The flight today was really difficult. I stayed up all night doing laundry because I’m an idiot, and then made it to a 8:15am flight. A gentleman woke me up before final boarding call, and that’s the only reason I made my flight to Atlanta. I hit the window and woke up after half of the plane had de-boarded. The flight to Orange County was a good one though. The person next to me is getting her Ph.D at NC State in education, but she’s a Tar Heel. She was talking about helping out kids on Franklin Street after they had too much to drink. She works for housing at UNC. It made for good conversation, and helped the time go by quickly.

After arriving at the airport, I called the hotel to get a shuttle. Turns out, I didn’t ask the right question, and I ended up waiting an hour before the shuttle finally arrived. I felt like an idiot. When I arrived, I went straight to the Early Bird workshop. We talked about a lot of Photo Mechanic stuff, but I knew most of it. It was just good to know that I had arrived. We have a really good staff, and the opportunities to learn are going to be great.

In the evening, we had our official kick off. Everyone had to state their name and goal. “Melih Onvural, and my goal is to reach a new level. I’m really excited to see what that will be.” What does that even mean? I don’t know. We’ll find out in the next four days. We got a great t-shirt and some really great stuff from one of the sponsors. There is obviously an attempt to build a customer base, but I think it’s a labor of love in a lot of ways. The way that the “faculty” speak about having the opportunity to help us and give back. It’s quite beautiful. I got really, really lucky and ended up getting the 9th position of 10 for Friday’s horse race shoot. That’s going to be great I think. I’m also going to shoot water polo, basketball, football, and volleyball. I was hoping to make it to rugby, but they’re saying that it probably won’t happen. Tomorrow I’ll be doing two classes in lighting – one studio, and the other location. I’m really going to learn a lot here. I might never use it again, but that’s not the point.

My goals, if I really think about it, are:

  1. I’d like to win at least one photo of the day
  2. I’d like to whittle down my portfolio to the bare minimum in excellence
  3. I’d like to meet and greet with folks who I can keep up with in the future

Goodnight California, what an adventure you’ll bring tomorrow.