Brooke Shaden is an undeniable force of photographic nature. Not only is she well regarded as a pioneer of modern fine art photography with her dream-like compositions and self portraits, she is often as focused with helping us develop our own work as she is with her own. This week, Brooke throws open the doors to her “Promoting Passion Convention”, which aims to more than your ‘typical’ photo workshop. If you’ve been looking to spread your creative wings and be inspired to create by learning from some of the best in the industry, this could be exactly what you’ve been waiting for.
When I met Brooke a few years ago, I was struck not only by her commitment and vision to her work, but how much passion she had to imbue that sense of experimentation, wonder and creativity in others. Brooke has a huge heart, constantly supporting charitable initiatives but also putting her blood sweat and tears into the photographic development of those who want to learn to harness their own creativity and passion.
This weekend, Brooke is looking to raise the bar again, delivering what she feels is somewhat lacking from other, more run-of-the-mill photographic education workshops. Her Promoting Passion workshop runs in Broone North Caroline from October 2nd – October 4th and aims to bring a new dimension not only to our work, but to who we are and what makes us tick as photographers and artists, and importantly, what is it about the creative process that we can learn, harness and use to drive ourselves (and, by virtue, our work) forward.
Brooke kindly gave up some time to talk about her aims and aspirations for the workshop.
Her main goal is very clear, and largely centered around creating an environment where both photography and – importantly – the creative process, are discussed and taught.
I wanted to create a safe space where inspiration not only flowed freely, but attendees could openly admit what they needed most and nurture that. While photography is still being taught in various forms at the event, the emphasis is on finding why we create, how to create in the most fulfilling ways, and how to build the life you want to live.
Brooke explained just why she felt a workshop of this nature was so important to offer now:
Every time I speak at an event, I'm the "weird" one who flings baby powder around while talking about inspiration. But what I’ve found is there are a lot of people who identify with that kind of "weirdness" and I wanted to create a community where that could be expressed freely. I've come to find that every single way of creating is equally valuable if it nurtures something within.
Brooke also has a very clear view of what she wants to try to pass on to attendees, and the broad range of skills and experiences she hopes they leave with, as she explained.
I'm thrilled to have a fantastic spectrum of speakers lined up - from a professor at Tulane University who is going to speak on the science of happiness to Lindsay Adler's creative process, how to transform your business with Alex Beadon, to capturing natural portraits with Nirrimi Firebrace…I chose speakers who I look up to as amazing artists in their fields as well as individuals who are truly creating a more innovative and exciting world as they work.
On a personal note, I wish I could make it to the workshop but work will keep me busy this weekend. I'd not hesitate to drive down to North Carolina to attend this. I know those who do get the chance to attend will come away inspired, passionate for new photographic experiences and bubbling with creative energy. If you’re looking for a little shot in the arm for your photography, your business, or your creative live as a whole, there are still some limited places to sign up for the workshop. More info at Brooke’s page which details more on the workshop.