I didn’t know what to expect. Heck, part of me didn’t even want to do it.

I was going completely out of my comfort zone. I was going alone into not only a cabin with three room mates that I had never met… but into a whole camp with 400+ photographers running around.  Other than at weddings, I basically avoid situations like this unless I have my best friend or brother with me.

Stepping on to that dirty, rocky path to get to the check in line, my heart raced. Would people like me? Would anyone recognize me? Will my room mates like me? Will I like them? Should I prepare myself to just go to classes and then to sit in solitude in my cabin?  Does my dog miss me? Does my cat even notice I am gone?

I was greeted by internet buddies the second they saw me (Thanks, Dave!), and then kept finding more and more familiar faces. Ok… calm starts to set it.  I’m warming up a bit. It just might be ok!

A moment of fear that stuck out was the good 20 minutes I sat at Cabin 202 by myself. While I had chatted here and there with my roommates before – I had no idea how they were in person. Maybe I am just fun on the internet?  Did I bring too many bags and it’s going to bug them? Oh God what is going to happen when I need to curl my ten pounds of hair and take up the bathroom?  Anxieties overwhelming and then I heard the voices chatting letting me know that they had arrived. And that’s when I met my new soul sista Sarah Maren, and the wonderful Bardots. They greeted me with hugs and immediately my fears fell away. They give hugs. Clearly, they are my kind of people.

5 days later, and I feel so immensely proud of myself. Are the people I wish I had talked to more? Yes. Do I wish I had taken more photos? Yes. Do I wish I had opened myself up more to making more friends? Oh definitely.

However, I did walk away with a new view point on my work. I decided to show the images that spoke to my heart when attending a class of Jenny Jimenez. I always have had this insecurity that the work that speaks from my heart and that I love wasn’t being received how I wanted it to be received. That it wasn’t loved the way I loved it.  Without going into tons of detail about her class, I walked away with confidence about my vision and finally seeing that people were seeing what I was trying to project.

I walked away with friends that I never thought I could make. I took from this experience that I am capable of walking up to people and asking about their lives and getting to know them. The world doesn’t crumble.  I made blogging buddy friends. Wedding referral buddies. Disneyland party time buddies.

Walking into this Field Trip, I felt alone and pretty damn scared. I sometimes still feel the same way, but now there’s a lot more hope in my eyes for connections and my work. It’s going up from here, and I feel it with every threat of my being.

Regrets? Frolicking in a field and rolling my ankle. Also, I didn’t get to meet a llama due to rolling my ankle in the 2nd night which make hiking sort of a terrible idea.  High lights? My bad table dancing, new best friends forever, hanging out with the cat at the market, tons of hugs, and finding myself just a bit more as an artist. I feel like the highlights definitely outweighed the regrets.

Here’s some pretty pictures from the trip. A mixture of film, iphone, and my DSLR.  Enjoy. And thank you to Sarah Maren for snapping the two photos of me in my lovely hat on my camera.

 TMAXX 100 film 35mm at Photo Field Trip in Santa Barbara by Heather Elizabeth Photographyheather-elizabeth-santa-barbara-fieldtrip1heather-elizabeth-santa-barbara-fieldtrip4heather-elizabeth-santa-barbara-fieldtrip5Documentary photography by Heather ELizabeth Photography TMAXX 100TMAXX 100 film 35mm at Photo Field Trip in Santa Barbara by Heather Elizabeth PhotographyPortra 400 documentary photography of Photo Field Trip 2015 by heather elizabeth photography heather-elizabeth-santa-barbara-fieldtrip14heather-elizabeth-santa-barbara-fieldtrip12heather-elizabeth-santa-barbara-fieldtrip13Lisa Bardot of the goodness at photo field trip by heather elizabeth photography. heather-elizabeth-santa-barbara-fieldtrip6heather-elizabeth-santa-barbara-fieldtrip17400H porta portrait of lisa bardot of the goodness at photo field trip by heather elizabeth photographyheather-elizabeth-santa-barbara-fieldtrip18TMAXX 100 film 35mm at Photo Field Trip in Santa Barbara by Heather Elizabeth Photography100 TMAXX 35mm of the sweet cat that lives at El Capitan Canyon at Photo Field trip by heather elizabeth photographyheather-elizabeth-santa-barbara-fieldtrip21heather-elizabeth-santa-barbara-fieldtrip22Heather Elizabeth at photo field trip by sarah maren photographyheather-elizabeth-santa-barbara-fieldtrip23heather-elizabeth-santa-barbara-fieldtrip24el capitan beach at photo field trip by heather elizabeth photographyJeff Newsom at photo field trip by heather elizabeth photographyCreative portrait at photo field trip 2015 by heather elizabeth photographyheather-elizabeth-santa-barbara-fieldtrip28heather-elizabeth-santa-barbara-fieldtrip29heather-elizabeth-santa-barbara-fieldtrip30sara bryne at photo field trip by heather elizabeth photograpysara bryne of sara and dylan photography by heather elizabeth at photo field tripheather-elizabeth-santa-barbara-fieldtrip33caroline ghetes, sara bryne james bitz and  Benjamin Chernivsky at photo field trip 2015 by heather elizabeth photographymegan saul at photo field trip by heather elizabeth photographyheather-elizabeth-santa-barbara-fieldtrip36heather-elizabeth-santa-barbara-fieldtrip37heather-elizabeth-santa-barbara-fieldtrip38