They say you should do things that scare you. This was one of those things. I talked about slow travel and showed images of our New Zealand trip. It was cool running into people afterwards who told me they would like to go there now. Mission accomplished. :)
But, I think the convention had a bigger impact than I anticipated. I have two main take always from the experience.
First, I realized that I have something to give back to the industry. Having been a professional photographer for over 7 years now, attending workshops and seminars regularly, both online and in person, I know that there is always more to learn.
However, it's only been within the last few months that I realized, people are looking to me for answers too. I can not only learn, but share and teach as well. This seems kinda crazy to me. I feel like a newbie, but I have learned a lot from my experiences and would love to share with others so they don't make the same mistakes!
Secondly, I realized that I would be nowhere without my friends in the industry. It was at this convention several years ago that I first met Erin and forged several other bonds that still exist to this day. Returning to this place year after year is like going back to school. We get to learn together, eat together, and party together. If that's not how you make unbreakable friendships, I don't know what is.
Another memorable moment was at the awards banquet. I jokingly told my table that I wanted a standing ovation when I received my Chairperson Plaque (or as my husband calls it, the Participation Trophy. It's given to Section Presidents.) They delivered, with style.
Our table, our group, is so supportive, it's crazy. It only escalated from there, the standing ovation turned into a standing ovation with napkin waving when another section member received his recognition.
I gotta take a quick second to thank Pat Luke. He was inducted as President of PPSNYS, the state organization GRPP is a piece of, at the same banquet. Pat runs a portrait studio less than a mile from my house. Some might think of us as competitors, but I just don't see it that way. Pat is one of those people that endlessly shares his knowledge and skills. Pat, thank you, you are a role model for this industry, and in particular for me.
So whether you are in the photo industry, or any other, take a moment to recognize those who inspire and assist you. Thank them, and then do your part too.
How can I help you?
PS: If you missed Erin's recap, check it out here.