FOUNDATION WORKSHOP PART 1: NOT YET

..NOT YET

I feel naked but alive, still more questions than the answers in my head… Love this challenge that I made for myself.  If you ask me am I alright – the answer is YES! Would I do it again? Hell YES !!! If you would ask me if you can go,  my answer would be – you not gonna survive it ( LOL).

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A few weeks have already passed since my return from the Fearless Photographers Foundation workshop in Glen Rose, TX. I thought I will be ready to talk without emotions but it looks like I am not. For those of you who do not know, I will shortly explain what the Foundation workshop is. As they say themselves: “the FOUNDATION WORKSHOP is the original and toughest photojournalism workshop for wedding photographers”.

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I was obsessed with the idea to become a part of it since I have heard about the workshop from a great photographer who inspires me a lot, Mark Seymour, back in 2014. And finally, this year I was accepted. The loud words and phrases like “toughest”, “hardest”, “you will cry to death”, “get ready physically” have been something that inspired me a lot. I imagined that I will bleed with my camera in front of my photography subjects then sit at the computer with my teachers to analyze my technical skills, compositions and my gear knowledge from morning untill late night. And Yes, I was bleeding, in another way – my mind, my heart, my lungs were ripped apart. My ego was trying to stay with me while my teachers Candice Cusic & Daniel Aquilar were trying to pull it out of me.

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This part.. this is the hardest thing I ever faced.. The Ego is something that each of us has, and, God, it lives with us every day… We obey its rules, we are fine with its arrogance, we agree with it when it wants to be lazy. It is our best friend when we want to talk but not listen, when we want to insult but not console. We agree it is right when it decides that we are already good enough, or even the best, in our relationships with a partner, kids or teachers, at work and other areas of life. EGO is our partner that says: it is enough of growing, it is enough of being better, tells you what you want to hear, keeps in your comfort zone- it is safe there and requires no efforts. And yes, each of us has it.  You cannot be a great photographer if you live in peace with your ego.

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If somebody asks me what this workshop was about, I will say that it was about becoming a better person and in that way growing as a photographer. If you ask me if I took great pictures under the supervision of great teachers, I will tell you that it is not about taking great photographs during the workshop, it is not about that. It is about failure – “I want you to fail in order to succeed”. Have I become a better photographer at a one-week workshop? The answer is – NOT YET. My journey of becoming a better photographer is just starting- with an open heart to others and myself. I know I will grow each day because the victory is not in being the best, rather it is in growing every single day. I will be able to achieve that step by step, practicing each day, I will love what I do even more, because people there encouraged me and reminded me that photography, and, especially, photojournalism, is a part of life.  You cannot stop doing it. And now, when I have the certificate which says that I have accomplished my course, I bravely say –I am just starting off!

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Foundation Workshop is a phenomenon that is not measured by any value. I want to send special thanks to all the Teachers, Staff and Students for their support on growth. Special words go to Marieke Zwartscholten for the picture I am using here to day and Huy Nguyen for creating Foundation Workshop.

For those who want to experience the mood of the week I upload this slideshow created by Marieke Zwartscholten.

After I settle down a little bit, I will present you with the story of the assignment that I had. A story of a lovely, loving, happy family that, I believe will change my family’s life.

Working on growing,

Nakutis