The creative tutorial home of image wrangler, Lesa Snider.

Finding Friends in Santa Fe

July 23, 2008 by

Last week I taught a super intensive beginner's Photoshop course at the esteemed Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. I'd never been to Santa Fe before so I didn't really know what to expect. I mean, I had always heard how amazing the light is, how cool the Adobe houses look, how affordable the jewelry is if you buy it direct from the Indians in the plaza, and so on... but nobody every really said anything about the PEOPLE of Santa Fe.

I travel a lot. A hell of a lot. Never have I randomly met more interesting and friendly people as I did this past week. The 12 folks who took my class just stole my heart. Sure we had some frustrating moments as I crammed ten tons of information into their brains but they were all REALLY nice people (a few of whom I've made plans to meet up with later in the year!). However, before I stepped foot in the class on Monday morning, I met some people whom I hope to remain friends with for the rest of my life.

Most of them are pictured in this photo, taken at our class dinner at the SantaCafe last Tuesday night. From left to right it's me, Jennifer, Lynn, then on the bottom row yet another Jennifer, and Robin. What fun ladies! The first Jennifer is a successful web developer, Lynn is a bartender at the Inn of the Anasazi (what a place!) plus she's embarking on an amazing new business venture with her friend David Schwartz (who somehow missed out on the photo opp). Jennifer on the first row owns a PR firm and she actually set up the entire dinner for me. The owner made a special place for us at the patio and we got extra special treatment. Last but not least, Robin owns her own clothing line.

I met up with them on Sunday when I rolled into town and had a few hours to spare before I could check into my casita. I mosied up to the bar and quite honestly, eavesdropped on these ladies as they were chatting about the party Lynn threw the night before and what they were going to do that night. I happened to say "I want to come!" and that was it--we chatted the rest of the afternoon (through 2 glasses of some fantastic old vine zinfandel and a slab-o-salmon), and made plans for them to come to my dinner on Tuesday night. (The men in my class were oh so pleased to see these young attractive women at our table!)

After our dinner, we went to a spanish bar where tango was the dance of the evening, after which we ended up at another bar which had a metal band playing live! And it wasn't just any metal band... it was comprised of CHICKS! The band is called Cockpit and they're out of LA. Whee!

I was toiling seriously long hours in between all of this. Class started at 8:30 am every day, went to 5:00, and then lab hours were from 6:00-9:30 but I still managed to meet up with Lynn, David, and Jennifer (various combinations thereof) throughout the remainder of the week for brunch, lunch, cocktails, partying on a real live train, and for tooling around the plaza. Crazy! (My class and I also hiked up to the top of the Tent Rocks monument--see the King Family Flickr feed for pics.)

I also bonded with a world-class photographer named Tony Corbell, whom I dragged out with me to meet up with David and these ladies almost every evening. Funny thing is, Tony and David had another friend in common who is involved in the workshops! What a small planet we live on. Speaking of coincidence, my favorite restaurant in the states is Tra Vigne in St. Helena, CA. It just so happens that both Tony and David have similar affection for the very same restaurant! David was also kind enough to give me a bottle of cabernet from his very own vineyard, Davelly, which I am enjoying AT THIS MOMENT.

Anyway, I had just to write about these amazing people and tell them just how much I miss them (terribly, you guys!!!). I hope we always stay in touch and I can't wait to see y'all again :)