Where do I begin?
The whole day before and the day of the conference was the worst. I felt nervous, frustrated, not sure what I would say. At one point I found myself staring at a blank screen for two hours with "Hi, I'm Jackie." But I suppose it could have been worse, at least I had three words ha ha.
A friend had invited me to be a part of Festival.Com which was a festival created and organized by the students of the communications college at the UAN (the state university.) The goal of the festival was to create workshops, masterclasses, conferences, and various media competitions for students. Being that I majored in Communications, and when I was a student, there was so much to learn from people who were actually living the dream. Real people doing great things in the media. Journalists, photographers, cinematographers, social media mavens, and public relations specialists. So I jumped on board and offered to give a conference.
It was the worst best experience in my life so far.
Let me explain, it was the worst because I was so nervous because I had never done anything like this before. I am not a public speaker and I really don't like having everyone's eyeballs on me. Ever. I like to be the fly on the wall that no one notices and gets to observe everything. The whole time I was unaware of what was coming out of my mouth and I felt that I had said the same thing over and over and over.
It was also the best experience because I think it was amazing that I was able to share what I am most passionate about with others who are also passionate about photography. Perhaps they don't do the same type of photography that I do, or maybe they're barely getting into the medium; either way, it was great to be able to share my experiences with them. The Q&A portion was my favorite part. Mostly because I was able to answer questions that they really wanted to know.
Would I ever do it again? Hell yes.
Even though I know I will be nervous and my voice will tremble. Even though I will be stressed out and frustrated and stare at a blank screen for two hours (or six). But if I can teach someone one thing they didn't know before, or inspired at least one person, then I have contributed to our industry and photography as a whole. Because in the end, that's what its all about anyway. Sharing, growing, and becoming a community of passionate artists. And that makes it totally worth it.