I was recently part of the very first Vagabond Photographic Escape and Create South Coast Gathering and I wanted to share my story about why I became involved with Vagabond and my experience at this first event. The concept for the event was to bring together a great bunch of like-minded creatives for a weekend of photography, adventure, and inspiration. It certainly did not disappoint! There was a fantastic lineup of talented Creative Guides covering ocean photography, landscape photography and travel/lifestyle photography. Warren Keelan and Shannon Glasson were the ocean masters; Amber Cree and her phenomenal family - Keenan, Indigo and Coco - provided amazing insights into using photography as a method of storytelling and shared their amazing story; and Siobhan Marren and I ran the landscape photography events.
Siobhan and I joined the talented Vagabond crew as Creative Guides towards the end of 2018. We will be running the landscape photography workshops and you'll also see us helping out at other Vagabond events. I originally got introduced to Vagabond by another photographer on Instagram after I took part in an interview which was then also featured by Vagabond on their website. I then started contributing some blog content regarding long exposure photography, which you can read here. It was around that time I was searching for something to focus my creativity and provide me with a sense of purpose with my photography. The thing that resonated the most with me in making the decision to join Vagabond was the shared goal of creating a community of creatives with a passion for photography. It seemed like a great fit for me to combine my love of photography with my passion to help others develop their own connection with photography and to do it with my long-time buddy, Siobhan.
One of the things I loved about this event was the fact it was a camping event (with the opportunity for cabins if you so desire!). The reason I love camping is because of the connection it allows you to form with the environment you are in. When I first commenced my obsession with landscape photography it was when I was living in a teepee in Canada in 2007 while taking a year off before heading to university. For me, camping provides the opportunity to disconnect from technology, connect with the environment and do a bit of a digital detox which is always beneficial for creativity.
The location of the event was the picturesque Shoalhaven region. Siobhan and I scouted out some locations that had some fantastic subjects to shoot but were also challenging, even for the experienced photographers, as the compositions were not always immediately obvious. The workshops that Siobhan and I run are designed to be fun, challenging, inspiring and creativity fueling!
The other thing I loved about the event was the people! The weekend attracted an array of ages and skill levels all sharing that passion for photography. So many photography workshops are transactional whereas this event allowed people to engage and continue to learn over a series of days not just hours. It was a weekend focussed on relaxed, experiential and conversation-based learning. I often find it is the people who make events like this and I can't wait to be involved in the next one. Check out some of the fantastic images from just a handful of the guests:
@glennhphotos loves spending his time both in and out of the ocean chasing the light. He captured this nice moody long exposure on our morning workshop.
@luka_jamo is a genuinely nice human being with a fanastic eye. She was a pleasure to teach and didn't fall asleep during my overly detailed talk about filters and filter systems!
@tmaterlier absolutely nailed this spot we took him to with a 5-minute exposure and lovely use of light
While Siobhan and I couldn't get @zierenphoto out of the water (even after tempting her with multiple bacon and egg rolls) she captures some epic ocean shots and this is one of them.