One week ago, I spent 48 hours at Flying Caballos Ranch for a photography retreat hosted by Linden Clover in San Luis Obispo. It was 48 hours of meeting new gal pals, lots of tears and lots of belly laughter; of dancing in a barn and learning photography tricks and tips. Most of all, I think it was about the friendships gained—16 women who came together to share in the same experience and brought different perspectives to that ranch. They brought their photography wisdom and shared it without hesitation. There was no competition for best photos but rather joyful squeals as girls shared their images. It was about encouraging each lovely lady to shine through their images; to capture their best ones and share them and celebrate them; to cheer and clap when a wonderful image came on the screen and to share thoughts about what might have gone wrong with the aperture or shutter speed.
While the excitement and desire for beautiful images captured behind a lens was what brought us together, it was so much more than a photography workshop. We heard from a few different gals about their story of “making it” in the photography or graphic design realm; we heard the hearts of those two fearless leaders in the treetop hot tub about how Linden Clover came to be. We listened intently and cried and laughed along with each girl as they shared their answers on the first day to three seemingly simple yet incredibly profound questions: 1.) What do you love about yourself? 2.) What are you struggling with? 3.) Why are you here?
Those three questions were so many things: awe-inspiring, heart breaking, encouraging, motivating…It really hit me when so many of us struggled and felt so awkward at the challenge in answering what we love about ourselves. While some were brought to smiles and others were brought to sobbing tears attempting to share something they loved, person by person, we did it, and we supported one another. We clapped and cried and laughed and cheered.
It’s hard to capture the entirety of that two-day photography retreat, but what I can leave you with is this: I am changed and I am grateful beyond words. Until next year, Sunchasers!