For the last few days I’ve been in Stockholm, Sweden attending the inaugural Way Up North photography conference. Run by Cole and Jakob of Nordica photography, the event was definitely geared toward the wedding photography community, featuring some of the best wedding photographers and bloggers from around the world. Despite not being in the wedding industry myself, I’ve had the privilege of mentoring alongside some of the speakers in the past and figured that there would be plenty of transferable content, plus not knowing the speakers would give me an opportunity to listen to what they had to say with an open and unbiased mind!
Taking place at Skandia Teatern, Way Up North had packed 10 diverse and influential speakers into a jam packed two day schedule. Day one ran from 9am registration until 10:30pm at night, whilst day two ran from 9am until 4:30pm, so it was an intense period of learning that left my head buzzing each night with information overloadWhilst there was a lot to take in, there was also plenty of reflection time during the day to think about what had been said and apply it to my own business, resulting in two massive documents of notes and a separate to do list of things I need/want to implement into my lingerie photography business.
Whilst each speaker had a unique voice, there were definitely trending topics that appeared throughout the conference that resonated with me. One such topic was the balance between personal and professional, often sacrificing elements of family and social life in the continued pursuit of creativity. As a self confessed workaholic who has spent a lot of time consistently fine tuning my own work/life balance, it was refreshing to hear that it was a struggle all self employed creatives seem to face.
Another key topic of conversation was being fearless. In a digital world where we all curate our social media to show only the very best of ourselves and our work, it is only when we feel the fear and do it anyway that we find those little pockets of epic. I love a good moment of fear and have pushed myself through several this year already, but I’m excited to take on even more for 2016 and continue to step up my game in pursuit of epic.
It would be hard for me to pick out a favourite speaker. Some made me laugh. Some reduced me to tears. All of them combined have given me the push I’ve been needing to implement change in my business, starting with the decision to send a few emails today for immediate changes as well as putting some new plans and processes in motion for 2016. There was not a single ego in the room for the entire trip. No business cards were exchanged, no portfolios were shoved under my nose. It was an refreshing experience, proving to me once again that the international wedding photographer community are an incredible bunch of people!
Whilst I didn’t take my main camera for luggage restriction reasons, I did get snap happy on my iPhone. Here are some of my favourite images from my week in Stockholm. See you next year at Way Up North Rome!