This past week I was in Venice, Italy, with Brian and three other amazing photographers. I attended  David DuChemin’s “portfolio series” workshop, where the goal is to come away from the trip with a cohesive body of work. As an educator myself, I feel it is important to find the right mentor, especially when it comes to growing as an artist an having my work critiqued. I’ve known David for years, and when he announced this workshop both Brian and I were 100% on board. I’ve been wanting a creative kick-in-the-ass for some time and figured that there was no time like the present.

Photography is my excuse to travel the world. I’m not as well-traveled as some of my colleagues, but on average I tend to go on two or three big trips per year. On these adventures I bring along my camera and try and create beautiful photographs. I often come home with several images I’m proud of and happy to share. For anyone who follows my work, you may already know that I love color. I rarely (if ever) process my digital images in black and white.

In Venice, one of the things we were encouraged to do was to challenge ourselves creatively. For me, that meant straying from my comfort zone of zoom lenses and colorful scenes, and so instead I stuck to two prime lenses and I also took the leap and photographed everything in black and white (minus a few off-series locations). But I didn’t just process the color images after I photographed them, I was actually seeing black-and-white through my viewfinder when I was creating the image.

It’s all too easy to stay in one lane and continue down the same path.

At the end of the week, I created a body of work which is not only cohesive, but is what I believe could be some of my most compelling and intimate work. It’s all too easy to stay in one lane and continue down the same path. It’s difficult to make changes, say no, and create self-imposed limits, but when you do it is so incredibly rewarding.

Below is my finished 12-image series from Venice, and you can also view these and other photographs of my trip to both Venice and Cinque Terre over on Instagram.