Last month, we drove to Munster for a photography mentoring session with our very own and favourite photographer Jennifer Hejna. I got to learn about light, portraits, and other photography related things while Tom did a biking tour across a beautiful country side. But more importantly, I was very touched and inspired by Jennifer and her partner, Conrad.
I was so happy they asked us to lunch. After following someone’s blog for so many year,s it was so nice to actually talk to them! Over lunch, I asked them about their new business – and they openly shared the reason they started the business and the dream for it. If only they were closer we would have them over for Asian food! They were so forward thinking, and I felt that I was talking to two people, who’s philosophies I could SO relate to and connect with. Unlike listening to people in a networking event gushing about their work, I felt so inspired by these two, sharing their passion and the dreams. They are 2 wedding photographers, who intentionally wanted to open another business outside of wedding photography, in case, heaven forbid, they should not be able to photograph in future. They found a passion and a niche, and bravely went for it. Jennifer writes about passion, and dreams and these 2 articles spoke to my heart.
When we started the session, the first question was – what was my WHY – the reason, I wanted to do photography. It soon followed with – so you want to do photography as a part-time business? no, not really or I’m not sure.. And then I anticipated the “then??” But it didn’t come and then we went on to other topics. I know for sure, that when I want to do something part-time – I want to do it FULLY. Maybe that’s my weakness or strength, but that’s how I’m built – all or nothing. For now, my reasons are selfish – I just enjoy it. I love the feeling of delivering the images to the “models” and their reactions. I love showing someone through my images how beautiful they are. I love being allowed to capture tender moments between people. I loved having our love captured so beautifully, and it brings me joy to do the same for others. And for someone who has always studied “scientific” stuffs, I love that I can express myself in a form I knew not before. That although there are so many technical things to learn, you still have to find your own voice and style. And I love how I can document our life with this camera. Holidays, time with loved ones, travels, food of course. I just know that I want to become good at it – very good at it. Just like how I want to be good at cooking a really good chillie chicken one day.
Anyways I digress. During the lunch, I admired that these 2 persons found something they love and went after it. We have been juggling ideas for forever now. How do you know what you want to do. What if you chase it, only to find out its not really want you want? Something I did so much in my 20s.
The mentoring for photography was so informative. Surprisingly, Conrad joined in and it made me think of Tom and I, joining in each other’s hobbies/passion/work or tom’s trading business. It has been a while since we spoke to people who were also FORWARD thinking. Visionary. It was so refreshing. Not just living the simple and comfortable European life. I understood what tom meant about the energy and ambition and vision people in Shanghai often have. Or to have and share philosophies about life or business that you connect with. I have missed conversations like this with old friends in HK. No matter about life, or a DRIVE for something. A struggle to survive and thrive. It is a strange feeling, that even though we now have a “comfortable” slow european life, we still want something to work hard for. Not just pass the days away. I left with so much more photography knowledge, but even better, that it was a very inspiring afternoon well spent with a lovely couple. Hope we can meet again soon.