Updated: Aug 7, 2020
"Imagine you’re planning a big trip with your friends to Sedona. You find the right venue for your party of 15, you arrive the day before your guests to prepare and it’s beautiful and sunny. Then you wake up the morning your guests are supposed to arrive to find two feet of snow covering everything in sight, and more heavy snow coming down.
That was the experience at the Alpha Female summit, which brought together all five Creators-In-Residence and their mentors and members of the Sony team. As dire as things seemed that morning when everyone was due to arrive, it couldn’t have been a more perfect setting for what turned out to be a transformational weekend for all." (via Sony)
The Sony Alpha Female program has been truly extraordinary. It’s been amazing to work with such ingenious and powerful women and to be a part of a program for advancing women in their photographic careers while honoring them as individuals. During our time in Sedona, Arizona, we connected in ways I never would have imagined. The dreams, goals, and stories we all shared were deeply heartfelt. On the retreat, we created vision boards to complement our goals and interests. While working with my strong and creative mentor MeRa Koh, I was able to examine my plans, meditate, and create a visual representation of them on paper. Going through magazines to find beautiful images and inspirational terminology and statements was a true eye-opener. My vision board described my mission to be bold and supported my plans to travel. It also helped me formulate my dreams of helping others while taking my own journey.
In my piece, I included an image of two people hugging. This was introduced to promote unity. Working with others ignites the power inside and can lead you down a path you would have never have imagined. I also shared my goal of really understanding the stories of the people I photograph. It’s important to do this. Capturing the true essence of a place, person, or animal is far more important than capturing the best image. My vision board also highlights my love of making an impact with my work and my love of helping students chase their creative dreams. This session taught me how to really believe in my goals.
The Sony Alpha Female program gave me the extra push I needed. It boosted my confidence in ways I’m grateful for. For the last few months, I’ve been working hard on my photography, after-school program The Smart Project, and my photographic book series (The Self Publication), which includes written reflections from 14 participants to help them heal in different ways. My time in Sedona with the Sony team has influenced my goals for the next five years and beyond.
My advice to those who are accepted for the next round of the program is to be you, chase your dreams, and never let your passion die. This program will shine a light on how amazing you are because you are awesome. The grant and the equipment are amazing gifts, but the opportunity they give you to form friendships is the most magnificent part. You will walk away feeling accomplished, and most importantly a part of a family there to help you pursue your dreams.
You’ve got this. You are amazing. You are Alpha. -Nitashia