Wedding Photographers Getaway to Imaging USA

January 14, 2016

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!

two photographers take a selfie in the car
Columbia, SC Wedding Photographers hit the road to Imaging USA…but first, let us take a selfie.

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!

Sue Bryce demo at Imaging USA and camera lenses on display
Demos by the one and only Sue Bryce, plus every lens a photographer could ever want, all in one place!
Imaging USA Expo at Georgia World Congress Center
There is no way to really show how large the expo was, but this is the view upon first entering it in the bottom of the Georgia World Congress Center.
Professional Photographers of SC at Imaging USA
Professional Photographers of South Carolina representing at Imaging USA 2016! These are just a few of the many amazing and talented people I feel blessed to call friends and colleagues.
sunrise and sunset over atlanta, georgia
Sunrise and sunset over Atlanta, Georgia. It’s hard to beat this great view!

Networking

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).

Spinning the wheel of prizes at the AdoramaPix booth, and warming up with friends during WHCC’s opening night party.
PPSC folks really do stick together. Others found it hard to believe that we are all friends, even though we are all wedding photographers in Columbia, SC area!
More photo booth fun and the amazing closing party at Georgia Aquarium!

 

Classes

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.

Travis Gadsby class at Imaging USA 2016
Travis Gadsby of Brink Studios in Florida talks about marketing to a new generation of high school seniors, and how to have fun with them!
Sam Abell, one of my all time favorite National Geographic photographers, talked about his “compose and wait” method of shooting, which has served him well for over 30 years, and led him to create some of National Geographic’s most memorable photos.
Our view the rest of the time consisted of lots of coffee and working.

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!

So long, Imaging USA! See you next year in San Antonio!
So long, Imaging USA! See you next year in San Antonio!
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[…] clients and working alone in — you guess it — Columbia, SC.  Like I’ve mentioned before, though, I value all of the professional education and networking opportunities I can get! This […]

[…] the way I want. As fortune would have it, I was introduced to Allie at Artsy Couture while I was at Imaging USA a few weeks ago. She was kind enough to chat with me and answer all of my many questions, although […]

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