I can’t believe it has been over a week since I returned from the states. I still have not been able to process all the great things that happened during my trip. It kind of feels like a dream. That could also be the pain medicine talking as I seemed to have done some damage to my back over the weekend…could have something to do with these guys.
While the time with family was fantastic, I also went to the states to do some work. The final weekend there was spent throwing my first ever workshops. I have been dreaming about doing some for a while and I can now say that I can’t wait to do more!
It would not be right to start a blog post about these Camera Therapy workshops without immediately talking about Meredith. To call Meredith an assistant would be a disservice. She is my Project Manager, my Senior Communications Consultant, Dynamic Implementation Designer, Global Directives Planner, International Brand Director…you get the picture. Meredith keeps this train looking good while running on schedule like some Martha Stewart in an engineer’s cap. Well, Meredith and I had never met. While she had been working for me since February and had actually taken one of my classes, we were only online friends. We had consumed countless bottles of red wine over Skype, but never in person until that weekend. She is even more awesome than over the computer. I am so thrilled that she has hung in with me while all of this gets up and running…Good intentions take a long time and a lot of work to realize.
The location was insanely perfect for what I want these workshops to be. If I could just pick up and move the AKA (Virginia Square) to wherever I would like to go next, I would be all sorted. In fact, I could have it here as my studio. The staff there was really great to work with and the building itself is just my style. A perfect place to kick these off.
Our sponsors were so generous. All of the items and services on offer were from companies that I use and love. Since these workshops are about opening up completely and sharing what works for me, I was only interested in showcasing products that I use and love. Of course the most gorgeous camera bags from Epiphanie were on the table. I have been approached by other companies that I am certain have lovely products, but Epiphanie bags have my heart (and my daughter’s name…check out my favorite bag, The Clover!) and their creator, Maile, has my complete respect! My Funky Camera had beautiful new camera straps for everyone and there were offers from SmugMug, Photojojo,Ripe Social, Paperie Boutique and Application Gap.
Here is where I tell you about the app that changed my business. One of the things that I am trying to do with Meredith’s help is get my business as close to paperless as possible. Earlier in the year I bit the bullet and paid TEN WHOLE DOLLARS for an app. It was probably the best money I had spent on the business this year. Easy Release is a full featured, easy to use model release app for Android and iPhone. It works as a Getty model release as well if you (like me) have images (I
had still have hundreds ready to go just waiting for me to download, fill in, photograph the model, scan and re-upload the release) for sale with them. Now when I have a shoot, I get the release filled in, reference photo taken and officially signed right on either my tablet or phone. The app even emails pdfs on to me and the client. Not one piece of paper is ever required. While our client contract has a simple model release written into it that gets signed, this one covers all the legal bases and is digitally generated so as not to get lost or thrown away. It is also handy for when I take images out and about that I may want to publish in a new book or use commercially someday as those are not the times I have a contract sitting in my camera bag. I was not sure if the app would make that much of a difference to my business and at $10 I dragged my feet for a few months before hitting Buy Now, but let me tell you it has been worth every penny. If you are considering getting it or have not heard about it until now and as a pro photographer, are interested…buy it and then remember to use it.
Finally, the workshops would be nothing without the attendees and the models. It was a thrill to meet and work with you all. It was such a mix of interesting people, one from New Zealand, one who happens to be a friend of my in-real-life friend, long time shooters with formal training and relative newcomers all with a passion for taking photos of kids. There were no egos and hopefully the nerves were gone pretty much right away as well. The days went by so fast and there was so much to cover. Having the event spread out over two days was brought up by an attendee and I am actually looking at making that the new format from now on. I enjoyed every minute of each day. While the actual sessions may be over, one of the best parts of Camera Therapy workshops are the continued contact in my Virtual Camera Club online. I see these workshops as just the beginning of a long term relationship with the photographers I mentor. There will be more opportunities in the future, webinars and special chances to test out my new offerings before they are released to the public. Hey, the attendees even got a completely new set of Photoshop actions! While these first two sessions went great, we can always learn from the experience and the future Camera Therapy workshops are just going to be even better as they evolve. This has always been a journey, now I have people to go along with me for the ride!
Speaking of that, the next ones will be back here on my new home turf in Melbourne, Australia. I will be running them over a weekend and among other big plans, will have studio space and a real live kid fashion photo shoot set up. We are in talks with guest photographers to add to the program with in depth presentations about special post processing techniques and more. Of course the main focus will still be about sharing what has worked for me over the last LOTS of years and how taking daily photographs of my life helps my soul and my business. Interested? Awesome, can’t wait to work with you. Register your interest for Melbourne here!
Here are some blog posts from the DC attendees with images and words about their time at the Camera Therapy workshops.