Just got in last night in from a week in Nashville for the ImagingUSA 2010 photo conference, where, for the second year, I was a student volunteer with the Art Institute of Pittsburgh's SPS (Student Photographic Society) chapter. I attended some lectures and checked out the Expo, where I bought an Interfit Strobies Portrait kit. It's freaking awesome - an accessory kit for my speedlight containing a mini softbox, a snoot, a beauty dish, barndoors, a 20 degree honeycomb grid and, my new favorite, a globe diffuser. Useful stuff for location shooting and will wonderfully complement the Alien Bees strobe I plan on buying in the next week or so.
There was also a portfolio review at ImagingUSA for the students and I got some input. Too much nitpicking and enough general tips, but my work was generally well received which was nice. I also made a couple contacts, including a man who runs a studio in Swissvale about 45 minutes from me and the president of the Professional Photographers of Pennsylvania. I've been invited to the first conference of the year, which is like a mini ImagingUSA for PA photographers and will be in 3 weeks or so. Might have to go check it out - only a two hour drive. There was also a woman taking photographs at the end of the conference party and I gave her my card (she was taking some of me and my friends) and then her whole group wanted my card as well! I have a couple different designs and they seemed to be comparing, which was entertaining.
Overall, Imaging this year was great, I learned a bit and made a great purchase. Hung out with photo students from other schools, which was great fun. I also got free subscriptions to a couple magazines - RangeFinder and my favorite photo magazine AfterCapture. Grabbed a copy of The Knot to do research for a wedding I'll be photographing in May. It was a productive trip!