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I am fresh back from the Imaging USA 2013 conference in Atlanta, GA. It was a whirlwind, two and a half days (for me) of all things photography and I enjoyed every second of it. The conference did live up to its hype and I’m so grateful to have attended this awesome event. During the course of my short jaunt to the #ATL, I also managed to catch up with an old friend from college (Jo) whom I haven’t seen in 7 years! We went for a lovely run in Piedmont Park and had dinner in the Virginia Highland neighborhood of Atlanta.
Instead of bombarding you with a detailed journal entry on every session and workshop attended, I thought I’d share some images of my experience. Those images are in the slideshow above and feature conference highlights and some “side trips” taken during my time in Atlanta. When in the South…
To wrap up this blog entry, I thought I’d end with FIVE reasons (in no particular order) that made my trip to Atlanta worthwhile this past week:
1.) Southern Hospitality: That’s right. It does exist, even in big cities such as Atlanta. People were genuine, friendly and not afraid to strike up a conversation. It’s such a far cry from the Northeast!
2.) THE EXPO: It. was. mind-blowing… awesome. I went all 3 days and felt like a kid in the candy store every time. From visiting different booths to learn about their products to shopping for the latest camera gear, popping in on talks and shooting demos by world-class photographers and software gurus, it was unlike any EXPO I have attended in the past. I have already signed on with MpixPro, Millers and AsukaBook. I look forward to offering their top-of-the-line products to my clients in the year to come. I also got my portrait taken by Bambi Cantrell and scored some sweet deals from Adorama, Midwest Photography Exchange and DaisyGrip (a fabulous company who is offering a BIG giveaway from 20 different photography companies if you enter between now and midnight January 26, 2013!).
3.) The Wealth of Knowledge: Attending various workshops on photo editing software (by Jared Platt and Julieanne Kost alike), as well as business strategy sessions by Mathew Jordan Smith and Rachel Marten empowered me to take the next stepS in growing my photography business. My biggest takeaway from all of their talks was simply this: “If you don’t respect yourself, nobody will. You are the decision maker and what you do with the knowledge obtained is up to you.” I appreciated the fact that all the speakers gave us conference attendees the tips of the trade, but didn’t tell us HOW to implement them. The journey is unique and different for everyone.
4.) New Connections: I got to meet PPA’s Director of Publications Jane Gaboury and Angela of Steel Toe Images at the conference. We connected on Twitter before ImagingUSA and it was so exciting to meet them in person, though it was only for a few minutes. In addition, I also met two talented photographers: Julie K. (student from NYU) and Monica of Monica Parkkonen Photography at the fabulous Mexican restaurant Alma Cocina who gave me some wonderful recommendations on photography gear, appetizers and cocktails!
5.) ICP Mentoring Session: I was one of the lucky ones who got a slot in this mentoring session and had my work critiqued by an ICP judge. It was an eye-opening experience and I was given a lot of tips on how to grow as a travel photographer. I can’t wait to put into practice what I have learned in my next trip overseas!
A heartfelt THANKS to everyone at PPA for putting on such a wonderful conference! I highly recommend this conference to all photographers… there is always so much learning you can do in this industry. There was never a dull moment and I can’t wait to start planning for Imaging USA in Phoenix 2014! #iUSA14