The Societies Photographic Convention 2013 – London, UK – Review – Part 1
wow it’s been again such a long time since my last post. But so much has happened. Photography related and non-Photography related.
Here it goes: “Booked” another wedding for later this year, had my newborn shoot with Amanda’s little baby (Samuel – images to follow soon), went to the Societies Photographic Convention (SWPP) in London for three days and visited loads of different Masterclasses, found a new flat, have moved in already, got a very good promotion within my current job (from Account Manager on European level to Global Senior Account Manager- Yay!), booked some lovely relaxing holidays in a Luxury hotel in Marakesh and within the UK (to treat my body and soul for a change) and so on…
You can see loads happened within the last 4 weeks. So I really had not much time on my hands to blog more, but one of my new year’s resolutions was to write more regularly. So from February onwards now, I will try to follow this in a more rigorous fashion
To start out with, I thought I will give you a review of my experiences at the SWPP Photo Convention in London during the first few weeks in January.
In short – it was brilliant! I loved it there… the buzz, the energy – everyone was either a photographer or simply interested in photography. So everyone around you was interested in the same things as you and all day long you could get away with talking only photography – for three whole days!! It was lovely. A bit overwhelming from times to times, too much to take in that my brain started to have a bit of an information overload – but still it was a very exhilerating experience! So I thought I will share this experience with you and let you know what courses I have visited and what I have learned from them. To feel the buzz, watch this video – unfortunately, it is not the one from our convention this year but from last year’s. However, it felt similar and you can still feel the energy that I was surrounded with all day long.
I love the fact that I get such thrills from this – clearly this is so much more than a simple hobby anymore… this has become my true passion!
Day one was one of my most favorite days of them all, just because everything was so new and exciting (as you might have noticed, this year was my first year to have attended the convention – so everything was new and shiny to me ).
The first lecture I was attending was held by Zach & Jody Gray from Zach & Jody Photography - a very inspiring wedding photography couple from Nashville, USA.
The masterclass was titled “No-Cost Marketing: How to turn your clients into walking, talking billboads so you never have to sell yourself again”. To be honest, I’ve never heard about Zach & Jody before this lecture, but I was truely amazed by their energy and their simple but effective ideas. Most of it was about how to “connect” with your clients”, how to “court” them and eventually how to “continue” the relationship into the next round. Creating the 360 experience for the bride. Hence she will do the marketing for you. Like I said, all of these ideas weren’t really new things, but all put together and implemented in the right way, are very effective. Even though some of these methods they were talking about, aren’t really applicable to the European marke, but nevertheless very inspiring ideas, that just might spark up some other ideas later down the line.
Zach & Jody are also doing a lot of lectures and workshops over in the States and are quite successful in that. So much that they have developed a 3-part DVD with over 4 1/2 hrs of content talking you through their ideas and how to become a better business person as a photographer. At the beginning of the lecture, they had asked everyone to put their business cards into a bowl and at the end of the masterclass they picked one person who would get their DVD (worth roughly around £155) for free. And guess who they picked from the hat???? MEEEEE!!! I was so thrilled and excited!!! That was a brilliant start to my experience at the convention. I haven’t watched the DVDs yet, but I’m sure it will spike up some new ideas of how to bring me and my soon-to-come business forward well pleased!!
After the first lecture I went to meet a photographer from Barcelona that I have been following on Facebook for a few months. She announced that she was going to the convention, so I told her that I was going too so we decided to meet for a cup of coffee. It turned out in the end that she was sitting in the same lecture from Zach & Jody and because my name was announced (for winning the DVD) she recognised me. So that was a great start to it all I must say. We had a coffee and exchanged experiences and I came to find that she herself hadn’t been in the business for long yet. So again really interesting to hear about her first couple of years.
After that, I still had time to visit the trade show until my next seminar began. So I had a look at the different floors the trade show was on. Very interesting things. Got loads of ideas about the after sales market and became very inspired. So over the next three days I have managed to visit the entire trade show and was well impressed.
My second masterclass I had visited was about “Studio versus Location Portraiture” by a fabulous photographer called Julia Boggio.
Julia was very approachable and personal in her seminar, I must say. In the beginning before the lecture started, she went around and shook everyone’s hand and introduced herself and started chatting with a few. Thought that was kind of nice and like I said… approachable. She is quite a successful photographer in London. Very big in the portraiture and vintage boudoir photography genre. Her lecture was about studio shooting versus shooting on locations. The Pros and Cons about setting up your own studio. It was a very interesting class. But mainly I found her story of how she became a photographer the most fascinating. So much that I have also visited her second lecture about the “Art of Sales” on the 2nd Day. But more on that later.
Straight after that I went to another class – my third masterclass of the day – held by the infamous Kevin Wilson. The class was more or less about sharing his work and talking a bit about how he achieves his look. Even though the class was less inspirational than some others, I still found it useful, as it made me think about a few things in my own photography style, so still invaluable to have seen it. He does however seem to struggle a bit with the new digital era and the flooding of the market with new aspiring wannabe-photographers… like me! Nevertheless, his lecture was very inspiring. And his images are just simply stunning! Don’t you think?
In my fourth and last masterclass of day 1, I visited Xander Casey‘s “Shooting a Wedding – The Fundamentals”. This class I found very useful as well. He approached the entire subject of wedding photography in a very matter-of-fact kind of way which made it very approachable and non-scary. So that was quite inspirational as well. He made me think about a few techniques and approaches that could turn out to be quite useful in the long run.
However on the other hand, overall after the entire three days, I must say I do not agree with some of his thoughts and approaches. But this is good! Because it makes me realise, I can watch as many workshops and all, but the techniques and tips might work for each of those photographer teaching them, but might not necessarily work for me. So for me this is a very valuable lesson to have learned this early on. I’m not becoming a copycat of other people’s ideas – instead use these as inspiration to find my own path. And so far, 2013 has been to a good start
Ok well this was Day 1 – a lot to take in for you now, so I rather split this review into three parts. Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 incl. my overall conclusions and experiences after the entire three days.
So if you want to read more about this, stay tuned