It's just dawned on me that it's been a week since Imaging USA has ended, and I haven't said a word about it - so much shame on me!
So, yes... Imaging. It was awesome! So many fantastic speakers and vendors under one roof. I felt a little like a kid in a candy store... unfortunately with limited funds. That aside, with all the presenters and topics to choose from (even those of us who aren't specifically interested in weddings and portraiture), it was difficult for me to nail down a schedule. I thought I had it worked out ahead of time, but there were a few last-minute changes... some speakers that I didn't initially plan to see, but am SO incredibly glad that I did. Seriously... I laughed, I cried, I left overwhelmed... but in a really good way. And with 3 days and 12+ classes attended, there was only one "sleeper" presenter in the group... not a horrible average.
Jen Hillenga - Minnesota-based boutique photographer talked about ways to stay inspired when you find yourself working your way in to the proverbial rut. Great ideas to make sure you keep 'play time' in with your work.
Adobe's Julieanne Kost's presentation of the Lightroom 4 develop module was perfect - exactly what I was looking for and an introduction into certain aspects of the software that I didn't know existed. I found myself constantly saying..."I can do that?! Sweet!"
Also relating to Lightroom was Jared Platt's presentation on speeding up one's workflow within the software. I've already used some of his suggestions in editing since I've been home... and this is going to be a really great thing when it comes to editing things like Spartan Race and some of the other candid events that I shoot.
Stillmotion's Amina Moreau talked about photographing with a purpose, to tell a story... and not to just capture the images that people expect of you. Stillmotion creates cinematography... I urge you to check out their wedding website and watch some of their creations... really moving stuff.
Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Brian Smith discussed and broke down the behind-the-scenes and how-to's of many of his famous celebrity portraits.
Also along a similar line was Greg Gorman... another really fantastic celebrity photographer. He was the winner of the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) Lifetime Achievement Award this year.
Joe Buissink gave his moving presentation of his career in film wedding photography and his use of the dreaded 'P' mode... and why it's not for amateurs. Gorgeous images!
Atlanta-based music photographer Zack Arias's presentation, called "If I Had To Start Today..." This was great! If he had to start his business from scratch (knowing what he knows today), what business practices he finds are the most important, the basic equipment he could get away with using, and the best client-base to go after to bring in the most profit right away. So many really good ideas in his presentation.
And then all the vendors... Woohoo! :D I managed to escape all the show deals with just a dual pack of SD cards and some books to beef up my reference library... but, oh, the damage I could have done!
Next year's show will be Phoenix in January... and I'd really like to go again. Hoping it's feasible to make it happen.