I can’t say enough great things about photo conferences. It took me nine years to get through college, and I ended up with two degrees in fields I love: photography and english. But after graduating I really missed the community and interaction of other hard workers.
I got my first taste of being around the professional and artistic photography community at PDN’s PhotoPlus conference back in 2010. Man was it inspiring. I came out of New York City loaded with both knowledge and inspiration. I felt more driven and directed in how I could actually make photography something I could both love and live with as a profession.
The WPPI Road trip was no different. My biggest issue right now is marketing – how do I reach out to those who will need my services? And what exactly is my service like? What am I going to offer, and who am I going to offer it to?
I’ve been really driving myself crazy going through 2,700 images after weddings, trying my best not to get down about how much shit I have to wade through. Seriously, there are so many bad images you take to get to that one gem. What do I do with all those bad images? How can I be sure my clients will be happy with my best images?
Well, all of this was answered at the Road Trip.
By far the most inspiring speaker was this girl – and I mean very nice, very humane, very just plain cool girl – from New Zealand. Her name is Sue Bryce, and she’s a glamour portrait photographer. She was in her mid-20’s when bad portrait photography was hot, but she just loved creating images of people. And she found a way to get away from the popular market, driving towards the essential human connection of story telling: Sue has got to be one of the best listeners I know. She’s cool, she’s confident, but best of all she connects with people.
She disappeared for the remainder of the show, but found her as I was walking out and got to catch up with her. Kudos to her for dating a videographer who just finished producing a zombie movie down under, “Last of the Living”.
Other professionals, such as Scott & Adina Hayne, Sal Cincotta, Jared Platt, and Monica Sigmon, had torrents of information and inspiration as well. I’m all jazzed up to get a 12-month marketing plan ready to go, to run after my business goals, to be a bit more efficient during post, and to make some happy freakin’ brides!
From Scott & Adina Hayne I learned a bit about how to include my family in my business – they’re a great husband/wife team. Sal Cinotta was just a plain cool photographer who works in the St. Louis area, who just got married in Italy back in 2009, and helped me figure out my wedding day workflow and how to creatively direct a bit more clearly. Jared Platt, another family guy who has two daughters, helped me figure out how to be efficient in Lightroom, and how to setup a better post-processing flow. And finally Monica Sigmon gave a few tips on how to reach out to your immediate community using your talent as a photographer. She has an incredible project she just finished, where she reached out to a less fortunate town near her house. Check the project out here: Grove Summer of Love.
All-in-all good stuff! Let’s keep the inspiration flowing!