Attending Seminars - Educating Ourselves

Are photography conferences and seminars really worth attending? The other day I attended a photography seminar given by a photographer some of you may know by the name of Scott Kelby. Now this wasn’t my first time attending something of this nature. I have to say, this was one of the best that I have ever attended.

In my short two or three year tenure as a serious photographer I have been to two of these events now, the most recent being “Learn to Shoot Like a Pro” seminar here in Toronto. It was an incredible experience. I arrived early and there was a line up to get in, there was probably 500 people in attendance.

I got my seat and immediately everyone began to pull out their iPads, their Macbooks and notebooks. I thought to myself, I wish I had brought my Mac but all I had was my trusty pen and notebook. Oh well, it would have to do. Scott came on stage, introduced himself and chatted with us about the day and what to expect. I was so surprised by what he said next. He told everyone to put away all your computers, notebooks and iPads?! Scott said to everyone: “Put away all your stuff. You don’t need to take notes. Everything is going to be in the workbook at the end of the seminar you will get that on your way out.” The way he spoke and taught just seemed to break everything down. To simplify it all! When I think about everything he spoke of it really isn’t rocket science. You have to be committed and apply yourself. If I continue to do that, stay on the same track I am on now and be true to the things that I want for my photography and for my business, I really think I will be alright!

Another seminar I attended was PhotoPlus Expo in New York City last year. Both experiences were incredibly enjoyable and informative but very different. PhotoPlus Expo is a trade show combined with different seminars by guest photographers all rolled into one big 3 day conference. I thoroughly enjoyed the trade show/seminar experience and you got the best of both worlds. It was just incredibly overwhelming with the combination of the two into one. I was like a kid in a candy store on the trade show floor. All these shiny new toys to look at and play with! On the seminar side of things there was a varied selection of classes and so many topics to choose from. In the end I made my decisions and was very pleased with the choices I made.

These two learning experiences were both eye opening, mind expanding and chalked full of vast amounts of information. Both experiences were well worth the time and effort that I put in to get to attend these events. I highly recommend to any photographer if they are considering attending seminars and conferences, to definitely GO! It will be an invaluable experience all around.

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