We all know the joys of travel and the fun of waiting in lines at airport security, airline gates and baggage claim. It's simply no fun. However, there's something unique about walking into a great conference and the energy good old anticipation creates.
With all the conventions and conferences I've attended in my life, nothing compares with the excitement in the air at ShutterFest. I'm going to do my best over the next couple of days to share that energy.
It all starts with the location itself. Much to my wife's dismay, I dove out of bed at 6:00 am with an idea. I wanted to get a few shots of the hotel before the "storm". No shower...I didn't bother to even brush my teeth...just threw on a sweatshirt and a pair of shorts, grabbed my camera and headed to the trade show first to get the shot above.
Then it was over to the lobby and there were already early-birds grabbing coffee and deciding on their activities for the day. "Pride" might seem like a funny word to use in describing attendees, but I'm not sure there's a better one. First, remember, this isn't a conference or convention. It's a community and every member is proud to be a part of it. They're proud to be here; proud to be working on their skill set and proud to be with other artists sharing the same passion.
If a convention location has a heartbeat, then the pulse of activity is here in the lobby of the Union Station Hotel. This room is the hub to connect with new friends, old friends and in a few hours it'll be teeming with mini-classes and photographers shooting with their "rent-a-human" models.
Just an hour later I had some fun with the image below. ShutterFest energy was in the air as the creative "storm" approached.
I had one last image I wanted to grab - the lobby bar, probably the longest bar of any hotel I've ever been in. By noon the bar will be covered with artists working to fulfill all the images in their mind's eye.
So what makes ShutterFest different from other conventions? First, it's not a conference or convention, but an interactive community. Second, while it's grown every year, it's still small and personal. Third, this is about people interacting with each other. For vendors it's a unique way to show your products and services, because this is an event focused on education and interaction. It's about relationship building.
Lots more to come this week. Welcome to ShutterFest 2016!
PS I also love being here with a LUMIX FZ1000 - with its low-light capabilities and 25-400mm zoom, it's the perfect camera to capture the activities of ShutterFest!