“she will light up the world”
about a year and a half ago, i tuned into creative live and watched brooke shaden. i had fallen in love with her work and never thought i could even attempt anything like it. her class literally changed my life. she was sooo genuine, inspiring and open i learned not just techniques to do conceptual art but she lit a fire of creativity inside me that became front and center and took over my thoughts. so i began doing fine art photography which i quickly realized is what i AM. i followed her online a little obsessively, but seriously everything she puts out there is sooo inspiring and motivational. (even if you are not a photographer you MUST listen to her. check out her amazing blog promoting passion!) it became a dream of mine to one day meet her. i WOULD meet her, i would learn from her in person.
then she posted about after dark education convention/workshop she mentors at and asked those reading to answer what it would mean to them to go and she would pick a response and give them a pass to go. well, long story short she choose me and well let’s say i was like two steps from a heart attack i was soooooo excited! not only to go somewhere surrounded by photographers and given an opportunity i otherwise wouldn’t have been able to i would be MEETING brooke and learning from her!! well after dark was incredible! and that is a whole other blog post coming up to try and describe how phenomenal it was. anyway, in my response about what it would mean to go, i mentioned that watching her online has changed me and set a new direction in my life for the better from her inspiration and i can only imagine what that would be like to learn from her in person. i said she was this person who lit everyone’s creative ‘light bulbs.’ seriously i believe she could light the world in creativity and passion when she speaks. so this idea got stuck in my head and i was hoping i would be able to shoot it. my photography is an expression and illustration of things in my head. these are my thoughts, i am horrible at words but i can use my photography to show what i mean or think.
so when i show up to after dark i was of course running around and saying hi to every photographer i saw. it was amazing. then i see brooke coming towards me. i cried and yes the first thing i said was “omg you are really real.” it was sooo surreal for me to be seeing her in person. i think i am still in a bit of shock, that yes, i KNOW brooke on a personal level. it is crazy. and let me tell you she is soo genuine and sweet and caring and so lovable in real life. she is humble and sincere. i think my fangirl freakouts were embarrassing her (and possibly creeped her out i am weird) but i could not help it. i had to stop using her full name, which was hard for me lol. seriously she is THE BROOKE SHADEN lol. but she is such an amazing person. and i can assure you everyone around her was just filled with inspiration and creativity. her classes were amazing. just hanging out with her was amazing (sorry i need a thesaurus). i can’t describe it. in her storytelling class, which omg i hate english and writing, everyone including me, lit up with these phenomenal stories that we could easily photograph from. and surprising to me, i found i could find pictures in others’ stories which for me is rare, usually the idea has to come from me but not in this class my mind was on fire! it was incredible.
so i asked brooke if i could shoot the concept i had in mind of her lighting these light bulbs as she walked through. because that is what she does. ask anyone who took a class or follows her. this woman could light the world. IS lighting the world up. i love it. and i feel so honored and grateful that she let me take her portrait for this idea. because this idea would NOT leave my mind. i could not think of shooting anything BUT this. and here it is. and i love how magical it seems because brooke is magical. she is such an awe-inspiring mentor. i wanted to express how wonderful she is that she can turn on everyone’s creativity. and this in part is a thank you to her for having such a powerful impact on my life. so thank you brooke for ALL you do. and everything you do for me.
**note: this was originally posted on April 7, 2014