I want to invite you to Summer School – I’ve been privileged to attend and speak at each of the previous Summer School conferences for photographers and without a doubt, it’s one of my favorite gatherings each year. It’s a boutique conference. It’s small enough that you can actually get to know people. The networking and educational events are literally the best I’ve seen. And it’s going to happen again, in Las Vegas, starting July 31, 2011. I hope you can make it. Here’a a break down of the past Summer Schools.

Where’s everybody from?  We had 41 states represented last year and five countries outside the US. California represented 24%, but if you start combining other areas of the country, like the 12 states considered the Midwest, they represented 15%. So, overall it was a great mix on the geography, which helps create a stronger networking base. For this summer we’ve already got 17 states and Canada represented!

What does everybody do? Wedding photographers represented 47%, with portraiture (children, family and seniors) at 36% and commercial, fine art and outdoor/wildlife making up the remainder. Again, it’s a great mix. For this year, so far, portraiture leads the way at 40%, wedding photographers at 25% and everybody else is in just about every specialty.

How long has everyone been in business? New photographers just starting out represented 32% and 27% said they had been in business less than 2 years.  The remaining 41% were considerably more experienced with half being in business over five years.  This is part of what makes Summer School so much fun. It’s the mix of experience and everybody makes a contribution.  The exchange becomes incredibly helpful to everybody.

This year’s mix so far, is running about 50% under two years in business. Again, it’s a great mix for networking.

Are you full or part time? Just like the numbers nationally for the industry, every year it’s been about the same, split 55-60% part time and 40-45% full time.  This year it’s running a little higher in the part time, about 65% as of now.

Male vs. female was also dead-on with industry statistics, split right down the middle at 50/50 men vs. women attending. Again, it’s a great mix and registration for this year is the same.

But there’s a fun twist this year with the hands-on demonstration day, August 2, Tuesday. In terms of programming and class selection for the Tuesday lighting and posing workshops, TonyCorbell, Bambi Cantrell and me, Matthew Jordan Smith and Kevin Kubota lead the way. Remember, these classes will be limited in size, but there are eight different programs to choose from!

Just a reminder, this year’s program is at the Mirage with Jerry Ghionis kicking off the program on Sunday night, July 31. The Mirage has a great package at just $79 a night, but the room block won’t be held forever. If you plan on going, lock in your hotel reservation early. Here’s the link to the Mirage registration page.

And here’s the link to registration: Summer School 2011

If you haven’t been to Summer School before it’s a pretty amazing experience and if you have, you know what I’m talking about. Friendships made year after year just seem to keep growing. People leave the program year after year with great information and ideas they can implement the minute they get home. I’ve said it every year, but this year we just seem to have the best mix of faculty yet.  Plus, we’ve got some amazing sponsors.

Video by Clay Blackmore and Jeff Medford
See you at Summer School!

Sponsored by CLIQ Photo Community