I went to Sweden last month. Even typing those words feels a little surreal right now as I sit in my living room with Levi watching Polar Express next to me on the couch. Isn’t a little weird how you can have a transformational life experience and then the reality of it so quickly fades when you get back to real-life? Or maybe that just happens to me.
So here’s the story:
My friend Lauren & I were working side by side (both editing, because…wedding season) and talking about Way Up North. Knowing it would be amazing, lamenting that we hadn’t pulled the trigger before tickets sold out. I decided to email Cole & Jakob – the photographers behind Nordica Photography who also developed & launched Way Up North – to let them know that if any tickets became available, that I’d like to be first in line. A couple of days later I got a reply from them, inviting me to volunteer. I could attend the conference for free, in exchange for work. When things start to fall into place like this, you just need to go with it. {Things happen for a reason…walk through the open doors and that sort of thing.} Literally that same day I met a couple of Swedes at a wedding I was shooting and they INVITED ME TO STAY WITH THEM. Like, for free. I mean…? It got real then. I needed to be at this conference. So, with Jamie’s full support and encouragement (its not easy to leave a 9 month old at home!) I bought a plane ticket.
I photographed my first wedding in early 2009…that means I have been ‘Erica Rose Photography’ for nearly 7 years. Its hard to believe. This is the first time I’ve attended a Photography workshop/conference, etc. It. Was. Awesome. I waited far too long to do this but in some ways I’m glad, because I think that Way Up North was the one for me. There were 10 amazing speakers and 500 wedding photographers from all over the world at this historic theater in the heart of Stockholm. I came home with a to-do list a mile long, filled to the brim with inspiration and motivation. Not only that, but having the chance to explore Stockholm was in and of itself a really awesome experience for me. My family has deep roots in Sweden, and I felt this strange sense of pride and familiarity being there. It was pretty cool. I need to go back sometime when I have more than a few hours to explore. I am so incredibly thankful that Cole & Jakob extended that invitation to volunteer, without that I probably wouldn’t have been able to go.
If you’re a photographer and looking for something like this – check out the Website and also the Podcast – the next Way Up North is April 2016 in Rome! Oh…if only…

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Way Up North 2015 Alaska Wedding Photography-2

(C)Beauty Board Media || Lauren Roberts 2015

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This last shot was snapped on my iphone in the air over Iceland. It was absolutely painful to be in the Reykjavik airport and not be able to go exploring. Someday Iceland, I’m coming for you…maybe when some Alaskan couple decides to elope in Iceland and takes me with them?!

{Thanks Lauren for the photo of me in this post. I LOVE it, and it’ll help bring me back to those Stockholm streets!}

Visiting Stockholm :: Way Up North 2015

Filed in: Erica's Personal Photography

November 13, 2015

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