Wedding Photographers Road Trip!
To call Imaging USA a “getaway” in my title was a bit misleading. It’s more of an intense, 72-hour workshop and trade show with small segments of sleeping and eating thrown in. But, seeing as how it’s a trip sans kids and spouses, to a big city, it’s as close to a getaway as this wedding photographer is going to get! I headed out on Sunday morning with a friend of mine who is another wedding photographer in Columbia, SC, and we road- tripped the 3.5 hour drive to the big city of Atlanta, GA (complete with singing, talking, and road trip munchies). Before you scroll down, please remember that we were very busy and learning a ton, so we opted to leave our professional gear at home. What that means for you is that you have to suffer through iPhone photos for the rest of this post!
Location, Location, Location!
We checked into the Omni at CNN Center in Atlanta and headed straight to the Georgia World Congress Center to check out the Expo before our first class began. I knew it would be big, but nothing prepared me for how big this expo would be. Thank goodness PPA chose such a large location for this event, because over 11,000 photographers attended from around the world! It took all 3 days for me to finally visit every booth, since we only had time to visit the Expo when we were between classes. Classes began at 8am, and ran for 90 minutes each, with little breaks in the middle of the day for lunch. The last class of the day ended at 6:15 or 8, depending on the day. After classes, we networked with other local photographers. I have to say, I am so impressed with how many wedding photographers from Columbia, SC came to Imaging USA, and I’m so proud of how supportive we all are of each other. Community Over Competition is truly the best way to live! But I digress. Check out the rest of this weekend’s photos to see how awesome and educational this trip really was!
Wedding Photographers in Columbia, SC and the surrounding areas definitely know how to network and have a good time. You wouldn’t know it from the photos, but we really were talking “shop” and sharing lots of ideas and inspiration. Oh, and we got to rub elbows with other industry leaders as well! I was delighted to meet Ben Shirk while at WHCC’s opening party (HUGE thank you to WHCC for the invite for free food, drinks, and live music!), and my fellow PPSC members and I had a blast playing with the Gifyyy photo booth (our silliness can be found on pages 1 and 2 of the gallery).
Of course, the main reason myself and other wedding photographers from Columbia, SC made the trip to Atlanta, was so that we could be inspired by some of the industry’s leaders, and take these nuggets of information into our own business models for 2016.
Finally, after 72 hours of hard-core learning and networking, it was time to go home. I am still decompressing and processing all of the information I brought home with me, but after the rushed fall and holiday season, this is the perfect way for a real photographer to regroup and rededicate themselves to their profession. I can’t wait to start integrating lots of new methods into my business for 2016, and I’m thrilled to be home and back to work!