I’m one of those people who keeps lists. And some of those lists serve as really important guides that remind me to examine the various components that I feel contribute to a beautiful and happy life … and hold myself to seeking out those elements. One of those lists highlights the places around the world I would like to visit. It is a varied collection of locations, but it is one that I feel is completely feasible with the right level of motivation, discipline, and a healthy dose of courage and optimism. So last year when I spotted mention of a Polaroid photography retreat in Morocco, one of those desired destinations, my internal instinct bells went off.
Did I know anything at all about Polaroids? No. Was I excited to learn something new? Yes. And so with great determination, I just decided that I would save the money, set aside the time, and make it happen.
So in February I packed my bags with an astonishing amount of film and two instant cameras — for the curious, a Polaroid 100 Land Camera and Fujifilm Instax Mini 50s — and ventured over to Morocco for a week spent with twelve other women to explore the unique quirks and creative potential of instant photography. The setting? A spectacular private guesthouse nestled in an olive grove, the bustling souks of the medina, and the decaying streets and windy seaside of Essaouira.
In that one week I was reminded of the power of personal intention, the marvel of our extraordinary world and its complexities, and the fact that so much opportunity can unfold simply by making a single decision. I absolutely loved spending my days getting to know the possibilities (and, let’s admit it, occasional frustrations) of the medium while opening myself to the beauty and richness of Moroccan culture. And the photography process itself made me reconsider everything from the importance of seeking thoughtful light and composition to the value of patience and stillness.
And so I encourage YOU: Make some decisions about who you want to be, where you want to go, what you want to experience, and who you want to spend that time with. Seize opportunity when it presents itself. Learn new creative skills. Explore new places and experiences. Seek out hands-on exchange with other like-minded folks. Celebrate the act of play.