You know it's a great convention when you first look in the mirror in the morning and because of the bags under your eyes, you see Yoda looking back at you. Yet, you're not tired and can't wait for the sun to finally come up, so you can justify all the energy you have that's got you chomping at the bit to start your day.
Yesterday I was involved in three different programs, one a panel discussion about branding and then two workshops of my own, a short program on social media in general, followed by a three hour "Skip Unplugged" from 9:00 - midnight! I was totally surprised to start off with a standing room only crowd and still have a huge group left at midnight when I finished. The quest to simply learn as much as they can was remarkable.
What really impresses me for the second year in a row is the passion of attendees, exhibitors and other speakers to simply put everything they can into the mix. This is much more than just a boutique conference...it's a thriving community. It starts with the attendees, who are like sponges, trying to learn everything they can soak up in three nights and two days. Then come the exhibitors, here not only to show their products, but to share anything they've got to help the attendees raise the bar on the quality of their work, business environment and marketing reach.
Keeping it all moving, like the guy beating the drums on an old Viking ship, are the instructors. Their passion and willingness to share, sets the pace for the unbridled spirit of the conference. For me personally, being one of the biggest photographer groupies in the industry, I couldn't be more proud to be part of the team.
Last on the list, at least for this morning's post, is the venue. Look closely at the image above. This was late yesterday morning and there are at least three hands on shooting groups with lights and models on the floor of the lobby. The lobby itself is a work of art with an estimated fifty foot high ceiling that simply becomes one of the more stellar places for artists to simply experiment with lighting, posing and exposure.
I grabbed the shot with a GH3 from the fourth floor balcony over looking the lobby of the classic Union Station Hotel here in St. Louis. It's the perfect venue to turn 2000 photographers loose with models, lights, equipment and just let their creative spirit soar as they photograph to their heart's desire in every corner of this incredibly intriguing retro location.
As I said in one part of my program last night, "Don't should on yourself!" So, if you're not here this year and saying, "I should have gone," the next ShutterFest is only a year away. Get yourself registered as soon as it becomes available and then do everything you can to be here for the third annual ShutterFest.
It's a kick!