I read the book Film Is Not Dead by Jonathan Canlas from cover to cover in one evening. That night I dreamed in fstops. I became obsessed with film (again) and devoured everything in sight. When I found out there was going to be a FIND workhop in Washington, DC I jumped on the opportunity. I knew I HAD to go. I'm so glad I did.
People will say it's amazing. They're ALL telling the truth. I don't know if it was our particular group of people, the weather, the location we were in, but it just all worked. I felt like I was at summer camp, but with a bunch of adults, most of us married and with children! We missed our families, but reveled in the fact that we were all there for the same reason, to devote an entire three days to film. It's so much more than three days. It starts when you sign up, and it never ends. I have a support system, a community, a family of film loving photographers who have my back. I made great friendships that week that will last a lifetime.
When I first met Jon at the workshop, I thought to myself, "H'mmm, I thought he would be taller!" HA! Not that he is short by any means. It's just that he has such a huge personality, and he is such an open and giving teacher that he seems GIANT - like a very gentle, friendly giant. He really is an open book. Jon asked me what I wanted to get out of the workshop and I replied, "confidence." I wanted to regain the confidence that I used to have with film. I wanted to get back the focus and the drive to use film over digital. Don't get me wrong, I love my digital camera and will continue to use it, but for certain applications, film allows me to connect with my clients in a different way. It slows me down and makes me focus, which puts me much more in tune with what is going on with the shoot. The great thing about film is that it makes me a better photographer now when I do pick up my digital camera.
I never thought that three days could change me so much. Check out others' reviews. They will say the same thing. Jon has that affect on people. It was a very emotional week. Tears were shed, laughter ensued and stories were told. It was a life-changing week and I couldn't be more happy to have had the experience. I'm only sad that I can't go again next week and the week after and the week after that...
Family is one of the things that Jons stresses most in his life and work. On the last day of the DC workshop, I don't think there was a dry eye in the room. Jon had shown us some personal work that was very close to his heart. It's one of the things he stresses. Personal work will get you further and push you to become a better photographer. He told us to find out what HOME is us. Family is my home. Without them, I couldn't do this, and I am forever grateful for their patience and support.
FIND will not be around forever. Jon will continue to be a mentor, and the forums will stay strong, but the workshops will come to an end. So I urge you, if you are interested in film and in becoming a part of something just short of magical, FIND is worth every penny. Go, sign up! And don't forget to tell Jon that I sent you. I promise you won't regret it.
Film developed and scanned by the FIND lab