At the end of February this year, I spent a weekend in New York. Now you might be wondering why I would leave the beautiful spring weather we were experiencing in Southern Mississippi for winter on the East Coast. But this was when the FujiLove Live event was being held. I was prepared to take the risk of encountering a winter blast to participate in the first, and hopefully annual, event.
Fujilove Live Inspiration
FujiLove Live turned out to be a weekend filled with inspiration. Unlike some of the larger photography conferences, this one was very intimate. There were around 70 participants and four presenters. Tomasz Trzebiatowski, the founder and editor-in-chief of FujiLove magazine, had organized the workshop. His idea was to create an event that would motivate the artistic development of Fujifilm shooters from across the globe.
So, a bit of history before I tell you about the conference. As some of you know, in June of 2016 my husband and I took a trip to France. Instead of lugging all my professional Nikon camera gear, I opted instead to take a small mirrorless camera. After doing some research, I decided to purchase a Fuji X100T. The X100T has a fixed 23mm (35mm full frame equivalent) lens. Not having a zoom or longer reach was a complete change for me. But I adapted quickly and was blown away by that little camera.
Fast forward to today, and I am a Fujifilm convert. I sold all my Nikon gear (well almost all of it, but that is for another post), including my D810 and five pro lenses. I now have an X-T2 and an X100F. I also purchased the equivalent lenses that I had for my Nikon with the sale of the old gear. Needless to say, I love my new Fujifilm kit. I know photography is not supposed to be about the gear, but for some reason, I have much more fun shooting with my Fuji’s compared to my Nikon equipment!
So back to the FujiLove Live conference. On our approach to LaGuardia, the view of the city was fantastic. As we banked around Manhattan, I could almost touch the city! I managed to grab a quick shot from the car of the skyline and First Calvary Cemetery in the foreground.
Without a doubt, Damien Lovegrove, Valerie Jardin, Elia Locardi, and Karen Hutton were each a huge inspiration to me over the course of the weekend. They are all incredible photographers, and their passion was evident in their presentations. I picked up ideas and tips from each one of them, and am excited to put them into practice.
A City That Never Sleeps
Because the daylight hours were taken up at the conference, I did most of my shooting at night. And even though I was by myself, I felt completely safe walking around after dark. The city did not seem to sleep.
On Sunday, Valerie and Karen presented jointly on story telling. Linking photographs through a theme is an excellent way to create a cohesive body of work. I was so inspired by their talk that I decided to create a couple of photo essays of my own. This first one was shot over the lunch break right after listening to their presentation. I thought that this small group of gentlemen playing a pickup game of basketball would make a good story.
When I was walking home after dinner on Sunday night I noticed this wall and lights illuminating it. It reminded me of a stage. I waited for subjects to enter the stage and imagined they were in a play.
The People of New York
The people of New York are what give this city its personality. Over the course of the weekend, I found lots of worthy characters to photograph.
FujiLove Live was a great success, and hats off to Tomasz for organizing such a fantastic event. I left New York feeling inspired on many different levels, and I am raring to go out and shoot. Oh, and that weather. It turned out to be one of the warmest weekends on record for February! The mornings were sunny and crisp, and on Saturday afternoon the temperature made it to 65F. We just had one brief shower early evening on Sunday. However, the following week the temperatures didn’t get above 30F with blizzard conditions! But by then I was back in Mississippi enjoying spring again!