I just got back from the marvelous Imaging USA which is the largest annual convention and expo for professional photographers. The long day of flying to Arizona from Connecticut was surprisingly relaxing and useful in planning all of my business goals for 2014. As any parent knows, simply getting to sit and have your own thoughts for an entire day can really be a luxury! The plethora of celebrity-status photographer speakers did not disappoint, and I was definitely a little starstruck (especially seeing Kenny Rogers!- he is so charming & has the most amazing stories from photographing celebrities). I gained tremendous insights in the pages and pages of notes that I took during the seminars. Mostly, I loved being around other visionaries and creators who love life and their work. It's a beautiful thing.

I learned so many useful nuggets for marketing, photographing, and creative inspiration. Some of the photographers around me were voicing confusion in how each of the speakers had their own business methods that they were promoting- and they often seemed to be the direct opposite of what another speaker was successfully doing and promoting as the "best/only way." Here is my take: those "photographer mentoring programs" and the Secret Menus to Successful Pricing for $199 are simply A WAY that worked for someone, not the only way as they are made out to be. When photographers who are just starting out approach me for professional advice, I will share openly what I have tried and learned. But I also tell them that only they have the answers for their photography journey. Sure, ask around and have conversations, but be true to the path before YOU. Take as many workshop classes as you can and be your own mentor. Do the hard work and read, shoot, think, READ, critique, and try again. It's a journey, it takes time to learn and hard work to execute. There is no quick fix class, no magic pill. Each of the Master photographer speakers that presented had their own unique journey and I was super inspired by the vast differences between them.

On a totally different note: One of the most exciting things that I would like to share with my clients is that I have found THE most beautiful albums in the universe for you! My 2014 products and collections will be simple and elegant (but that is another blog post) and 2014 will be the year of luxurious albums. I spent two afternoons in the EXPO room combing through all of the album possibilities offered through various professional vendors. Comparing, pinching, bending (you name it). Let's just say that these albums I will be offering look nothing like anything Shutterfly or any other consumer photo lab could possibly produce. I know my clients deserve heirlooms on their bookshelves and coffee tables and nothing less. These brand-new luxury albums are stunning and I can't wait to have some samples printed to share. 

Here are just a few phone pics from the trip. A trip to anywhere with palm trees during the month of January is always a good idea!

“Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.” - Edmund Lee