It's Sunday morning and if you've followed me for even the shortest amount of time you know "Reflections" is all about going off-track from business, marketing and technique. I love that time you've allowed me to take to share what's bouncing around in my head, no matter what the topic.
This morning I'm in one of those how-did-I-get-here moments. Every day we're given choices of doors to walk through. Each door comes in the form of emails, phone calls, text messages, forum threads on Facebook with other photographers and conferences/workshops we can attend.
If I look back on my life, it's always been without very much direction. I've never known what I wanted to be when I grew up. When I was a kid, if you asked me, I thought it was clever to say "Peter Pan" and never grow up. We all have to grow up - but that doesn't mean we can't have fun in the process. My vote is walk through every door you can find time to open, and you'll be amazed at where each new path takes you!
Here's are some examples:
Here's my point - we all have a choice to make every day - be involved or be a couch potato, or I suppose more accurately put - an office/studio potato. You can't grow as an artist or for that matter a member of the human race if you don't get out of the house!
You need to attend every event you possibly can. Build your network of associates and friends. You never know when that person you're talking to on the elevator needs a little help or is going to help you. You need to be at every conference you possibly can attend: PPE in New York, IUSA in Nashville, SYNC in Florida, WPPI in Las Vegas, PhotoShop World in Orlando and Las Vegas, ShutterFest in St. Louis and ClickCon in Chicago. (Note: 2020 dates are not announced yet for all of these shows.) Then there are state and regional shows all year long.
And, for those of you who think you can't afford to go to so many shows - you can't afford NOT to! With each conference you attend you're going to experience a growth spurt and you never know what door might open next.
If over the next twelve months, you met new people at each conference and took at least one class outside your comfort zone - think about how much you'd raise the bar on your skillset. As your skillset and network grow - your life changes. It becomes richer and opportunities you never thought about become a part of your life.
So, how did I get here? It's a long list of events and great people. I wake up smiling every morning, never knowing what the day ahead is going to bring. In that group of great people are all of you, my readership. As I've written dozens of times in the past - the best thing about this industry is the friendships. The second best thing is where those friendships have the potential to take us.
Wishing everybody a terrific Sunday. I hope the day is one of peace, love, and friendships. Go for those eleven-second hugs and take a minute to think about the people most important to you - how did they come into your life?
Happy Sunday or Monday if you're hanging out on the other side of the planet!
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.