Last week I attended my first Professional Photographers of America (PPA) conference, Imaging USA, in Nashville, TN. It was held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, which was an adventure in itself. The conference is attended by photographers from all over the world. There are classes and speakers and awards and parties and a huge trade show, plus the opportunity to network with other photographers from near and far. 

While I’ve been a member of PPA for a couple of years, this was the first conference I was able to attend. It was a great experience and one I look forward to in the future. I got to attend quite a few educational classes, bought some things at the trade show, and met quite a few photographer friends in person for the first time. I even got to meet some members of our Project 52 blog circle group!

Here are just a few of the things I learned at Imaging:

  • When they say you will do a lot of walking, they mean it.
  • If a presentation isn’t meeting your expectations, don’t be afraid to get up and leave.
  • When it snows in Nashville, even just a little bit, everything shuts down.
  • Drink lots of water, but be prepared to wait in line for the closest restroom.
  • Make sure you allow plenty of time for the trade show and keep in mind that however much time you allow, it won’t be enough.
  • Bring a lot of Lara Bars (or something else to snack on) to get you through the day.
  • Be prepared to have your picture taken…a lot.
  • Meeting friends in person is even better than meeting them on Facebook.

I also learned a lot of things from marketing, to products, to editing, to lighting, and other techniques that I can’t wait to implement. Which, is another thing I learned…the faster you are to implement something, the more successful you will be with it.

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