I stumbled across the Canada Photo Convention website two years ago! I tried to get a group of girls together but life got busy and before we knew it, the convention had sold out. This year, I didn’t want to let that happen! I emailed some of my friends in the industry and put out a facebook status and our group came together. Mikaela Ruth and Hayley Rae are photographer friends of mine (both have worked with me before!) and it was wonderful to make a new friend, Wendy Lees, and have her join us as well. We commuted from Langley to Vancouver both days for the convention at Sheraton Wall Centre downtown. It was an awesome two days of learning… and sitting. I wish we could like, run on treadmills while listening. I don’t do well with sitting for 12 hours.
From Two Mann Studios, I took away a desire to be a more creative and inventive photographer. Their mantra is “Get high, get low, get close, get far, get dirty” while they are working. Repeating that during a wedding is an awesome way to remind myself to think outside the box. They said “eye level is boring.”
Benj Haisch was an inspiring presenter. He referenced one of my favourite books, Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why” (if you pick that one up, please pick up Sinek’s other book “Leaders Eat Last” – both excellent.) Why am I a wedding photographer? I was inspired to focus on my WHY when I meet with clients, when I write my “about” pages, when I write on this blog. Clients will buy when they believe and trust our “why.” Pretty photos aren’t enough. I enjoyed how Benj spoke about his wife Maddie and their marriage. “Marriage is important and I want my photos to remind people of that.” We are creating a visual history as photographers – what we do matters.
Camille and Chadwick of Jonetsu focuses on creating a client experience worth remembering. They regularly implement “dream boards” and work to put their success into words and then achieve it. I look forward to carving out some time in the next month to do some dreaming and brainstorming in a focused, silent setting. My notes became less as the conference went on (and my doodles increased as a shocking rate) but every speaker was valuable: Cliff Mautner, Anna Kuperberg, Hailey Bartholomew & The Last Forty Percent. On the second and last day of the conference, Matt Ebenezer blew the room up with his humble, hilarious, heart-warming, challenging storytelling.
Matt encouraged dreams that have been near and dear to my heart for years. Using photography for something. Our talents for something. Rather than creating a smart business just to have a smart business, we should strive to create a smart, financially profitable business in order to bless others. In big ways. Matt and Katie Photographers have done missions work (with and without their cameras in hand) all over Southeast Asia. I’ve never wanted to only be a smart businesswoman. I’ve always wanted to use my business to change the world for the better. Matt, thank you for sharing your heart, for being vulnerable and weeping on stage, for traveling 15 hours across the world (from Australia) to attend a photo convention, when your wife is home recovering from a serious car accident. I know it would have been easier for you to stay – but you came. And it mattered.
If you’re looking to attend Canada Photo Convention in 2015, do be sure to register online! There’s an early bird rate.
P.S. That’s not my dog.