I Heart Faces Conference
I am often in awe of the power that the internet has to bring people together and to create connections that in another time would not have been able to exist. I have met many great friends online through groups and forums and communities and I always consider it to be a great honor when I can connect with those people in person.
This past weekend I had that opportunity over and over again at the I Heart Faces Conference. Several years ago I happened upon the I Heart Faces website and their weekly challenges and I fell into the open, supportive arms of a community of women that I adore. Since then I’ve come to be one of their community admins, helping and supporting new photographers – which is one of my favorite things to do in my “free” time.
When the IHF founders, Angie & Amy, emailed me earlier this year and invited me to come be part of the team at the event I was so excited. On the other hand, the idea of flying across the country by myself to meet people I only knew on the internet? A little scary. But I don’t pass up opportunities, so I sent out some notes to online friends I knew in the area(to soften the fear of being alone in a strange city), bravely boarded a plane on Friday morning and set out on an adventure.
I was greeted at DFW by two wonderful ladies (Theresa & Kristy) that I have had many conversations with in the IHF Community, who took the whole day off to give me a tour of Dallas, part way through we were joined by another community member (Maki) who came all the way from Austin to join us for just a few hours. And just like that this thing that was a little scary turned into the beginning of one of the most joyful weekends of my adulthood. This is what the internet can do… it can open doors and forge friendships and make connections.
On Saturday the conference had a wonderful tone… everyone I spoke with was cheerful, enthusiastic, and ambitious. There were so many conversations, and I remember thinking over and over again that women have such a wonderful power to bond together… discussions flowed freely from photography to work to kids to fears to triumphs and back again. The authenticity and openness of the attendees reminded me of why I love the community IHF has created. I was truly sad to see the weekend end on Sunday.
Oh… right. And I met Sue Bryce :D
I can’t wait until next year!