Some of you may know that last week I made an impromptu journey from Lynchburg, VA, through Brooklyn and ended up in a barn near Jeffersonville, NY. On the surface it sounds like a random road trip. However, at that barn I was among many of the top photojournalists, documentary photographers and photo editors in the world, along with 100 amazing up-and-coming shooters. The annual Eddie Adams Workshop just concluded its 24th session and I feel incredibly honored to have been a part of it. I am still a bit in disbelief, really. The four-day whirlwind will take some time to sink in – probably months – but I already know it has changed my life. The most accurate way I can describe the way it felt is to say I was embraced, physically and emotionally, by a worldwide community of peers. Acknowledged, supported, encouraged and embraced. It was like hanging out with friends I always knew I had, we just hadn’t met yet. The spirit of the group was truly energizing and believe me, I needed it; like many participants, I got about 11 hours of sleep over the three nights. But I swear I never felt it.

Driving home on Tuesday (after a refreshing five hours of sleep) I couldn’t help pulling over and just admiring the beauty of where I was. Upstate New York in the fall is legendary and the weather cooperated perfectly. It’s as if the founder himself winked at us as the sun glinted through the red and orange leaves surrounding his sanctuary.