Every year for the past seventeen years or so (maybe more! I've lost count!) I have enjoyed the annual ritual of gettting together with my son and a group of close friends and heading off somewhere for four days of photography. We do this on Melbourne Cup Weekend. My friends are avid photographers, some of whom are professional but most of whom are keen amateurs. This year we chose the area of Portland, Victoria and drove home along the Great Ocean Road.For me, its a chance to enjoy the company of my fellow photophiles and to be with my son, to have some laughs and to just simply enjoy photography without any of the normal commercial pressures that are placed upon it. For me this is very important. To thrive, I need to continue to enjoy the art itself.It is just one of the ways I 'keep my eye in' and keep my heart beating alongside.I recommend it to all photographers as a ritual that is worth every endeavour. It keeps me in love with photography as something that brings joy, not just money. That is very important as one does beget the other.