Canon Be Empowered Seminar

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In conjunction with International Women's Day, I was invited to speak at Canon's Be Empowered photography seminar for women on the 7th of March at Raffles Hotel.

It was a beautiful venue filled with wonderful people, the experience itself was something so exquisite, I feel I'm not entirely capable of putting it down in words.

Maye-e from The Associated Press did an amazing session with her super storytelling skills and epic photographs. We later found out that we were both Singapore Sports Award winners -- she was Sports Girl of the Year in 1995, and I '06. We also found out that her father knew my mother when I was in RGS, who he knew about me too and my air rifle shooting as well. And then we found out that my new assistant Valerie used to be under her care in the buddy-system they had in primary school, and they were thus suddenly reunited two decades later. Fate can be such a curious thing sometimes.

There was a break after Maye-e's talk. I was nervous when my turn came around, it was the first time I was speaking to almost 400 people.

Shaky voice and all, it still felt like I did alright thou. But when I was done and ready for my Q&A, when the emcee asked if anyone had any questions, there hung a deathly silence in the hall -- deathly.

I thought, well, I didn't think it was that bad, but maybe I really made a mistake with my contents for the wrong audience. At least I tried my best.

When the event was over, I got down the stage. Started having pictures taken with attendees and was eventually stuck there and never made it to the reception area outside for mingling around.

During the picture-taking I was told that my talk was good and touching, although still doubtful, I started to feel somewhat a little better.

Two girls then came up to me, one shook my hand as her friend was readying the camera for a picture. She told me she was actually just accompanying her sister to the seminar, but she found my talk touching, and inspirational.

Barely finishing that, she all but broke into tears whilst attempting to continue her sentences.

My mind pretty much went blank at that point.

I hugged her. Stunned that what I said could cause somebody to react so vehemently. It was something I'd never expected. It was a beautiful moment, one that I'll never forget.

That night I received emails from other women each with their own stories. Words can't convey how much they mean to me.

I really hope everyone who attended the seminar managed to gain a little something to bring home with them.

Thank you Canon for making such an event possible, and also your sincerity and efforts in supporting the arts for our society.


Irisu said...

I am glad for you, Miss JingNa. I really wish I was there! :'>

tRiSh said...

I wish I'd been there to hear it.

p.s. I just bought one of your books, i'm so excited. :)

xYazz said...

Ahww, see? You can talk just fine! ^.^ I SO wish I was there >.> i'd probably cry a river when I go to see you from luckiness..

Wolf Schröder said...

Of course people are going to to be moved by you. Your work is really impressive and you're a good person, and appear to be a good speaker as well.

Congratulations on a successful seminar.

SIMages said...

Beautiful & touching. How i wish i was there to listen to your story as well.

However, there's a possibility that i may be in S'pore when you've your work up around Orchard Rd in April. Must find out more & put in my dairy.

el.choo said...

I wished I was there to hear your speech.


fairy fairuz said...

Congratulations!I missed the seminar,oh well.Heard about your coming exhibition, can't wait!good luck for the preparation.Hope to meet you again!:)

SF said...

It was amazing!

I was there on my own and your speech was really inspiring, overwhelmed by your willingness to share your past, experiences and accomplishments :)

I guess the rest were as overwhelmed and thus speechless like me :P

Anonymous said...

i was there..
and truly inspired by both you and may-e to become a female photographer...

Like you, I also went through alot to have found my hobby as a Photographer.

We should cherish everything we have now !!!!

Lizard said...

Oooh I would love to have heard your speech. Maybe you could post it somewhere? Hhahahah, I bet you could be a great lecturer!

Amy said...

I was there because of you.

I was amused by the simple set-up when you took those earlier works.

A lot of us will motivated by your works.

Katrina said...

Is there any chance for you to post your speech? :)
ps - I think you are an inspiration to many of your fans who have been following you for some time now. :)


Amy said...

I mean I am amazed by the simple set up yet produced great photos.

Thanks for sharing your experience.

Zhang Jingna said...

Aw thank you everyone!

Katrina: I contemplated about it, but it's like, 4000-word long. I think I'll spare my audience their eyes the pain. Maybe if they want the video bad enough they can go ask Canon, although I'll probably end up moaning another ten thousand days over how horrible I sounded and looked lol.