I just returned from a week in New Orleans for Imaging USA, the annual convention for the Professional Photographers of America. Several of my Rochester and PPSNYS colleagues attended and it was fun, warm and motivating.
The last time that I was in New Orleans was in 1997, for Mardi Gras, so this was quite a different trip. The days were sunny and a perfect 72 degrees. As you can imagine, we all walked a lot and photographed all of the little vignettes of the French Quarter, cemeteries, the trolley car and more.
Thanks to everyone who gave me great tips on where to eat and what to see while there. I even tried fried alligator! Thank you, Chris, for the extra photos of me….
The professional highlights of the trip were:
* Cheering as my good friends, Patrick Luke and Deb Woodard, received their Craftsman degrees. Many of you know Pat, as he is my super awesome Second Photographer/Assistant/Lighting Guru for some weddings.
* Cheering as friend, Dana Shaffer (of Fort Plain), received her Masters degree.
* Cheering as my biggest fan, Chris Kogut, received a Silver Grand Imaging Award for her International Print Competition successes.
* Attending classes about marketing my Certified Professional Photographer designation, and an intimate class by Allison Rodgers about running successful charity events.
* Mentoring several newly minted Professional Photographers.
* Finally figuring out how to make Twitter work for business/networking.
* Photographing the streets with other talented Photographers.
* Getting out of the trade show without buying ONE thing, yet made new connections for Greener Photography.
Congratulations to Chris, Pat, Deb & Dana on their hard work and recent awards! It was an honor to be there as your cheering section. Sitting in the awards ceremonies made me so proud to be a PPA member. Below right, we are using the Flashlight App on the iPhone to light Chris so I could take a picture! Fun!
Personal highlights of the trip:
* seeing a bicycle tricked out with Mardi Gras beads!
* strolling through an old cemetery near sunset
* walking every day
* having a latte and beignets at Cafe du Monde
* getting my Tarot cards read in Jackson Square
* making so many new friends
* walking around the streets with a beer!
* meeting a Photographer at the French Market who did a movie documentary about train hopping and their culture (Cure for the Crash). The soundtrack uses all hobo bands. I purchased the soundtrack and the movie and received a free photograph as a bonus! The soundtrack, “Listerine on Sundays” is amazingly good. Luckily, it is all music that I am really into right now.
Fun Fact: One of my past Portrait Clients, turned Professional Photographer…. Kiera Slye came to the convention with us to learn how to start and grow her business. She is sharp as a tack and will be very successful. We’ve met several times over the years, because I’ve known her Grandfather since I was 19 or 20.
As I’ve been thankful for my early mentor, I’m happy to now be able to mentor someone else….