South Africa is rife with talented photographers. Men and woman that create amazing pieces of art. Images that can leave you breathless.
A couple of years ago as I began to wrap my mind around the idea of putting myself out there and pursuing my dream of becoming a photographer, I made a list and wrote down the names of a few photographers who’s work I admired – I made a pledge to myself that if I ever found myself in the same room with the names on the list, I would put my insecurities and fears aside and go up, introduce myself and tell them how much I admired their work.
In March 2012 I was at a photography talk and as it was about to begin, I noticed Lizelle Lotter in the audience – Her name was on my list. I panicked a little.
During the break I calmed myself, took a deep breath and went over to say hello.
Since I’m always trying to improve my skills and believe the best way to do that is to learn from people you respect and admire, I asked her when she’d be announcing her workshop dates. She looked at me as though I were mad, smiled and said, “I don’t do workshops.” Ummm… No, I said, you have to do a workshop. I need you to do a workshop. She explained that since English wasn’t her first language, she was worried she wouldn’t be able to communicate effectively in front of a group of people. I did my best to convince her otherwise but she wasn’t hearing of it. I told her I’d soon be in touch again to discuss our workshop details – I can be a little crazy like that ;]
True to form, I sent her a mail the following week and told her it had been great meeting her and that I looked forward to her workshop announcement. She replied and I could kind of sense she thought I might be a special needs candidate.
I’ve bumped into Lizelle a couple of times since then and have always asked, “When are we having our workshop?” She’s always just laughed and said, um, no.
Last year we corresponded a little and she replied to one of my e-mails with, “I’m still waiting to hear what this workshop is going to be about.” That my friends, is called opportunity knocking.
Now, years in the making, I can say that yesterday, Lizelle put some time aside for a private Masterclass for myself and Karin Coe. We met up in Stellenbosch and spent the day chatting about business, processes, client meetings, timelines, ideas & experiences.
It was awesome & so worth the wait. Lizelle is a an absolute rock star – Kind, considerate & caring. An absolute professional. It was such a humbling experience – Every now and then I would look across the table and think, that’s Lizelle Lotter explaining. To me! Mad.
We ended the day with a walk around a local farm talking about light and shooting conditions – we experimented and played around with a few shots. It is such a privilege to be around such a creative mind and soul.
Today, I want to say, “Believe in the beauty & power of your dreams.” It’s the start of 2015. Write down 2 or 3 things you’d like to achieve. Write them down. Work towards them. It may take a week, a month, a year. The time will pass anyway, you may as well be working towards something. I’m feeling inspired and ready for 2015.
DANKIE LIZELLE 🙂