With Photoshop World quickly approaching and other conferences creeping up this fall, I want to plant some seeds into your head that hopefully can help you understand the benefit that these types of conferences can have; both personally and for your business. Yes, Photoshop World is a partner and they are dear friends of ours, but regardless of that relationship, I want to be very candid about the positive and priceless experience these types of conferences can have for you, regardless of your photography skill level.
There are many ways to receive education these days with tutorials and videos and virtual classes. But listen to me when I say this. There is NOTHING that beats an in-person, real life educational experience. Nothing. Lets take a look at the lineup for some of these conferences, particularly Photoshop World that is happening in less than a month. The amount of talent that is going to be under one roof is going to knock your socks off. And I don’t mean that lightly. Some of these instructors have inspired me more with their work and their accomplishments, and because of the amount of wisdom and education they provide for this industry.
Legendary portrait photographers, Joe McNally, Peter Hurley, Kevin Ames, Jeremy Cowart, wedding photographers Clliff Mautner, Jerry Ghionis, landscape photographer Matt Kloskowski, children photographer Tamara Lackey, Photoshop legends Brian O’Neil Hughes, Julianne Kost, Joel Grimes, Scott Kelby….the list goes on and on and on and on. And the last time I was able to walk down the hall and have incredible conversations with these artists plus sit in their classes and learn some insight into their processes.
Attending Photoshop World last fall and WPPI just weeks ago, I can honestly say that I have established some of the greatest friendships and connections that have been absolutely pivotal in my outlook and business. We all have easy virtual ways to become “friends” with folks on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites. But seriously. Nothing beats a face to face handshake or hug with some incredibly talented individuals that can assist in the growth of you as a person and as a business owner. These relationships can then grown into future collaborations resources, and of course, friendships.
Okay, I don’t even know if “relatability” is even a word. But the meaning behind it is the most important part. We as artists and entrepreneurs have many road blocks and battles that we have to face on a daily basis. When you go to these hands on conferences and you connect and relate with other photographers, you find that you’re not the only one going through these challenges. This then gives you a great psychological fuel to help you learn that you’re not alone with these obstacles and can hopefully discover multiple solutions to overcome them.
These conferences have a network of businesses that pay to set up booths around the educational classes. Retail outlets, album manufacturers, print labs and everything else a photographer would ever want. This is your chance to decide what products and services work for you AND talk to the businesses that are wanting to help better your business by the products they offer. Take advantage of these vendors being there and ask for their business card. Having a personal connection into each of these businesses can be helpful when you’re in a bind or need a great solution.
Many times my colleagues will attend these conferences if they are lost, stuck in a creative rut, or just plain need a good kick in the seat. You will find that after these conferences when you’re exhausted and fulfilled in every possible way, you will go home having some incredible tools to jump start your business or even your hobby. Inspiration alone is what we as artists need to keep the passion of the craft alive.
Now that you know my thoughts, let me help you know what conferences are happening in the near future and some current deals that will help with your budget.
- Photoshop World April 8 – 10 in Atlanta, GA. Our friends at Kelby One are giving you a $50 OFF a full conference pass. Tell them we sent you by using the promo code PSWFOCUS414.
- Photoplus Expo Oct 30 – Nov 1, 2014 in New York City.
- Imaging USA Feb 1-3, 2015 Nashville, TN
- WPPI Feb 26- March 5, 2015 Las Vegas, NV
Get these on your calendar and make it a priority to go. I assure you friends, you won’t regret it.