Photo Copyright AUBREY HORD PHOTOGRAPHY - Used With Permission

Photo by AUBREY HORD PHOTOGRAPHY - Used With Permission

I promise – this is my last post on the Maui Photo Festival but I wanted to get some last minute mahalos on the record and share a pic. This is me when I exhibited my “fat man dancing routine” during my keynote presentation on Previz.

I often come to these events to speak or teach and leave feeling wasted and tired. Not this time. Rarely have I come back from a job feeling rested and refreshed. Maui is very nice place but it’s the people I met here who made it special

The festival was a real leap of faith for the entire island and for its organizers. The group behind includes…

Zane and Beth Mathias
Barbara and Richard Santos
Terrie Eliker
Abby Okazaki

I wanted to go to the extra effort to name these people because they exhibited tremendous determination and passion in designing, scheduling and running this first-ever event. They worked their rear ends off and I’m sure they did it for very little if any compensation. Their goal was a great event and in my opinion, they sure achieved that goal in spades. Congratulations are in order. Well done.

Can you imagine creating a festival at an expensive, remote destination during a terrible economy? These people took that step. I was so impressed that I tried to help raise awareness free of charge. It appears I did have some impact since I was told that more than half the attendees said they found out about the program from Photofocus! Thanks folks. I am glad that our audience was so well represented and I enjoyed meeting many of you in person at the event.

In addition to the organizers there were dozens of excellent volunteers who did everything from drive us around to making sure attendees got to the right classes. They made my time here more enjoyable

Even though I’ve been introduced to her and talked to her many times at conferences, I’d never really gotten to know Julieanne Kost. She is the Digital Imaging Evangelist for Adobe Systems but she’s also a fun, artistic, creative and super intelligent person. I also got to spend time with my pal and fantastic speaker Dane Sanders who was on the faculty along with many people I don’t know personally, but whom I often see on the road at workshops. One of the people I hadn’t met before is Andy Katz, a travel photographer with a great sense of humor and a deep portfolio. His work is amazing and he was tons of fun to hang out with. In a separate post, I cover the husband and wife team of Andy Dunaway and Stacy Pearsall. This fantastic young couple played a big part in the week’s festivities. I also got to know Maui local Randy Jay Braun who is dedicated to the Aloha spirit and a fine art photographer who deserves more notice than he gets. I spent a little time with celebrity photographer David Rose and with Islands Magazine photo editor Lori Barbely – both great people.

So why the long wrap up? I wanted to get these names in front of my audience because these are all good people you can learn from. Awareness is the first step. I also want to encourage EVERYONE to consider attending next year’s event. They’re planning it for early October 2010. That gives you plenty of time to start saving your pennies. The exact dates will be reported here on Photofocus as soon as they send them to me. I’ll be back and hope to see you there.

This post sponsored by the Digital SLR Store