Just got home from ImagingUSA which was in New Orleans this year. This is my fourth year at Imaging, and my first as a member of PPA (Professional Photographers of America) instead of a volunteer from SPS (Student Photographic Society). I'm a grown-up!! Hahahaha, yeahhh.... Anyway, I went with my ex-boyfriend and fellow photographer/former SPS and AiP kid Cryss. We were able to meet up with our Colorado friend Sheena, which was awesome! She and her husband used to live in Louisiana so were able to suggest all kinds of delicious places to eat (ok, seriously, Mother's? That was one impressive sandwich). I wish I could see my photographer friends who don't live around Pittsburgh more often, but it's nice to catch up at Imaging.
Cryss and I stayed about a mile from the convention center in the French Quarter, which I love. New Orleans in general, I love. I wanted to stay. Yes, last year I wanted to stay in San Antonio, but New Orleans...wow. Traveling is definitely in my future, though I was thrilled to come home. While I was there though, so much walking! All around, not just to the convention center, though I spend a LOT of time there!
My goal this year was to go to a bunch of classes on business (pricing, marketing, that sort of thing) and senior portraiture. I need some help in the business/marking aspect so that was to teach me and I love doing senior pictures so wanted inspiration there. Literally took half a composition book full of notes! Sunday there were four time slots for class and I went to all four which was exhausting but informative. The problem of course, was deciding what to go to, but I mostly picked good ones. Monday I went to two out of the three, then went exploring, and Tuesday I slacked and only went to two of four because I slept in a little and then went to the Expo where I bought a Rogue Flash Bender (goes on your speedlight, pretty nifty) and a new LensBaby Composer Pro (these are AMAZING). I can't wait to use them!! I especially think the LensBaby is going to be a huge hit with my senior girls this year, so am really excited. I'm also really excited about some of the things I learned.
A couple things really stuck out. One was a lighting class by this guy named Oscar Lozoya. He is AMAZING. Seriously, look him up. Actually, I'll make it easy and just click on his name, it takes you to his website. I was so insanely impressed by his lighting and diagrams that I bought his book and had him sign it. The other thing that stuck out was the phrase "FEAR LESS." A couple of the speakers I saw talked about not selling yourself short and having confidence in yourself and your work. To be honest, I have trouble with that sometimes. One speaker though, Kimberly Wylie, she had these phrases on her slides: "Fear less, dream more" and "Life is too short to live somebody else's dream" that really hit me. Those are things I've been working on and am getting better at (Damien tells me similar things a lot), but sometimes you need to hear them in a setting like that. So yeah, that was really inspirational to me and I'm going to try so hard to live MY dream.
These are all images from my last day in NOLA, when I did what I spent most the trip attempting to do and went on a photo adventure to the cemetery where the Marie Laveau the Voodoo Queen is rumored to be buried. So in love.