– Posted by +Laura

Happy, calm, focused, ADD, excited, serene, serious, jaded, exasperated, overwhelmed…

What do all of these emotions have in common? They could all be seen on the faces of the attendees of the South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival 2011. I myself experienced all of these emotions, if not more, during my 2 week stint in Austin, Texas. This was the first time I would attend this amazing conference that brings together the interactive, film, and music industries and I could not have been more unprepared for what was in store. I canít imagine that any newcomer could possibly know what is to come when they sign up to attend; itís unlike any other experience…

To try and give you an idea of the insanity, I couldnít think of another place on the planet where I could photograph Paul Reubens (aka Pee-Wee Herman) and Mike Tyson all in the same day.

Almost everyone at SXSW is excited to be away from the hum drum world of traveling road shows that happen to hit their particular town on any given night. SWSX is a full on 2 week sensory circus of the highest and most fantastic order.

When there, you forget:
1. That you are in fact in Texas
2. That this isnít your true reality. That second one hits you pretty quick when you get back on the plane to go home.

Albeit all the amazing ideas, sounds, and sights that are experienced, itís truly the people that make your time there memorable. Everyone has their own agenda and reason for attending, but they also all share in the notion that they are there to exchange new and creative ideas in their fields and that those will hopefully one day infect the rest of the world in the most positive of ways. And in between those new songs, movies, and movements being explored, you party…hard!

If there is a conclusion to be drawn about my Austin adventure…

As a photographer at SXSW, you are afforded a ton of opportunities to capture crazy, amazing, and exciting moments. I got more of those opportunities than I ever could have expected…and so much more. Thank you Austin…you truly were everything I never expected.

– Posted by +Laura



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