So last Saturday I hit the road to head to New Orleans for my first time at Imaging USA. It was a GREAT trip and I hope to be able to go back again next year. For those of you who don't know, "Imaging USA convention and expo, hosted by Professional Photographers of America, features the largest photography expo in North America, educational sessions on the artistic and business side of photography and the International Print Exhibit. Imaging USA is the first major photographic event of the year that brings together the forward-thinking photographers and business leaders whose ideas spark innovation and change in the industry." --Imaging USA
Erin & I meticulously picked which speakers we were going to see and for the most part I think we made the best choices. First on the list: Zach & Jody. These two were fun, hip, *southern*, and gave great advice that just made you say, "duh". Next on the agenda was Julie Klaasmeyer. This woman does exceptional, gorgeous work and is a big inspiration when it comes to babies. She knows what she is doing.
The second day of the conference we saw two big name wedding photographers. One, Robert Evans, known as the "Hollywood Celebrity Photographer" with weddings such as TomKat and Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston gracing his portfolio of beautiful work. Two, Kenny Kim, who has only been in the business since 2005 is known for amazing destination lifestyle weddings. I need to take a tip or two from him, I mean who wouldn't want to travel all over the world shooting fabulous weddings?!
And the third and final day of the conference we saw two more photographers, with completely different styles, but both AWESOME none the less! Joey L., now 22, has been doing commercial work since he was like 16 or 17. This guy just blows me out of the water!! He currently works with big name companies like the History Channel, FX Channel and Summit Entertainment. You know those sexy photos of Edward and Jacob that grace the movie poster for Twilight? Yea, he took those. I may never get into commercial work (maybe) but this guy definitely has me inspired to get out and shoot more for ME. His personal work is breath-taking and speaks volumes. The other awesome photographer, Sal Cincotta, has only been in the photography business since 2007! What is awesome about this guy you ask? Well first of all he is funny as shit. Yes, I said shit. And he will too. But he is very open to discussing the business side of photography, giving advice and tips on pricing, marketing, and anything and everything else you may need to know about running a successful photography business. Sal is located in St. Louis, Missouri and grossed $1 MILLION last year so he is obviously doing SOMEthing right!
Another great thing about Imaging USA besides informative presentations is the EXPO! I walked out of there with a few free goodies, special show discounts on a gorgeous backdrop from Drop it Modern and new business cards from Moo, and yes, I did take a picture with an alligator and snake, but only to make my husband jealous! ;)
And last, but not least, what is New Orleans without a trip to the French Quarter for coffee and beignets at Cafe Du Monde? I love those things! And I love good music and art. We came across a couple of cool cats jamming on their gee-tars on our way to the French Market, so of course we had to stop to snap a few photos, but like idiots we didn't ask what they called themselves, or where we could find them online. Dumb. And then to make a trip to New Orleans complete I got to spend an evening dining with my dear friend, Helen. I love and miss this girl so much!