I spent last week in Vancouver for the Canada Photo Convention. It’s a convention for photographers, where we can learn from talented speakers but most of all, it’s a place where we can meet other photographers and basically make new friends.
Here is the testimony I left on th Facebook group of the convention. I thought I would share it here because for me it is really at the core of this great community.
I am on my way back home and I wanted to share something with you. I attended CPC twice before this time, the first time was a few years ago, I think it was CPC #2, and last year I was at CPC Toronto. The first time I was with a friend and I was a shy French girl who just moved to Canada and even if I talked to some people, I did not really kept in touch with them.
Last year, in Toronto, I was with a group of friends and I knew some people from Facebook and we met new people and that was cool.
But this year, I decided to do it differently. I only knew a few people and my roommate (hi Frances!). So I decided that I would basically introduce myself to every person I would meet. I had lunch with people I don’t know, had dinner with strangers and even danced at karaoke with people I barely met two days ago. This is the really first time that I am leaving the convention with the feeling of leaving new friends that I know I will meet again soon and not just random people that I have met at a conference.
If it was your first time at CPC and you felt intimidated and shy, and you are leaving a bit sad, don’t worry, it’s ok. It takes time to just get out of your comfort zone. The good news is that you have a second chance. Next year, or the year after, when you are back, don’t forget that and go talk to every person you have the chance to meet. You never know if they might be your next best photography friend. Go talk to people who intimidates you even if it means you are almost shiting your pants. You will laugh about it later.
So thank you to my old friends that I was happy to see again and thank you to new friends who made me laugh so much this year and reminded me that we always have a chance to be better. This year, I am happy to leave with a bunch of new friends in my life, who are not just a list of names in my Facebook. This year, I want to say thank you Canada Photo “Connection”.
So, here are a few pictures taken with my phone. I intentionally did not bring my camera because I wanted to be present with all my eyes, heart and attention and not hidden behind a camera. If you are a photographer and you are looking for a great convention to attend, check it out.