Jonas Peterson, A Greater Story Workshop

Discovering Jonas' work was kind of a game-changer for me. The seeds were there that I could photograph weddings my way, but it came at a time when I was still on the fence about really going for gold with the wedding photography thing. I had booked a fairly last minute New Years Eve wedding in Nelson and the bride sent me a link to Jonas' work. I thought, if that's how people want their weddings photographed then heck yes, I'm in. So, of course the New Years Eve wedding was amazing. I was full to bursting with inspiration. And when I think about it, that's when I really knuckled down. I wanted to be a wedding photographer.

So when you see that your rock star photographer idol is having a one day workshop in Auckland, and you're free, you book it without a doubt in your mind that it will be worth every single cent.

Attending Jonas' workshop at  Si and Sophie's house had the potential for me to fan girl hard out. But I kept it together. This translates as I hardly said a word, until lunch when I had a couple of glasses of red wine and started chiming in.

It's quite hard to put my finger on what we learnt as such, but I'll throw some buzzwords at you; vulnerability, authenticity, honesty, emotional connections. In hindsight hearing Jonas talk about making photos with emotional impact was going to be emotional, but his stories had me holding back the tears all day. People know, I've told them, I almost cried like five times that day. The man freely admitted that he cried during X Factor audition videos. ME TOO. I'll go on like hour long binges of those on YouTube. No shame. There were more than a few moments when I said in my head "Me too!" or "Ooh that's what I do!" Positive affirmations are a pretty big motivator for me. ;)

My biggest take away was that I should write. Oohhh, I'll give it crack. I know I should write more about the weddings I photograph. The stories are ripe, right there spilling out of the photos, or at least that's the goal! But I should be writing about myself too! Eck. I'm potentially a tough nut to crack, and I've been told more than once that I should work on my 'tone' in emails and texts. "Imagine me saying it to you in real life" only really works with people who already know me and my sarcasm.

I have no idea how to wrap this up, except to say it kinda blows my mind every time I book a wedding. It's not something I take for granted, and my goal is for you to be able to look back on those photos and remember exactly what it was like to be there. I'm working on being the best I can be at that.