Maine Wedding Photographers Get Inspired
How do Maine wedding photographers get inspired? We often teach others technical and business workshops to help them succeed at business. To help us succeed at business, to invigorate ourselves, to never stop learning, we seek high-quality training for ourselves each season. The wedding photography community, perhaps more than other professions, offers a significant amount of training opportunities during the winter months. One of the most respected and well-attended photography retreats for wedding photographers is called Inspire. For the first time ever, Inspire was based in Portland, Maine. Closer to us than before, distance or travel wasn’t a reason to not go. We knew we had to be there. And we were right.
Inspire was three days of networking, education, social time, and camaraderie with industry leaders and ~300 like-minded photographers from all over New England, the U.S., and even Australia. Everyone braved difficult travel and day one of steady snow from our now infamous winter of 2015. The exquisitely and recently renovated Westin Harborview Hotel in downtown Portland made a great hub for the retreat.
On the event opening night, Monday, I was honored to have been one of only 8 attendees selected to present a PechaKucha™ slideshow. The format is pretty straightforward, the presentation consists of 20 images at 20 seconds each on screen. During the time, the presenters narrate the slides and include things like the inspiration and stories behind them. In total a story is told, and in many cases the experience is emotional and very moving.
My PechaKucha™ slideshow has absolutely nothing to do with wedding photography; it was entitled Path of Heroes, adapted closely from a personal project from a couple of years ago that is a photographic essay about the courage and valor of firefighters. The original photo series was entitled ‘courage’ but was used largely unchanged for the Inspire slideshow. It’s based on a tragic real-life event that unfolded close to where I live.
The YouTube version of my PechaKucha™ can be seen here. This version, unlike the live narrated show, includes some rather fitting background music, so you may want to have your speakers turned on.
I was honored that during the entire presentation, all 6 minutes and 40 seconds, I could have heard a pin drop in the audience of 300+ people. I especially love how photographs have the power to speak loudly in such a variety of ways.
The ensuing days of the convention included excellent workshops on a myriad of business-related and photographically-centered topics. I especially enjoyed being a one-on-one mentor for three participants, each receiving an hour of time on a topic of which I was able to teach and share real-world experiences.
New friendships developed instantly, and Liz and I are already registered for Inspire’16, which will be again in New England but a bit further away in spectacular Newport, Rhode Island. We have developed workshop ideas that we’d like to be able to present as part of the 2016 retreat and have already replied to the Call for Speakers.
The challenge with highly-inspirational workshops where participants leave with “heads spinning” with new ideas is actually implementing them. Liz and I are endeavoring to capture a list of things we are doing, changing, starting anew and making them our action plan moving forward.
What does all of this mean to our wedding photography clients? Lots, really. It assumes that we are recharged, refreshed, rejuvenated, eager, excited, and anxious to knock our wedding shoots in our new season right out of the park! We love learning, we love we teaching, we love sharing. We loving getting Inspired at workshops and retreats like Inspire!
We are ready for the 2015 wedding season with new found inspiration we’ve both received and given!