As the first few months of the year 2013 began, I started studying photography. Through an online search for free photography courses, I found the website that would become my university of photography (www.creativelive.com)
"creativeLIVE unleashes the creative potential of millions by connecting them live with the world's most inspiring experts."
"Every artist is an entrepreneur. Every entrepreneur is an artist.
creativeLIVE empowers you to unleash your potential by bringing the world’s greatest experts directly to you, live. Featuring workshops in photography, video, design, business, audio, music, and software training, creativeLIVE unlocks previously closed doors by making dynamic education accessible to everyone.
Anyone can watch our live online workshops — for free — and interact with instructors in real time."
This, my university of photography, became my precious treasure and my biggest secret! I wanted to tell NO ONE about this hidden pot of gold. I knew that there I would learn everything I needed to know about my new life adventure.
A few days after I found cL, I began watching a workshop about Boudoir Photography. I couldn't believe how much fun this course was! I instantly started taking notes and soaking everything in. I was glued to my computer screen and simply could not go. My family even began to get annoyed because the courses last an entire day (just like a work day) and some of them last up to 3 days, a week, and even a whole month!
While the weeks passed, I struggled to define myself and my work. Of course, a year hadn't even passed since I began learning about photography. Yet, I watched courses and even though I loved every genre... I just couldn't find the right fit for me. I had considered myself an "artist" since I was very young but I had never been passionate about my art.
Summer began and I saw that one of the courses coming up was about Fine Art Photography. I saw the commercial on cL of a very interesting young woman named Brooke Shaden who did this type of photography. Incredible images started flashing by on my screen. These images looked like paintings I had done in the past and that I wanted to do in the future but never wanted to take the time to do it. I wanted instant gratification and this seemed as instant as it would get. She talked about not needing any money, nor a big budget to produce these images... she even talked about making dresses out of things found in nature! All I wanted to do was jump up and down. I felt a surge of excitement, happiness, and overjoy spread through my body. This was it! I had to watch this course. I just knew that Brooke would change my life!
...And so it happened! I watched day 1, day 2, day 3! I sat at home, on my couch for almost 8 hours a day... for three days! My family was going insane and couldn't understand me at all. I didn't even want to eat but ... I was right. This was exactly what I was looking for. Brooke Shaden talked about her life, how she started her photography, how she becomes inspired and plans her shoots, how she does her post-production, and even how she sells her work through galleries and commissions.
In three days, this woman had given hundreds of photographers everything they needed to know to begin their path through what most of the population believes is an unrealistic, unconventional dream and profession. She gave me wings and I became an instant fan and follower.
Brooke not only gave me wings but she, also, inspired me! This inspiration was so strong that I became empowered. Through the few months I had been watching the courses, I had made a couple friends through the cL chats that occur during the live courses. Through those chats, several links had been shared of groups that had been created on FB for those courses. So... for a few days I searched and searched and asked everyone I knew where Brooke's FB group was! No one knew of one and opportunity knocked on my door! This was my chance to not only show how inspired I was by her...but also to meet her! I knew that there had to be, at least, a sliver of a chance that I could correspond with Brooke and I took it!
I created the group.
I did so and even with all the excitement I felt, I thought that not very many people would join my group. Why would they? "I'm a nobody photographer" I thought. It was my dream to become a greatly inspired photographer and share that energy with others in the profession. It was an entangled dream that simply became a reality.
Not even a month had passed that I created the group and it already had several hundred photographers! After a few weeks, I found another group that was created with Brooke's work as inspiration. I joined but I had faith that mine would grow bigger and better. I posted the link to my group in every other group I had joined before. I invited every photographer I had met and soon my group just kept growing and growing. I "lost" the other Brooke group... as I saw that no one interacted...no one cared like they did for my group.
Well... guess what?! Not even six months have passed since the creation of the group and there are well over 900 photographers! I am 100% sure that by the end of the year we will be up to 1000. -- And you know what else? Yes! I have corresponded with Brooke. She is a most amazing and kind woman. She is exactly how she depicted herself in the course. She has even participated in our group several times!!!!
This group has now become my baby. This group is living and breathing; it's beating with a heart from the energy created by each and every member! The group has become an incredible platform and team. We are to the point where we had to create an Executive Board! We did so because it has developed a mind of its own. There is such an incredible energy and force that a collective consciousness was born.
It's unbelievable that there are so many ideas flowing in the stream of consciousness that was created; ideas that are collective. These ideas are the same as those of the Executive Board. Those ideas, though, I will leave for a later post! This post is about the Birth of the Butterfly Effect. It's about cL, the platform that changed my life... about Brooke, the woman who gave me and my art wings... and my Fine Art Photography group, the platform that will change the future of Fine Art Portrait Photographers!
To end this post, I would like to share the work of Brooke Shaden!
This is the link to her website - Please, check out all of her work: http://brookeshaden.com/gallery/