Earlier this year I never would have imagined that I’d be writing about my third amazing meetup with some incredibly talented photographers and friends. At the start of this year I had met only a handful of online friends in real life and never would have thought that I would not only one day meet them all, but several times over the course of a year!
During the weekend of October 4-9, I organized and ‘hosted’ a small group of some of my favourite photographers at a meetup in the mountains of British Columbia. We decided in August to try and meet during this time and after finding the most amazing cabin rental (seriously if you’re ever in the Nelson area, rent from Kootenay Lake Lodge!) we reserved our stay and planned our getaway.
What I don’t think any of us really imagined was that the weekend would be as magical as it was. Our cabin, while only a few rooms, was so cozy and almost immediately filled with a sense of comfort and home. Whether we were making pancakes in the morning, hot chocolate in the evenings or just sitting on the couch making jokes, it felt not like we were renting a cabin, but actually living in a home together. While in the inside of the cabin was filled with magic, the natural environment surrounding it was even more magical. We had our own lakefront rocky ‘beach’ located just steps from our door with a view of the lake that literally spanned as far as we could see. In the evening, the light turned to a beautiful blue hue and in the morning clouds hung low over the mountains creating a soft light over the water and shore.
We had a small forest filled with moss and driftwood, a tiny waterfall framed with falled logs and blackberry bushes and within a short walk we found ourselves climbing over huge boulders and rocks to find the perfect photo locations.
I feel a sense of recharge when I’m with my friends at these meetups, they feel less like photography gatherings and more like the best class I’ve ever taken, it’s like a family reunion that I never want to end. There is an energy in the air, an energy filled with creativity and appreciation and support. We help each other plan shots, help each other edit, help each other move forward toward reaching our very best. It’s an energy I want to bottle and keep for these rainy days when I feel isolated in my little mountain town.
During the weekend we travelled to a sort of abandoned campground place with huge trees and a beautiful river. We took a beautiful ferry ride to the small town of Nelson B.C. and ate at an interesting “fusion” restaraunt and wound up doing cartwheels in a park overlooking the town. On the way home we ended up missing the returning ferry by just a few minutes. Instead of sitting around and waiting, we all grabbed our cameras and gear and immediately started using the available locations for photos. It was like watching a beehive of activity, we were all running back and forth, catching the most beautiful orange sunset. We boarded the ferry in time to watch the water and sky turned purple and then blue and dark.
That evening would become of the most amazing nights of my life. As all of us but Shane sat inside the cabin, cracking jokes and drinking tea all of a sudden the door flew open and Shane called for us all to get outside. I think we all knew what it meant right away. Sure enough, a greenish haze had made it’s way over the north end of the lake and after a few seconds of an open exposure, we were greeted with a neon green light. The NORTHERN LIGHTS! The night suddenly changed into another wave of activity. All I could hear were the waves against the rocks, the sounds of our camera shutters opening and closing and the laughs in between. Watching the night sky be painting with the amazing green and blue waves of light will be a highlight of my life for many many years.
It’s fitting that this meetup happened over thanksgiving as this year, I’m thankful for so many things including my amazing friends, the beautiful scenery in our world, and the incredible opportunity I have to share with all of you.