lin Eagle
Honestly I had no idea what to expect from this gathering but I can tell you I came back with more than I would have known how to imagine.   Every detail was covered.   In addition to all of us women (and two working men), there was food, swimming, lessons, cocktails, sunshine, gifts, prizes, movies, food, rest, dancing, laughter, polaroids, lensbabies,  instagram, stories, happy tears, love, hugs, color, friendship, inspiration, joy, tutus, chucks, hiking, imagination, beauty, and so-so-so much more!   It was a happy time.   I never saw anything less than that.

This event changed me.  This realization is still unfolding each day, and in fact, I've revised this post many times because of that.   I've realized that I need to laugh at myself and with myself a lot more!  I've realized that I need to collaborate more, and I learned that I need to look at myself more...that maybe I have been hiding behind the camera and unable to smile if I ever put it on myself.

Me again......................Photo by Lin Eagle

I'm so grateful to Tracey Clark, Myriam, Kim Klassen, Xanthe, Meredith, Kristin, and all of you who guided us on this incredible journey.  What a place, what a space, and all put together with so much grace!   It was easy.  We were well cared for and sufficiently loved.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!  Big love to all the Shutter Sisters!!  I look forward to next year.  I will not miss it!

I'm inspired to shoot some video (thank you Xanthe), and I'm super excited to start using my phone's camera and to have a presence on instagram (thanks to just about every Shutter Sister).  I know it will keep unfolding as it is meant to with the clear intentions I set for myself on my photographic journey and in my life.

I'm feeling blessed. xoxoxo

Black and White

A while ago a very good friend of mine gave me a Minolta X-700 film camera.  It was his father's who had passed away so it meant a lot to me to finally take it out.  It was quite a different experience than with digital, but it taught me more about getting it right in camera and not relying on post!

My friend Charlie gave me a few tips and off we went to Balboa Park, with most of the images being snapped in the Botanical building.

This was from my very first roll.  It was so strange not to be able to see what I shot until the film was developed but the wait was worth it.   Gordon Allen was with me in spirit!

The Time of My Life

I had a big Birthday this year and chose to give myself a gift I would remember forever.  I went to a very intimate gathering of women in a Photography workshop with Joyce Tenneson, one of my very favorite photographers, and in fact, the first photographer who showed me how visible the soul could be in a photo.
Joyce Tenneson Photography

I spent six days with six women and Joyce; meditating, sharing fears, and peeling the onion, so to speak, in order to get to those great creative juices we all have inside of us.  Even though it was a month ago now, the lessons I learned are still unraveling to this day and I know they will continue for a long time to come.  Joyce was extremely generous in sharing what she has learned through the years so that perhaps our lessons wouldn't be as severe.  

We met many of her artist friends who all shared their secrets as generously.  Though we may not have thought so at first, we were vulnerable, creative, artists... making beautiful images to share with one of our icons, Joyce Tenneson, in this beautiful town in Maine.

Perhaps the greatest creation of the entire week was our community.   We all shared a house...four women from Norway, and two of us from the U.S., and never once was there a moment of tension.  We were there to support and be supported and we were just that.  We shared our breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, our vulnerabilities, our tears, our art, our gear, our ears and our hearts and we created a circle of strong, supportive, creative women who I have no doubt will continue to grow together and uplift each other through the years.  We were and are blessed.