But with the amazing guidance of Karine and Lucas I know I began to shed my old habits of being passive, apprehensive, and “people pleasing.” I didn’t want to miss out on opportunities. Karine worked with me to get right up and close with people, and we spent literal hours trying to get me to get the best possible picture of movement in life. We worked to get what she, and now I like to call; “making a picture” not, “taking a picture.” From Karine, I’ve learned to be brave, assertive and persistent both in photography and in life. I honestly feel renewed as a person and as a photographer. I know what I want and I’m not afraid to get it now—it’s like I have a superpower now!
Karine’s honest (photo) critique allowed us all to develop as photographers and Lucas’s knowledge of Ecuador made it so that we could connect with many people as well as see many types of wildlife. Looking back on the trip now, the lack of sleep we got was worth it because it allowed us to have crazy experiences. There were two times during the trip when I was speechless; the first was flying upside down on a zip-line overlooking the cloud forest, and the second was when a Jaguar walked in front of our blind. For anyone who is on the fence about going, I highly recommend trying it because it truly is a life-changing trip.
Without a doubt, this workshop has been one of the best experiences of my life. During this workshop, we visited Mindo, and the Yasuni National Park—places where I can appreciate the connection between nature, and the human being.
Now, while going through my pictures, my mind returns to each of the places we visited, and the incredible moments I shared with my classmates, and instructors Lucas and Karine. We each had to try our best to capture images that would later be made into our conservation ‘stories.’ Lucas and Karine showed me the true essence of taking pictures. Before the workshop, I thought that the goal of taking pictures was to achieve a perfect photograph—but, little by little, I realized that photography goes beyond making beautiful photos. The true mission is to document what we see, and use the images to move an audience, and make them aware, and inspire them to ‘act,’ after seeing the pictures that are made.
I am very grateful and want to again say how important this trip was to me. I am firm in my decision to fight for the protection of nature and the environment. Now, more than ever, I have the knowledge of how to reach people through my photographs. I hope in the near future I can return the favor to Lucas and Karine for having me on this trip.
Between the time we spent in the cloud forest, the Amazon, and the city, I learned so much. In addition to learning much about photography, it was also a fantastic way to meet and bond with like-minded young photographers. Karine and Lucas were awesome teachers; always being able to suggest something to take my photography to the next level. I had an excellent time with the instructors and my fellow students in Ecuador. I learned so much, and I’d go on another trip with Karine and Lucas in an instant.