Wednesday was by far the best day of the conference. Photojournalist Carol Guzy came to speak to us. If you haven't seen her work, I highly suggest you stop reading and go google her. You'll thank me later.
Anyway, rather than saying "Here look at my photos, have fun," Carol told us the stories behind the photos. It made the video that much more moving. After she finished talking, she showed us a video of her work, and by the end of it, everyone in the room was in tears. It was so beautiful. The most amazing part for me wasn't her stories or her video (though I loved them so so much), it was what happened as soon as the credits rolled. Everyone in that room stood up and gave her a standing ovation. This is the moment when I completely lost it. In my area, no one cares about photography. No one looks at a photograph and is moved by it or feels any emotion from it. Seeing every single person stand up and acknowledge that a still photograph is a powerful thing overwhelmed me with emotion and that one presentation inspired me to keep doing what I love.
Since the seventh grade I've known that I wanted to be a photojournalist. Carol Guzy's speech just locked that dream in for me. I've never been more passionate about what I love than right now. Carol inspired me. She's my role model.
I think my senior advisor is going to give me her email address so that I can contact her. I just want her to know how her presentation affected me
Because of this newfound drive to fulfill my dream, I made a Twitter for my photography. It's @AStewPhoto and if you have a Twitter, I would really love it if you followed me.
And now I will leave you with this fantastic sign off video that we watched today that made me cry. It's just a bunch of photos and videos of the conference so it may not interest you.
I'm going to go reminisce now.