Live a Life of Yes: That Time I shot TEDx and Came Away With a Lot More Than Just Photos

Flash back to January/February of 2014. I had been seeing friends post about either going to or looking for speakers for TEDx Somerville (this is the point where, if you don't know what TED Talks are, you should head for google.) The theme was "movement" and I couldn't personally think of that would make me a good candidate for speaking and my art (paintings and such) don't really present themselves for the theme. I had some interest in purchasing a ticket for the event, but true to my procrastinating nature, the event sold out and I'd missed my chance. 

 

Flash forward to March 28th. It was a Friday night (just two days after my birthday, no less) and I was helping a friend scoot a new futon into her studio. The phone rings and on the end was Jesa Damora, a marketing guru and owner of FunnelCake Marketing here in Somerville. I'd known and liked working with her through Somerville Open Studios 2013 and had participated as one of the artists for her marketing talks with SOS 2014. She explained a few details and asked me if I would consider shooting TEDx on March. She offered some marketing advice (which I am horrible at) in exchange for shooting the event. My answer was immediately yes. When it comes to shooting events like this for and around Somerville, my answer is almost always yes.

In the big picture, there are not many things I'll say "no" to. 

This is what it looks like to clean all of your lenses the night before "The Big Event"

This is what it looks like to clean all of your lenses the night before "The Big Event"

I showed up that Sunday morning to Brooklyn Boulders, which is a very neat-o rock climbing gym that I'd heard a ton about and seen from quick drive by glances, but had never been inside. I will say, it's a very impressive space. I arrived around 8 to shoot early things like the setup (watching Nate Swain's amazing 30ft Dandelion paintings get hung was very impressive), to light setup, and to the mayor of Somerville's arrival where he met some of the speakers and performers for the day. The whole morning was a whirlwind of art and preparation.

Nate Swain's painting of Dandelions hangs above the crowd that was happily nestled on Yogibo's. How can TED talks be anything but wonderful when you get to enjoy them on a luxury beanbag?!

Nate Swain's painting of Dandelions hangs above the crowd that was happily nestled on Yogibo's. How can TED talks be anything but wonderful when you get to enjoy them on a luxury beanbag?!

Moving forward to the start of the speakers. I enjoyed where Aaron Cantor was headed with his swift movements and talk about how our bodies are really meant to move. He was very graceful in the way he moved around the stage and contorted his body into suave configurations. 

Next up, was Matthew Dicks. His talk was called "A Life of Yes". He started off with a story about how his friend Benji called him and asked if he wanted to be a wedding DJ... his voice and the way he started his talk made me pause. I paused so long that I only ended up getting one useable shot of him. (bad photog!!)

This is his talk. Watch it and then keep reading.


Does this make you want to go out and say yes? It should. 

The rest of the talks also made me want to go out and do all the things that TEDx talks are meant to inspire. The arial artists that were featured during the intermission swing from amazing heights and thanks to Bekka Wright of Bikeyface, my one-speed red cruiser has been seeing more road time in Somerville. 

Esh Arial Arts

Esh Arial Arts


If you'd like to check out my photos from the talk, they can be found here.

It made me think back to all the times over the years that I've said no, and I have a bit of regrets about it. 

The yes's this year since hearing him talk have been some big ones. The biggest one to date is...

Do you want to be the coordinator for Somerville Open Studios 2015? Yes. The SOS community is inspiring, amazing, intense in all the right ways. I feel like meeting the people I've met and seeing the art that comes from them is inspiring and moving. It makes me want to strive to be a better artist and learn new things and to always push myself to learn and create more.


Some of the smaller yes's I've taken on in the past few years that will be soon featured in the Crane Blog include:

-Do you want to raise chickens?

-Do you want to lead a Brownie Girl Scout Troop?

-Can you paint all of these mannequins?


Remember. Just say Yes.