I joined Fearless Photographers 8 years ago in 2015. I liked their ethos, wanted to learn from the world class photographers in the group and push my own images further. But it wasn’t until I attended Foundation Workshop and then my first Fearless Conference, Split 2018, that I really understood what Fearless is all about. Wow!
The incredible sense of community and love in this group of humans is truly palpable. In 2019 both Carol and I attended, as I wanted her to experience that amazing feeling. She loved it and was immediately hooked and embraced by the Fearless Community. Then Covid hit the world and Fearless Crete 2020 was cancelled :’(
However, we are back. Bigger and strong than ever. Four long years later, with the help of Masters of Wedding Photography, the conference is back. FM4U in Utrecht was something I think all of us were dying to happen. I’ve never seen Huy look so happy at bringing together so many great people in one place. Wedding photography can be an isolating profession. As artists we all have doubts about our work. As Erika of TwoMann said in her talk, even at their level (top of the world!) they still have doubts. It’s natural for anyone that cares about their work. Those that don’t doubt themselves, simply don’t care enough in my opinion.
The Fearless + Masters conference is/was about so much more than just hearing the speakers. That’s not to say the speakers weren’t great this year, they were. I took away something from every single one of them. But even more important than the speakers is the shared experience of being at such an amazing event with the world’s best wedding photographers. Chatting over dinner, going out for drinks with them. Just hanging out with them. I can call many of them friends. Even though we see some of them only once a year, there is an unbreakable bond between us all. We don’t stand around talking about photography techniques, we just enjoy sharing life together when we meet.
I think one of the biggest things I took away from this years conference, influenced by Fille Roelants talk about the blue dot we live on, but also touched on by many others, is that we are all a tiny speck in the universe. Our lives are so short. Why worry too much about things, just LIVE. Live and love life and inject that love into our own photography. When we attend weddings we are hugely privileged to observe two other humans on a day that is special to them. It’s irrelevant what their day is like, for them it’s special and it’s our job as photographers to show that in our photos.
As I said previously, If you’ve never attended a Fearless conference, you really have been missing out! Don’t be shy, don’t be scared, don’t feel like you won’t belong, you will! Our community is a safe space. There are no egos, only love for each other and our diversity as humans. I know my wife Carol feels this too. We are both quiet people, we don’t like large crowds. But at Fearless, we’re happy to totally immerse ourselves in the group. I love hugging every single one of my friends in the group and meeting new members each and every day. And at the party this year, I just let go. I haven’t danced like that in many years, I felt totally safe to do so this year I was among friends. We cannot wait till next year. Carol and I will most certainly be there, regardless of where in the world it may be. It’s just an amazing way to awaken the senses and prepare one’s mind for the wedding season ahead.
Thank you Huy Nguyen and Christiaan De Groot for organising this years fabulous conference in Utrecht (a beautiful city by the way, if you’ve never been).