Over the last few years of morphing into an almost full time writer and blogger, I've written this at least a half dozen times...
"The best part of the photographic industry has NOTHING to do with photography,
but the friendships that come out of everyone's mutual love for the craft."
At every turn this week, during ShutterFest, there were opportunities for artists to share their passion together. There was a continuous stream of new friendships being started each day!
Like many of you, I'm still recovering from ShutterFest. It was an amazing program and already half sold for 2016, but this morning I'm not interested in writing about the agenda or even the amazing venue. Instead I've got the pure joy of networking on my mind. While "networking" effectively is an art form, when you're in an environment like ShutterFest you're constantly meeting new people and planting seeds for new friendships just about every waking minute.
For me it all started out with a couple of cold calls to Melissa Albert, Rebecca Nash and Justin Bassett, three photographers who I asked for permission to use their sites as examples of what not to do. From that first phone call to actually spending time with them during one of my programs, each friendship simply took off. Then there were friends I met last year. What a kick to catch up to Matt, Ed and Amy, Gary, Michael and dozens more whose names I just can't remember on a lazy Sunday morning.
Before I get accused of rambling, here's my point...
At a convention, just like life, you get out what you put into it. As you plan to attend other workshops and programs in the year ahead, take the time to talk to the people around you. Introduce yourself, exchange contact information and then start following each other. This industry is pretty amazing, not because of technology and the images being captured every day, but because of the passion we all share to raise the bar.
I simply love this industry and everybody in my network is the same way!
So, as always, hug somebody special in your life...take five minutes to just think about how lucky you are to have a career that's based on capturing the emotion of people around you. Wishing all of you an amazing day!