moments and Big Summer Potluck 2011

Big Summer Potluck 2011

It embarrasses me to to think about how difficult it was for Maggy, Erika and Pam to finally convince me to attend Big Summer Potluck 2011. A barn, in Pennsylvania, in the middle of summer? I can’t tell you how grateful I am they finally invited me to speak. Wait, “grateful” isn’t the right word. More like honored. There are probably going to be some amazing round-ups written about the conference (sorry, “conference” is, again, not the right word for BSP). There were way better food photographers there, wayyy better portrait photographers (ahem, Brian), and there were some amazing writers too — I can’t wait to see their posts. I’m so lucky to have met all of you.

Big Summer Potluck 2011

If you’ve been to events like Blogher Food but not Big Summer Potluck, the first thing you might notice is that this doesn’t look like a hotel conference center, and that’s part of the genius of this event. The location was at Linden Hill Gardens.

Big Summer Potluck 2011

Yes, there were chickens…

Big Summer Potluck 2011

This is the barn where amazing people spoke. Wait, that makes me sound like a jerk.  I’m not talking about myself, although I loved being on a panel with the fabulous Pam Anderson. On the subject of Pam, everyone already knows how much I adore Maggy, but this event was the first time I met her sister, Sharon — love her too.

Big Summer Potluck 2011

Back to the real speakers, I wouldn’t even dare to post a photo I took of Penny De Los Santos speaking (that’s Shauna Ahern above, of course). What can I say about Penny besides that I need to spend more time around her? For one thing, she said, “Photography is a metaphor for life.” I won’t do that statement justice by trying to explain it here, but not only do I agree with Penny, but I realized when I heard her say it that I’ve always felt the same away but never expressed it. But the real takeaway for me? “Moments.” If Penny didn’t bring me to tears when she talked about capturing and reliving these amazing moments in our lives, then Shauna sure did. Penny and Shauna inspired me both to create and to recognize and appreciate life’s moments, big and small. Thank you. I literally feel like a changed person, and that’s not just the wine from Saturday night talking.

Big Summer Potluck 2011

Speaking of moments…

Big Summer Potluck 2011

Karen found these doors before me. About Karen and Chris, how is it that I finally got to meet them, and now they’re moving to Atlanta?  Grrr…  Speaking of friends old and new, I have to give a special mention to my NYC crew, because it was so fun hanging out with you in a barn in Pennsylvania for a change — Jackie, Mitch, Ken and Margaret. To Jennie “Palillo”, I love that even though we see each other all the time now, it was still so fun to be with you at the conference and sit on the floor of my hotel room during the after party which I totally did not organize. Sara Kate (buy her new book!), did I get a little carried away with excitement when you showed up with Penny? What a great surprise to see you there, especially since we never actually see each other in New York City.

Big Summer Potluck 2011

To my non-NYC friends, old and new — Wendy, so glad we finally connected and thanks again for your Philly dining tips. Sally, it was nice chatting so much. Ethan, it’s great hanging out with you, and thanks for the gummies and ketchup chips. Winnie, whether you meant to or not, you really helped connect everyone.

Big Summer Potluck 2011

Amy, two kids or not, we need to think about a Korean food pot-luck. I mentioned Brian already, right? He needs to be in New York. Shaina, we should have started talking earlier. So many more people I really enjoyed seeing: Colleen, Jen, Amanda, Aimee, Georgia, Marisa, Megan, Jeanne, and more.

Big Summer Potluck 2011

To everyone else who so graciously introduced yourself to me and offered some kind words about our fan-side presentation, thank you so much. I’d also like to offer thanks to the conference sponsors including KitchenAid, Kerrygold, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Pop Chips (have been eating them for days now), and Green Valley Organics.

Big Summer Potluck 2011

This photo should have come last (or first) because we started the conference here, and we ended it here too — the stunning Anderson home.

Big Summer Potluck 2011

But as great as the locations were, the conference was really about the people, and moments like this — taking a break, chatting, meeting, reminiscing, laughing, crying, and sharing.  Thanks, everyone, for helping to make this such a memorable event.


51 thoughts on “moments and Big Summer Potluck 2011

  1. Justin,
    This is a great recap. I am working on mine as we speak…it’s hard for me to put the experience into words, so I am relying on my photos. Was fantastic to finally meet you, and I appreciate the kind words above- hope to see you in the NYC area sometime in the not too distant future 😉

  2. Justin is was SO nice to meet you this past weekend and to hear you speak with Pam! Everyone inspired & amazed me on many different levels. I had so many “moments” at bsp2 I can’t even begin to put them into words yet : )

  3. I have tears welling up as I read your post — such a gorgeous man!!! I was thrilled when you told me that you were coming to party with us on the Friday!!! So much so that I kept it a secret (very difficult for me!) because I wanted it to be a wonderful surprise for Ken.

    Then I got a surprise when we wound up having you for the whole weekend!!! WOO-HOO!!! Wonderful listening to you speak (I felt like you were talking to me at one point — you know which one) and getting to feed you a bit.

    And for letting us organize a party in your room. Thank you for coming and hanging with us and for your giggling, generous spirit. MWAH!!! XXXOOOJAX

  4. I regretted not attending before everybody left and met up. I definitely regretted it once everyone was there and talking about life changing moments. Now, after reading this, the regret is deeper than ever. Loved the recap. I was fortunate enough to hear you and Shauna speak in Washington but for some reason I think this was different. And I love different. I can only hope you’ll be back next year…because so will I. Thanks Justin!

  5. Loved reading your recap of the event, Justin! Thanks so much for sharing your perspective. I am loving reliving the whole event through your words and photos. I am still struggling to wrap my head around the weekend and figure out how to put it into words…. For now, I’m just letting all of the moments marinate in my mind.

    It was great to meet you in person and share the experience with you! And, for the record, you were definitely one of the “real” speakers, too.

    1. it makes total sense that some people would take a little more time to absorb the experience. i had to get it off my chest as soon as i got home. great meeting you.

  6. You paint a clear picture of how I think everyone felt about our weekend together. It was like a family reunion with lots of cousins you’ve never met before + wine.

    And thanks for speaking in such a casual and frank way with us all. Good stuff! I wish I would’ve had more nerve to speak with you more and pick your brain a bit.

    Thanks too for opening up your room for us all to gather and be goofy. Fun!

  7. Tears are just streaming down my face as this post beautifully seizes the moments of BSP2 in words and in pictures. This event really touches me in so many different ways, and I think it affected all who attended especially after hearing Shauna and Penny speak. I was grateful to be there with so many wonderful friends (new and old) and all the inspiring speakers (including you). I too had a great time hanging out with you and the rest of the NY crew outside of NYC for a change; but the best part was seeing your face when everyone starts showing up in your room for the after party. Priceless!

  8. I was okay until that last photo and then I got a lump in my throat. I think right at that particular moment, my heart was full to bursting and the barn reflecting the setting sun was warming every part of me. Definitely a Moment.

    Well said. Thanks for sharing. Hugs x 8 seconds. A

  9. Thank you, Justin, for allowing us to convince you. You belonged there. (I know Maggy has subjected you to enough ribbing about your initial reluctance, so I’ll save mine for later.)

    You—along with each and every attendee—helped make the weekend the experience that it was. 8-second hugs all around!

  10. I didn’t realize how moved I was by the events of this weekend until I returned home and reflected. This was my first “conference.” I’m not sure anything other than BSP3 could ever top what I experienced. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting so many wonderful people. Thank you Justin for a lovely recap. It was great to finally meet you IRL.

  11. Thanks, Justin. I, too, wish we would have started talking earlier. It was wonderful meeting you and getting the chance to talk to so many others at BSP. You’re right, “conference” is not the correct word for what happens when Maggy, Pam and Erika throw a party. I considered it more of an inspirational retreat, the overwhelming message to be true to yourself and be intentional in life, even in the work you do every day. In other words, it was time well spent.

  12. I know the experience I had last year and how full my heart was upon leaving. It sounds like it was ten-fold this time around. I’m so proud of my friends who pulled off yet another life changing event!
    Thanks for sharing it with those of us unable to be there.

  13. Lovely post Justin. It’s been great to read all of the recaps and be part of the giant group hug that’s going on. Loved what you had to say @ BPS2 – wise, pragmatic and kind. I hope you don’t mind if I link back to the two posts your referenced during your chat. They were terrific and I would love to include them in my next post.

    I hope we see each other again some time soon.

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