Here’s my thought for this morning…I can’t figure out why more of you don’t plan on being at any one of the major shows during the first few months of each year. Attending a show like this touches every aspect of your business and your life as a photographer.
It’s about networking, staying on top of what’s new in technology, beefing up your skill set and most important of all recharging your battery. For me, there are two ways to recharge – first is just taking time off and doing something completely away from my business. Second, is catching up to old friends and talking about the business, our families and recalling the countless stories from the past. It’s almost like a live Throwback Thursday, as one friend after another wants to share some story with my wife from past conventions, projects, road trips and adventures in photography.
It was my very first PPA convention in Orlando in the late 80’s when I met Dean Collins and Tony Corbell. Dean was launching the first big road show of it’s kind and Tony was his right hand. As the new president of Hasselblad, we were involved, but the project had been put together before I came on board. The program was already pretty much in place and this was my first meeting with Dean and Tony.
It was a day or two before the actual convention and I had spent the morning poolside. I went to the meeting in a pair of cutoffs and a t-shirt. After all, it wasn’t the convention yet and there seemed no reason to put on a suit. Well, Dean and Tony were both in suits. To this day, I’m convinced that Dean had to rent a suit, because I never saw him in one again.
I just didn’t fit the profile they had for the new President of Hasselblad. I remember Tony telling me years later about how they were trying to figure out what the hell Hasselblad was thinking…”They hired a guy out of Polaroid named “Skip” – are Hasselblads going to become the next blue light special at Kmart?”
And that story is the best example of why you need to attend every convention you possibly can. Build your network and create your own stories, so that twenty years from now you’ve got those great moments to look back on.
My relationship with Dean grew into an amazing friendship and the adventures I’ve had over the years with Tony are legendary. It’s been “Tony and Skip’s Awesome Adventures” for close to thirty years.
What are you doing to write your stories?