life {as an artform} workshop review

by Amy on June 10, 2011

Portra 400 - pink tulips at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, IL
So here’s the post many of you have been waiting for – the one where I was going to throw down and expose the truth about the life {as an artform} workshop. Several months ago, I decided to attend Jesh’s workshop. I had heard good things from past workshop attendees, and it sounded like something that could really benefit my photography, business and life. And then twitter-gate hit. Photographers know what I’m talking about and non-photographers should probably just skip ahead to the next paragraph. Suddenly, I was terrified. Had I signed up for some crazy new age culty weirdo hippiefest workshop? Did I waste my money? What had I gotten myself into here? Twitter-gate was scary. I even found myself jumping on the bandwagon when some photographers I respected threw down, because, you know, if I liked their work, they must be right about everything else? Yeah. I’m not always the sharpest knife in the drawer. Here’s a sample of a tweet I threw down post twitter-gate. Why do I tell you all this? Because in the aftermath of #onedaywithjeshinstead, I was terrified and full of doubt. I went into life {as an artform} with an awful outlook. I couldn’t find a single helpful, honest sounding review of the workshop online to reassure myself. Just a bunch of flittery, fluttery love and peace “I can’t put it into words” reviews. And that’s when I promised this post to some of you. I will be the voice! I will tell the truth! I will not drink the Kool-Aid!

Well, my friends. I WILL be the voice. I WILL tell the truth. I did NOT drink the Kool-Aid. But here’s the last second shot – the kicker I wasn’t expecting – the surprise ending: all the reviews were correct. Life as an artform changed my life. It really did. It changed not only the way I will approach my photography and my business, but how I will approach all relationships in life. I feel reconnected with friends, my creativity has been set afire and I feel a peace and excitement that I thought was lost. And I was someone who was walking in close minded and doubtful. I am not kidding you. This workshop changed my life.

If you are considering the workshop, first, this is one thing that HAS been said in reviews all over the place, but you need to know this and believe it: this is NOT a photography workshop. I took very few “workshop” photographs, and I could have been fine only bringing my iPhone camera. You will not learn camera technique. There are 8,791 other workshops for that. The photographs in this post are from a trip to the botanic garden in mid-May. There may be a blog post with workshop pics in the next month or so, but more than likely, there won’t be one. (film geekery for this post: Canon Elan 7e, 50mm 1.4, Portra 400) Next, find people who have attended and talk to them. My email is open to anyone wanting more specifics or to hear about my experience in greater detail. I read it time and time again and didn’t believe it, but this is not a workshop that lends itself to a summary post on a blog. But if you have questions, concerns, doubts, ponderings – ask away! And enter with an open mind. You really do need to put all your preconceived notions about what is a “photography workshop” aside and enter willing to experience and try. I came out on the other side with an amazing group of friends and an experience I will never forget.

Thank you again, Jesh for unleashing my inner honey badger.

What’s for dinner?

Portra 400 - cherry blossoms on the Japanese island at the Chicago Botanic Garden

Kodak Portra 400 - Red winged black bird at the Chicago Botanic Garden

(I know, you were all hoping for a photograph of a honey badger and these photographs have nothing to do with the workshop. I have a “thing.” I won’t let myself post anything on a photography blog without a photograph, and my workshop film won’t be back for a while, since I haven’t even finished up the rolls yet. I wanted to finish this post before I got too far removed from the workshop. Also, I searched and searched and it does not look like any of the local zoos have badgers, or you would be getting a digital badger photograph right here. Boo! It’s ok. Honey badger doesn’t care.)

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Ron Dawson June 10, 2011 at 7:42 am

Ha. I love it “Twitter-gate.” Thanks for linking. 😉 And I’m glad the “workshop” was rewarding for you.


Kristina June 10, 2011 at 7:47 am

I true Amy fashion, perfect…and hilarious! I’m excited to see more honey badger. 😉


Megan Eckers June 10, 2011 at 8:11 am

Amy, this is so beautifully and honestly written. I had no idea that you felt that way coming in and I’m so happy to see that your preconceived notions got a honey badger-like kick in the pants. It was an honor to share that experience with you. I’m glad that there are 15 more of us out here now that can tell the truth about the workshop and hopefully put an end to any doubt about Jesh. His words are absolutely necessary. I’m glad to have heard them with you, my friend.


Karin O'Brien June 10, 2011 at 8:31 am

I’m intrigued……too bad I can’t access twitter at work, cuz I’m all about twitter-gates!!!


Annie Gerber June 10, 2011 at 9:58 am

beautifully said my friend 🙂


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