Way Up North Conference Stockholm 2016

"Follow the sign" or "Story of the Red Balloon"

So, from where should I begin...?

 

Last year for me was full of achievements and adventures. One of these was the Way Up North conference in Stockholm. For those that haven't heard, WUN is one of the biggest conferences for specifically wedding photographers. Basically, it's a convention which has skilfully brought together about 400 talents from all over the world who have very different personalities but all share the same passion. Undoubtedly, this seminar has moved, in one way or another, every individual who has taken part.

This summit in Stockholm was the second which I've attended. To read about my experience in WUN's Rome conference click Way Up North Rome 2016. I must admit the insight that I left with from Stockholm was very different to that from Rome.

Of course, I can chatter about this summit for hours on end, but this time I would like to unfold my own personal experience and truths which I have once again discovered. We all are seeking something and aiming to stand on the peak of the mountain, and as we do so, we inevitably come across some challenges.

Everything could be going great, but often jealousy sticks a blasphemous foot out when you see a colleague nearby climbing the very same mountain to whom things here and there are going much better. All of a sudden the ''Artist's Ego'' awakens and you suddenly long to be standing in the place of your colleague.

But are we really all that keen to step into their shoes? We don't know how many times on their journey they've worn away their soles, or how many sacrifices they've had to make to be where they are now. Are we really in the position to makes such sacrifices ourselves? Most of the time what we see on social media is only half the story. Nobody talks about their failures and unsuccesses. We only see the clean side of the coin.

Yet it is so important to not give into that envy which makes even the strongest of us doubt our strength and prevents us from believing in ourselves. Everything is actually very simple. We must understand that everyone travels their own path, from which they obtain their individual experiences. I think that this is exactly what makes us unique. Don't rush... everything will happen. Orient yourself around the current moment, not tomorrow. The hustle and bustle of life distract us from seeing who we are now, and from celebrating and current achievements. Your path will never be the same as another, your path is distinctive from the rest. Appreciate that.

Like many of the people that had gathered at WUN, I made an attempt to find myself. Did I? The journey of self-development and growth never ends and that's what makes it so exclusive to everyone. This biggest lesson that I learned is that I must finally start appreciating my own journey and not chase a place in strangers' shoes. I finally understood that I am where I deserve to be at this moment and that anything is possible. I finally started appreciating my worth and began to be more forgiving towards myself. But alas, I was and always will be a perfectionist, but finally, I understand that happiness is not a destination, but a journey. ..

Probably you will see some familiar faces, but I'd love to mention a couple of names...  Thank you, Rafal and Tomasz for being great companions on this trip. Thank you, Adam & Marzena for being amazing models and spending so much of your pressures time with 3 crazy shooters from Ireland :))) I miss you guys!

But the biggest THANKS goes to Wun founders and team for organizing such amazing event and connecting so many creatives from all over the world. You definitely made this world some good bit better!


Killarney Secret Proposal

"Hi, My name is Denis and I am planning to fly to Ireland from Los Angeles for a surprise proposal to my girlfriend, Kristen, in Ireland in the upcoming few weeks.

really liked your work and would love to talk to you about capturing the moment if you’re available and in the area!

Kristen is half Irish and will be on a trip with her mother exploring Ireland together for the first time. They will be in Tralee  and am planning to surprise her during the day and am still trying to figure out a location.If you’re available, maybe you have ideas :)"

Right, when you receive this kind of email you think WOW! Now that is so romantic! Secret proposal in Ireland! (why wasn't my hubby that creative:))) ?!

So, shortly after we set a Skype chat with Denis to discuss all the secret proposal ideas. He already have researched some beautiful locations but his decision was made towards Killarney National Park.  No surprise as it is so beautiful and picturesque! Loaded with blooming flora, Killarney park has a sense of being like a magic fairy tale. You'd easily find yourself peaking under rocks and checking for fairy doors to see if there really is any little creatures.

We narrowed the choice down even further , because the location had to be easy to find as Denis directed Kristen's mum over the phone! Not to mention that it needed to seem as a regular expedition, so Denis had to find a place relatively touristy. Obviously Kristen had no idea that Denis is flying after her to Ireland, so it was a HUGE surprise for her.He was nervous... He was really nervous! Having this amazing ring in his pocket and worrying if she will say YES!

So we picked up the most beautiful spot under the blooming Sakuras. I know right!!

So we waited... and waited... till Denis got a message that they are in the park. Time had stopped, it really did, and from afar we saw them walking... Oh my! It was intense and in the same time so romantic...

I was hidden in the bushes :) , so Kristen couldn't see me at all. That moment when their sight first met was truly magical. You could read the confusion and happiness in the same time. You could notice tears in their eyes and those were tears of happiness...

Moments like this, deserve to be preserved for years to come. Im thrilled that Denis thought about it and asked me to capture this very special moment of their Irish adventure. They will cherish these memories for years to come and the images will help them walk down the memory lane ...

Sure, an image can speak a thousand words. .. Enjoy!


Way Up North, Rome

The minute I got my ticket to Way Up North, I knew it would be an amazing personal experience. Way Up North is the biggest wedding photography conference in Europe. I think it is very important not to stop growing as a person, as a professional and thats why meeting other creatives is so important.  Those couple of  days that I spent in Rome with a bunch of amazing wedding photographers from all over the world were an experience I'll never forget. At the city full of life, colours,amazing architecture, fantastic food and wine,  time was flying away! Those 3 days were so amazing and inspiring! I was fascinated on how different, but at the same time identical we all are.

I always had my camera with me, so I could snap away and come up with a reportage from my journey. At the time I was "so present" that from time to time I was forgetting to grab my camera :).  I hope you will enjoy this reportage of some random pictures.

Huge thanks to all the presenters for "shaking those nerves" and reminding me of what was forgotten. I am loaded with such a positive energy and new ideas that I simply cant wait to put to use during this Wedding season!Way Up North wedding photography summit, Rome

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