As some of you may know photography has been a big up and down roller coaster for me. T2S is actually my second official photography business and third overall in the last 10 years. I do a lot of start and stop, try something new, hope anything sticks type business running. This is not the recommended way to do things.
In 2018 I decided to stop trying to do a little of everything and focus on the types of photography I enjoy. I also decided as part of being more serious to join what is called the Professional Photographers of America or PPA for short. They have an annual conference in January held in a different city each year. A perk for your first year as a PPA member you can attend for free! Knowing this I made sure to sign up after ImagingUSA 2018 was over so I would have a full year to prepare to attend my first conference.
I have never had to travel alone before so this trip was very nerve wracking. Going to a different city to one of the largest photo conferences in the country and taking the CPP exam. I am happy to report that everything went well. The best advise I have is to go in with no expectations. This helped me so much. I also didn't know anyone going in and came out with a few new friends.
The first day I found out there was a free book by this guy Phil M Jones, so I picked that up. Then I ended up with a second book during another class by Jeffrey Shaw. I felt so cool "meeting" these speakers. Even though I didn't actually meet them I was able to be in the same room they were speaking in. The information I was able to get about running a better business is invaluable.
Since this was my first experience at a conference I had no idea that I would not only get a reusable bag to hold any goodies I acquired I would also receive a notebook for taking notes during classes. I had a notebook all packed, turns out it wasn't needed. Isn't that so cool! I have many pages left and was even able to give a page away to someone who needed it.
Again, first time conference goer here. Is it normal to have these little ribbons to give more information about you?? I started to see them around and went on a hunt to find where they were coming from. Eventually I found this little booth where you could pick up ribbons for Print., PPA member, First timer, among others. There were some vendors at the expo giving away their own ribbons and I was able to get the CPS member one. Joining Canon Professional Services (CPS) was something else I did last year to take my business more seriously.
I must say that attending Imaging was a great idea. Bonus things that I never expected were seeing Peter Hurley and Lindsey Adler live. I have seen them in videos online and never imagined being able to see them in person.
Whatever industry you are in, join the professional organization for it. It opens up a whole new view on your industry. It was amazing to meet people who take photography seriously and not just a hobby. I can't wait to continue learning, growing, and improving.
Want to chat? Email me at [email protected] or call 402-557-8600