My friend Sage messaged me two weeks ago letting me know she was leaving Guatemala to come back to the bay, and she would be leaving the very next morning for Serenity Gathering 2018. Sage then said, as she does, “I will manifest a ticket for you to join.” In perfect Sage fashion, within an hour I had an offer to come photograph an area of the gathering called The Heart of Serenity. They said I could photograph the workshops and whatever else I wanted.

two people touching foreheads at serenity festiva;

Two weeks ago I had never heard of Serenity Gathering. This was my first festival/gathering like this. I’ve been to Burning Man and Rainbow Gathering as a participant. Burning Man being such a huge spectacle and Rainbow Gathering being the opposite. Serenity Gathering felt right in the middle. This gathering I would actually be working to document parts of the event. Ready for the change of pace, I packed up my camping and camera gear and headed to Oakdale with my crew!

Not knowing what to expect and I was very happy they gave me creative freedom to shoot what I was inspired by. For 20 yearsI have been photographing maternity, newborns and families. I shoot indoors a lot of the time. Shooting in an outdoor festival setting was definitely very intriguing to me. I started shooting as soon as we arrived. The festival vibe was so inspiring! The people, the landscape, the stories. I wanted to capture a different side of the festival- the true Heart of Serenity.

modern ballet festival goers messing around

I have been in awe of how synchronistic my life is every single day. At the Serenity Gathering it seemed to increase ten fold! I had ideas going in of photographing people and learning about their lives. Not knowing what I would do with the images and stories, I decided to just dive in. Over the next month I will blog and share images of the PEOPLE I met and vibed with. There was so much love and connection and growth in just 3 days, I soaked it all in. From the workshops, late night trance dj sets, high priestess blessing with Ida Resi Alit,  live art performances and the countless deep conversations, I was oozing pure happiness. People go to festivals like this for a reason. I wanted to learn why.

Enjoy this sneak peak and glimpse into the Serenity Gathering! I hope to see you there next year!

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