I have spoken about how much I love this wonderful craft, photography, more than once. It isn't just about taking the photos. It can't be.
This business is just that, a business. That for me, is the hardest part of my passion, is the business end. I ask a lot of questions of colleagues and have made a lot of connections with these questions.
The community of photographers that I surround myself with is incredible. They are talented and lovely people. We are supportive of one another and encourage each other. That's why I love going to conferences and meeting new and talented people to network with.
Which leads me to where I was two weeks ago. I was lucky enough to be able to attend WPPI in Las Vegas. My husband as able to travel with me and we got a week away from the cold and spent some time touring Vegas during my down time. We had an amazing Super Bowl experience, but I will have to save that for another post!
This convention was AMAZING. I was able to attend classes and learn more about the business end, new marketing ideas, meet some of the photographers I have looked up to for years, and reconnect with some that I have met in years passed. It was awesome.
The convention doesn't just have platform classes (speakers in large rooms) they also offer master classes to work with photographers on a more intimate level, they offer photo walks where you follow a photographer with models and they show you how they run their sessions or wedding portraits. The nice thing about photo walks, I think, is the fact that you get to see someone in action. Not that you want to copy someone, I certainly don't, but sometimes there it's nice to see someone else work and pick up a few points here and there on what you can improve on.
There were many highlights to this trip, many. However, two highlights for sure was going on a photo walk with Tomayia Colvin of Tomayia Colvin Photography LLC, and participating in a Desert Shootout with Jeremy Chou and Julie Paisley (I have a whole other blog post for that one!). Watching these amazing photographers was so inspiring and also working along side other photographers during each shoot was so much fun! I made some great connections.
Now, with the photo walk it was completely different than anything I have shot before. This was a senior portrait photo walk and the models were actual senior students and wore beautiful gowns. I really want to encourage my seniors to wear their prom dresses, how fun would that be?!
My other classmates and I were laughing and squealing with delight as we looked at the back of our cameras. It was fun to hear that I am not the only one that does that!
We came from all over the country and all had some of the same thoughts on the walk. I met one person from Tennessee that was going to the Desert Shootout later that day with me. We are so similar and really had a lot of fun.
While there I realized how much I love film. Even more than I did before, if that was possible! I was able to meet with my film provider and scanner at the expo (which could be a whole other blog post too!). I have plans for my film, and I hope you guys are ready!
I will now end this very long blog post with this.
"Community over Competition."
A booth was giving away t-shirts that said this. I love it. This industry is a big one, but we are all different and have something to learn from each other.