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Q: What was your biggest takeaway from photo camp?
A: As long as you are willing to learn, you can go from blurry pictures where you can’t even recognize the person you are photographing to taking pictures you can be proud of and learn so much about yourself along the way.
Q: What was something surprising you learned?
A: Get the shot but don’t stay with it too long. Make sure you take a few minutes to look around and see if there are better opportunities or a better angle to try and capture.
Q: What inspired you to do photo camp?
A: Photography was always a passion but I constantly wondered if I had talent. While I was serving in Iraq, a friend told me about the camp. Trail Runner magazine was included in some of my care packages and I saw the advertisement. I figured this would be the perfect way to learn, take some time to decompress after deployment and be able to go home and capture life adventures and major achievements of friends and family. And also to meet other people in the running and photography community.
Q: What did you learn from the athletes?
A: To appreciate the hard work, dedication and patience these athletes have. To realize that every athlete is different and brings something unique to a photoshoot.
Q: What did you learn from photographers and instructors?
A: Everything! Composition, shutter speed and resiliency are key.
Q: What would you want other aspiring photographers to know?
A: Getting out of your comfort zone and setting aside your pride to learn from professionals and your peers is key, and never be afraid to change your perspective.
Rachel Billmyer is a Logistics Officer in the Virginia Army National Guard, whereupon her return from Iraq she will continue her full-time work preparing Soldiers for deployment.
Her love of photography and the outdoors inspired her to travel to Aspen and attend the 2019 Trail Running Magazine Photo Camp. She plans to use the skills, tools and confidence she gained from the camp to capture the special moments and major life events of her family, friends and people she meets along the way.