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A Big Return to the Big City

It was the Septmber of 2016, and I found myself on a plane heading to NYC.  

This trip to NYC was for NYCWLK 2, a "workshop" (much more than just a workshop) put on by Johnny and Rebecca Patience.  The workshop had a focus darkroom printing and black and white film. While that was an incredible experience and I desperately want to begin darkroom printing more, I don’t want to use this post to discuss that.  While I am incredibly thankful for all the time and effort Johnny and Rebecca put into these workshops, I took more away from this trip than any workshop can offer.

I went into this trip with a very focused mindset.  I wanted to shoot less and spend more time with the friends that I interact with on a daily basis. Luckily for me, I got just that.  To me, the trip is a crucial point in my journey as a photographer.  It gave me a sense of direction, and not by looking at exposures, development times, or new gear but by being able to speak with photographers and better yet, friends, who are much more experienced and wise on not only photography but the mindset that comes with being a photographer.  

I find it hard to type into words, but when people spoke about inspirations, motivations, and styles when I’m struggling to find my own, I began to question all the larger questions of why photography is of interest to me. I began to contemplate - What are my goals? What is my style? Who am I shooting for?  What do I want to say with my work? Why am I even shooting?    

To me, this trip was the start of finding answers for a lot of these questions, and the conversations that led to those leads were the highlights of the trip.  Those late night conversations that time seems to stop for.  Those moments where I could just sit there and be completely content with everything.  Those moments were what really mattered to me on this trip, not taking pictures, not making prints, but the connections I was able to make with people who I am lucky enough to call friends.

TravelThomas Skrlj