In April 2009 I left Rangefinder/WPPI, finally having the courage to fulfill a dream of being a true entrepreneur. For years I had lived vicariously through so many of you and with the help from a lot of friends decided to head out on my own. Also, like so many of you, I was scared to death.
As I wrote a few years back, I remember Sheila asking me, "So what are you afraid of?" My answer couldn't have been more direct or honest, "Failing!" That should sound familiar to some of you, especially those who think they're alone on those days when self-confidence is at a minimum. Well, here we are ten years later, and my business keeps changing and growing, but there's one common denominator - I wake up smiling every morning, excited about the day ahead.
I recently ran across this PDF of the speaker side of a double page ad we ran in 2010. The first program was in 2009, and this was the second one. In all honesty, it was even better than the first year with approximately 350 people in attendance and a speaker lineup that was top shelf. Las Vegas was still hurting because of the economy, and the MGM gave us a great package with minimal requirements on the room block, food, and beverage spending, etc. It gave us the ability to put together a great series of programs at a minimal cost to the attendees.
The program morphed into Skip Cohen University and ran every summer through 2013, which was also the year we started the SCU blog. I chose to discontinue the program because of the changing landscape of photographic education. The Internet was providing some terrific online education; more speakers were doing their own tours, and the big conventions were battling it out with more workshops and hands-on programming. Like many other great workshops, it became harder and harder to pull together. But, as one door closes, another opens and SCU, speaking requests, and writing for several magazines changed the path of my journey once more.
The industry is always changing, and it was interesting that out of fifteen different sponsors we had that year, seven of them no longer exist. But here's what does exist - the friendships that come out of all of our passion for the industry and this business.
And there's one more thing that hasn't changed...people's attention span and their ability to draw assumptions based on what they see rather than what they read. Anybody want to take bets on how many people contact me wanting to know where the program is going to be held this August? LOL
Happy Throwback Thursday!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.