The Don’t Give Up Project – Brisbane

Wow. Just….wow.

How do I even begin to write a post about what we just went through in Brisbane with Ashley + Jeremy Parsons, and Jonas Peterson.

My mind is in a complete mess with thoughts running around at light-speed and putting them down in black and white seems like trying to stop a freight train with my bare hands.

To say it was an incredible experience is selling it short. We came away from that workshop with no new shooting techniques, no super-duper camera/gadget that will revolutionize my photography, no secret sauce or magic word. Instead, we found ourselves. Our voice. And we found what mattered. To us. To our couples. To the people that we love.

I’m still trying to make sense of it all. Two days and three nights of just pure honesty. Sharing a space with 20 other people can be intimidating but we opened ourselves and became vulnerable. And so did everyone else. And what we discovered was beauty beyond anything I can describe in words. We laughed, we cried, we ate and drank together, we jumped in a pool together on a whim.

There is a reason why Jonas is one of the top 10 photographers in the world. And there is a reason why – out of countless others – he picked the Parsons to be his wedding photographers. They have heart, and spades of it.

They don’t care for fame, or money, or recognition. All they want is to tell stories that matter. Their images transcend being just pretty pictures. They reach down into the very soul and pull out something that’s primal and deep-seated.

It was invaluable to hear their experiences, what they learned, how they grew in their business, and their lives. It was something we had learned going through 2012, but to hear it said back to us, and to hear them say “It’s okay” felt like a huge weight lifted off our shoulders.

2013 is going to be the year we make a difference. In our couples, and in our business. Changes are in the works, changes that may not be apparent on the surface but will be fundamental to how we approach the business, and how we photograph our couples.

For our couples, our haven’t-met friends, this means a fundamental change in our photography and our art. We want to make meaningful images with you. We want to take the time to get to know you, get under your skin, find out what makes you tick. And make photos that look like… We’ll open our hearts, and our home. We’re letting you in. We’re going to be vulnerable. And we hope you’ll do the same. We want your kids and grandkids to see your photos and love them because they show your true beauty, your inner self. Not for them to go, “That doesn’t look like you at all.” Everyone has a story about their life, and we want to tell your story. All of us will leave this earth eventually, we want our photos to outlive you, to be the ones you use for your funeral, because it shows who you really are.

We believe in this. We hope you’ll believe in us. 2013 is going to a really special year, not just for us but for our couples as well. This is not just a business for us, we’re pouring our hearts and souls into what we’re about to do and we hope you’ll come along for the ride.

We made some pictures of our time at the workshop, albeit not enough now that I look back. Here are some of them.