It's anything but a typical Sunday morning, as I get ready to head to Chicago for the ClickCon conference. I've got four different programs I'm doing, and my head is filled with PowerPoint slides! And while usually, I'm entirely off the topics of business and marketing in photography, this morning not so much.
I've written about the anticipation before a conference easily a hundred times since my first blog post in 2009. Sheila calls it my "show mode." She recognizes the lights are on, but nobody's home look on my face that comes and goes for the last week before I hit the road. But it's the energy of anticipation that's one of the sweetest reasons I love this industry - catching up to old friends and making new ones!
Technically we refer to it as building your network, but it's so much more. I've always loved conferences and workshops. In my Hasselblad days, I remember my buddy Tony Corbell saying once, "Skip's wound a little tight!" LOL - I still laugh at things Jim Morton used to do to try and keep me involved, but at the same time out of his hair when it came to getting the Hasselblad booth set up.
Here's the point - attending every conference, convention, and workshop you can keeps you connected. To say it's essential to build your network suggests it's a motivation to build a stronger business presence. The truth is, it's important to build your heart! As I've written in the past, you can't create images that tug at people's heartstrings if your own heart isn't in it. Well, building relationships with other people who share one of your passions reinforces the importance of the journey we're all on.
Yeah, I know, it sounds pretty lofty, but we're all traveling on a similar journey. It's a sense of community, passion for the craft, love for people, and the ability to capture memories. The key to success, in any business, is about building relationships - not only reinforcing the older ones but planting the seeds for new ones.
I don't make a living as a photographer - my first love is on the marketing and business side, but I'll match my passion for having a camera in my hands with anybody. Knowing that over the next few days I'm going to spend time with a couple of thousand people with the same love for imaging creates an amazing boost of energy. It's the reason for this stupid "What-me-worry?" Alfred E. Neuman look on my face this morning.
So, if you're in the Chicago area, come join the craziness this week. And if you're not heading that way - look at your calendar and check out the dates for future conventions and workshops. Go to as many as you possibly can and as your circle of friends grows, and you establish more relationships in this industry you'll recognize what I'm feeling this morning - nothing beats the anticipation of being with friends.
Wishing everybody a terrific day ahead. As always go for those eleven-second hugs with people you love and appreciate the path you've chosen for a career. If you're doing something in photography, there's no industry like it!
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.