Good Afternoon Everybody,
We got in pretty Sunday night from our PhotoPro Network Summer School and got a pretty slow start on today having been going nonstop for the last three days in Louisville, Kentucky.We had a great time. Let me give you a quick recap below.
PhotoPro Network Summer School 2012 Recap
We had a great crowd this past weekend at our PhotoPro Network Summer School. We had photographers from six states attending, including my good friend, Frank Wilson and his friend Derrick, traveling all the way from Jackson Mississippi – nearly 600 miles away. Turns out Frank won the award for most miles traveled to get there and took home one of the door prizes for his efforts – Way to go Frank and Derrick!
Missed Opportunity For Many
It still amazes me that more photographers don't take advantage of some of these wonderful learning opportunities taking place around the country. For 2 1/2 days of terrific photographic inspiration and instruction, at a cost of only $89, you would think that people would be “chomping at the bit” to attend.
Unfortunately, I think too many people think they can get their education free from the Internet. But in doing so, you really miss out on the personal interaction with instructors, the inspiration that every instructor brings to the program, and most importantly, the camaraderie among all the photographers that attend and participate at these kinds of photographic events. Anyway, sorry to be on my soapbox, but I've been going to seminars and workshops for many, many years and I just don't see any better way to learn than the up-close-and-personal interaction with the guest instructors.
Print competition was a great hit!
This year we had over 60 photographs submitted in our Digital Image Review. We broadcast the image competition LIVE so look for rebroadcast here at DigitalProTalk probably within the next week. Once again, I don't think there's any better way to learn how to improve your photography than by participating in a digital image competition and hearing the judge's comments. Not only does it change your image perspective, allow you to gain many new insights from qualified judges and become inspired by the other photographers’ creativity that you see. Watch for the re-broadcast….coming soon!
By the way, this summer's winner was a print entitled "Dancing In The Rain" by Jason Higdon. Jason took home an onOne Perfect Photo Suite 6.0 for his efforts. Way to go Jason!
Inspiring Landscape Program By Jim Goldstein
After the print competition wrapped, we went LIVE with Jim Goldstein's outstanding landscape program. This presentation had everyone inspired and mesmerized for the entire 90 minute program. I've known Jim’s work for a number of years and am constantly amazed by how beautiful it is.
What was most amazing about his presentation this past Friday were images from a new project he's been working on. The new project has him photographing star trails over the desert. The images he presented were absolutely amazing. I populated part of the post with a the few of the audience favorites.
I asked Jim if we could re-broadcast this webcast as well and he was very gracious to oblige. So, look for that post, as well. I can't wait for you to see his wonderful images, listen to his inspiring presentation, and just be enthralled for the entire 90 minute presentation.
Social Media Made Simple!
At nine o'clock Saturday morning we all re-convened in the large meeting room for A.J. Wood’s fabulous Social Media Marketing program. A.J/ was our special guest last year and was such a hit we asked him to be part of this year’s, via the internet, program too.
A.J. phoned in his enthusiastic, super informative presentation on social media marketing. Last year when A.J. gave his program Google+ and Pinterest weren't even on anybody's radar yet. This year's presentation was a complete revamp of last year's presentation with heavy emphasis on Facebook's new features and great information on how to get the best use out of Google+ and Pinterest.
I ask A.J. if he would mind if we could rerun his webcast at a later date and he was again so gracious to oblige. Stay tuned, A.J.’s Social Media webcast will also be posted within the next couple weeks. It's another presentation you won't want to miss.
After A.J. completed his program, my good friends Nicholas Viltrakis and Eric Cameron put on a razzle-dazzle presentation showing the very practical and creative side of speed-lighting. The audience loved their program. They are fun, knowledgeable, sharing tips and techniques for the everyday photographer as well as reviewing nearly a hundred creative images.
Fashion Photographer Extraordinaire!
Another one of the programs that was an audience favorite was the Fashion/Lifestyle presentation by Lou Freeman – Lou is short for Louise, BTW. She has worked with the best of the best in the fashion industry – the best clients, models, and projects. She had a long run at Playboy Magazine shooting 597 assignments for them over her long tenure with the magazine.
Lou’s program gave us a taste of that kind of world – a world many would like to aspire too. Like wedding photography, she says that photography niche has gone through many changes too. Regardless, her program was about her images and the back story surrounding those images – amazing work!
In the second half of her program we set up a LIVE photo-shoot with her beautiful model, Tamara, and Lou shoot tethered into Lightroom 4 giving the audience the instant gratification they wanted as Lou worked her fashion magic with Tamara.
BTW, Lou will be presenting again at our much larger PhotoPro Expo 2013 next year – details to come.
Everyone Loved The Summer Shootout!
One of the highlights of our summer conference is our Summer Shootout. We have four of our top instructors come together for the event on Saturday evening. We divide all of the attendees into four groups. Each group gets to spend about 30 minutes with each of the instructors. Each instructor shares their talents, creativity, and knowledge with each of the four groups. After 30 minutes the groups rotate onto the next photographer and so everybody's has a chance to sample the talents and inspiration of all four of our world-class trainers.
Not only do the instructors demonstrate great lighting and composition but, many will even give the class an opportunity to shoot the models using the lighting set ups so everyone that participates gets a chance – to add images to their portfolio. This is Ty and Shannon Fisher’s group you see in the photo on the right.
It's amazing what our trainers find to use as backgrounds. Lou Freeman, one of the favorite instructors at this year's summer event, found a back wall of the hotel that was kind of secluded. That wall contained wall decor that looked to me like sea urchins.
Lou knew right away that she had found the perfect place for her training sessions. In her mind she had visualized already how these compositional elements would play into the background and how she could add her own creative touch with special lighting to capture some very unusual images. One of her favorites, straight out-of-the-camera is featured below.
It was definitely a long day Saturday with many arriving about 8:30 a.m to get a front row seat. We wrapped at 11:00 p.m. just after a few appetizers the Summer Shootout review from all the instructors sharing their favorite images. PhotoPro Network supplied the appetizers and refreshments and I think everybody really appreciated the treat. Like I say, where can you find such a deal for only $89? The answer would be right here at PhotoPro Network;~)
After a fairly late night Friday and a very long day Saturday, we all reconvened back at the meeting room at 9:00 a.m. sharp Sunday morning. Jason Lykins was our special guest for the Sunday morning program. He wowed the audience by revealing the dark magic of Adobe's newly released Photoshop CS6.
I also presented a short 90 minute program on all the latest, greatest features of Lightroom 4. The audience really enjoyed the “Geek technique” portion of the Sunday presentations.
The New Young Guns Take Us Home
After a short break for lunch, Ty and Shannon Fischer, two talented photographers from Springfield, Ohio took the reins and had the audience locked to their seats until they completed their program at 4:30 in the afternoon.
Ty and Shannon are cut from the cloth of that new breed photographer – early-to-mid 30s – creating contemporary images, growing their business yearly by double digit percentages, and are really making their mark in the world of photography. They've been in business for five years and just opened their second studio location only two weeks ago. They've grown their operation into a quite successful enterprise by using all the best promotional marketing techniques available and also producing some outstanding imagery. With so many people complaining about their dollar averages going down the drain, it's programs like Ty and Shannon's that are not to be missed.
After congratulating the both of them on a great job, Ty makes the comment back to me. He says, “We've just been learning from all you guys and the other great photographers whose programs we attended and are just putting into practice what they teach.” “Why invent the wheel,” he says. Once again a vote or why we should all attend these programs whenever possible.
Even though the days were long and many of us did not get to much sleep, it was a great weekend. On both Friday and Saturday evening after all the programming wrapped, you could still catch a couple of dozen people in the hotel lounge continuing to share their ideas with each other, but even more importantly, it was also about making new friends. The whole experience of a weekend like this is a wonderful learning and growing experience that every photographer can benefit from. I sure hope to see everybody again next year.
Secrets of Telephone and E-mail Sales Technique. – How To Become A Booking Wiz In Only 48 Hours!
Hey gang, that's going to be our topic of discussion at Wednesday’s webcast coming up tomorrow at 3:30 EST. Charles Lewis and I have been friends for a many, many years. In fact, he's the one who gave me the “kick in the pants” I needed many years ago to get my business pointed in the right direction.
I've recently presented a couple of webinars and interviews with him for his web audience and he offered to return the favor for my DigitalProTalk readers. I sure didn't want to pass up the opportunity so we scheduled our sales and marketing webcast for Wednesday, July 17th – tomorrow. It should be quite a lively event with a lot of good information. Here is the registration link to all the info.
I think most of you should have received an e-mail and an invitation to attend – it's free! But, if you haven't you can hit the link right here and get all the information for Wednesday's program. We're planning a 90 minute webcast and will be taking questions from the LIVE listening audience. I'm really looking forward to hearing Chuck's program, I hope you'll join me.
Hey gang, that’s it for me today. How about I see everybody again tomorrow for another episode of our ongoing wedding series. I've actually got a few episodes in the works so stay tuned. It's turning into a much bigger project than I had anticipated but I think you really enjoy it.
Everybody have a great rest of the day and I'll see you soon, David