I just returned home last week after an exciting week away in Banff for a national photography conference in. I cannot tell you the value I find in being a member of the professional photographic associations I am a part of and in attending these types of conferences. The week away was full of classes, workshops, a tradeshow, dinners and an awards banquet. My husband joined me and it was so nice to get away together and for him to have a more detailed look at what I do for a living! There were so many wonderful speakers there and even my husband came away from the week feeling inspired to learn more about photography…who knows, perhaps one day he will be working with me sometimes! I don’t believe that photography is a job in which you ever stop learning. From Flavio Bandiera, a top wedding photographer from Italy who spoke about relating the rules of photography to the rules of language because both are (in fact) a language, to Matthew Jordan Smith talking about how to find and use your inspiration I learned so much about feeling the moments. Then there were yet other speakers who talked more in detail about lighting setups (The Simones and Sam Sciarrino) and some who spoke about marketing and networking (Chris Keating). I wasn’t able to attend every single class either and from those I did see I felt completely inspired and excited to come home and put all of their ideas to work with my own spin on them!
Going away to attend events such as this also allow me to have some down time where I can simply sit and reflect on my personal journey in photography. Where I have come from, what I have accomplished and what I would like to accomplish moving forward. While I was there I was chatting to a friend on the phone about all of this and she asked me when I would ever think I had “made it” and wouldn’t “have” to attend these things anymore. That really got me thinking. I don’t think I will EVER think I have “made it.” In fact, if I do ever think that or say that to anyone, please feel free to smack me upside the head. While I was literally surrounded with some of the most beautiful mountains and scenery in the world I thought about comparing my journey in photography to one of climbing a mountain. As you are climbing, you never stop looking at your end goal (to make it to the peak), but then what happens when you achieve that goal? There’s really only one way to go from the peak of a mountain and that is down. I don’t ever want to start climbing downwards from my goals in photography. I think I want to always be setting new goals so as far as my photography is concerned I plan to climb the tallest of mental and creative mountains I can find. I will continue to climb it and will never reach the peak. I always want to attend events such as this and learn and be inspired by other professionals in the industry. Every year I set new goals for myself and for my business. I set challenging goals and I don’t always attain them, but I often surprise myself and do reach them, or come pretty close to doing so anyhow. As soon as I achieve one goal it is time to move on to another for me and that is how I keep myself fresh and able to provide the best service to all of you.
One of my goals this year was to enter some photographic competitions to gauge how my work would fare amongst some of the best in the industry. I entered the local PPOC-BC Competition and two of my images were accepted and hung at the National Salon Image Display in Banff! I entered the National PPOC Competition and again had two images accepted. I also have entered the Professional Photographers of America Competition this year. At the Western District one of my images earned a seal and will continue on to the national level. I have also entered their national competition and am waiting for the results of that one too. I am so grateful for all of the wonderful people who have helped me learn and grow as a photographer. Here are some of the images that were accepted in these competitions:
Thank you so much to all of you who read through that novel and to all of you who help to make these events possible!