To say that the next two weeks will be busy and full of change would be the understatement of my life so far. I have been back in the United States for roughly six weeks and my time here is rapidly approaching an end. For the past month I have been on the East Coast building my new website and blog and preparing for a new life.
Today is Sunday. On Friday the Eddie Adams Workshop begins. It is said to be one of the most prestigious workshops in the country, if not the world. 100 "students" (a combination of university students and pro's, some young and some not so young) gather in Jeffersonville, New York for four of the most intensive days imaginable. To teach and assist at the workshop are 100+ professionals including Pulitzer winners, editors from major national and international publications and agencies and simply some of the best shooters out there. I applied for the workshop earlier this year, before I initially left for Asia and was not expecting to get in at all. They must have made some sort of mistake when they sent out acceptance emails because one popped into my inbox while I was in Kashgar, China!
The four days of the workshop will be filled with portfolio reviews, having the opportunity to talk to the best people in the industry and, of course, taking some photos too. It is not uncommon to get three hours or less of sleep each night. To be honest, I'm nervous as hell! I've seen the work of the other participants who were also accepted into the workshop and it is nothing short of amazing and beautiful in every regard.
Monday night marks the end of the workshop and Tuesday morning marks the beginning of my life as an ex-pat. For those who are new here, a couple of months ago I decided to finally give photojournalism school in the States a swift kick out the door because it was not adapting to the rapidly changing industry or challenging in any way. The work being produced by fellow students had no individuality or personal style and was geared towards a clientele that I have no interest in. Courses being taught were preparing students for an industry that is on its last legs and is whose workforce is now supersaturated with photographers with 20+ years of experience and no job.
University was far from being the only factor in the decision. Another big factor was that I felt at home in Asia. To me, home is not a specific house or a town or even a city, but rather a state of mind. That state of mind has always made me feel uncomfortable and awkward in the United States, and to remove those negative aspects was one of the most incredible experiences I've been privileged to have. Perhaps the most important thing that aided my choice to become an ex-pat is my photography. From an imagery point of view, I discovered myself while in Asia. Photographing the people and cultures of the few parts I traveled to opened my eye through the viewfinder to an entirely different level from where it was during university.
I will be unable to post anything new on this blog until I am in Hong Kong, but will try my hardest to make sure it doesn't take too terribly wrong.
To wrap up this post is a picture I took from Denver International Airport earlier this year... I find it very appropriate for this post. Thank you for reading thus far.