Last week I visited Barcelona. It was my first time in Spain, and my motive to go to this warm and interesting country wasn't great cuisine, nice people or beautiful sights. As a matter of fact, I only got to see Barcelona on the fourth day of my five- day stay there. The reason to travel 334 km was a never ending need of education.
The organization Eyes in Progress has prepared a very intense and truly outstanding three-day workshop with photographers from the photo-agency VII called All at Once Visual Storytelling. There were about 40 participants from 20 different countries and almost all photographers from the agency, so it is like unlimited access to the top photojournalists of the world - listening to them, sitting next to them, discussing your own projects with them, and getting blown away by their outstanding work, very kind energy and inspiring stories. It was more than just a workshop, it was connecting with people with the same passion and vision, and broadening our views.
I would love to share everything with you, but there is only so much I can explain with words. So here are main topics and guidelines to think about:
We are all going to die and it is up to us how we will use the time that is left.
Make no harm and give back.
Be empathetic. Be honest. Be a human first, then a photographer.
Make your work meaningful.
Trust your gut and be interested in what you are shooting.
Decide what you are going to do and stop questioning yourself.
Focus! Focus! Focus!
Everyone can understand those "rules" differently; it is all about your personal experiences. But if you have time to stop and think, it can make a difference for you personally and for your work. It did for me.
I am very excited to see what it will do with my work, because my work is always about telling people’s stories and capturing their memories for themselves and the next generations. It’s about falling in love with the people I meet and trying to understand them without judgments. I can do this by telling stories with as much love, compassion and humbleness as I can.
Now, I don't know if I loved walking around Barcelona because of what I experienced at the workshop, or because it is such a great and colorful city at any time and for every person.
Here is a list of a couple of Instagram accounts of photographers from photo-agency VII I would love to recommend you:
There are so many more you can start following to see great photography. And last but not least, at this workshop I learned that seeing absolutely wonderful photos, photos that are true works of art with a great meaning and strong stories, makes you feel good, makes you want to accomplish more, and motivates you to grow. It gives you so much.
P.S. Please enjoy some photos from Barcelona and VII's workshop and I wish you could join me next time.