Here we are again in the late hours of the evening, and I am getting ahead of myself with my to-do list of the morning. There have been so many developments in the last few days that they have been almost painful not to share right away.
Friday was my final portfolio review. Few things in my life have been as important, nerve wracking, or intense thus far. When my images went up on the screen before I was called on to the stage, I was shaking so hard I did not know how I would ever find my feet again. When I stood up under those bright lights and collapsed into my seat at the overhead sound of "portfolio accepted" I was thrilled and defeated at the same time. I can't even bring forth words that would do justice to that feeling.
I had the honor to be reviewed by some of the industries most esteemed photographers; Lois Greenfield, Simon Alexander, and Scott Zuehlke. (Please do yourself a favor and look them up. It's so inspiring to look at such sophisticated work. Healthy for the soul...) and of course- Hallmark's own in-resident celebrity Gregory Heisler gave feedback with the panel as well. I won't go through every comment, as most of it was a blur- but the moment that really stuck with me was the statement Mr. Alexander made right before the applause and my exit from the stage, "You are going to be very successful," I have been beaming ever since.
Since review, I have reviewed myself as a photographer quite a bit as well. I now feel this responsibility to myself to really cultivate and care for the work I do. I feel as if it has a bigger reach and purpose than I have ever given it credit for. Sometimes it takes that outside voice to come to that realization.
On Saturday I will be moving my things back to Michigan. After that is very taboo.
Following my review I had a conversation with my father about my future endeavors. I talked loosely about my idea to explore the west coast, and was taken aback at his suggestion on stay out east. He had a bit of a point. Hallmark has given me the gift of connections that some can only dream of, and to walk away without exploring that would be a shame.
Right now I don't know what the immediate future looks like, but the long term has become a bit clearer. For now I will send e-mails and see where fate puts me. I will remind myself every step of the way how blessed and fortunate I am to be where I am, regardless of what happens.
I think I'm happy. How crazy is that?