Okay, so the "again" part isn't relevant, but the stuck certainly is. Ugh. Lightning storms caused a 2 hour delay in Orlando, and I missed my flight to Redmond. So, I'm staying the night in Salt Lake City, and will fly out tomorrow, about noon. I miss my boys, all three of them!
I'm certain that I may never truly sort out what I've just learned at this conference, but I'll try to tell you here what I'm taking away.
It is exciting to learn and be challenged.
I'm pretty good at Photoshop, if you want to know the truth. I'm planning on entering the Guru awards some day. I think I've got a good shot at the finals, in what category I've yet to determine.
I have, in no way, figured out what lies ahead for me professionally. There are so many paths available... it's really intimidating.
I'm determined to work on my technical skills photographically. It will be a challenge, but a very exciting one. I have specific things I'd like to master, and thankfully the first one or two don't involve additional equipment.
I bought Painter X. I can't even express here how exciting that was for me. I feel guilty for how excited and indulgent I feel by that purchase. If you aren't familiar with Painter... check it out, I'm sure you can find it at the Corel website. It's basically a natural media painting program. What's so exciting now, is that it works seamlessly with Photoshop, including preserving layers, where it didn't in previous versions.
That doesn't include everything I'm taking away... but it's a start at least.
Just when you think you couldn't cram any more information into your head... you get hit with one more day of Photoshop World. Really... amazing. This is certainly a time to take advantage of any information that you can manage to retain... and at least I feel like I'm making smart decisions about what types of classes I'm taking, as well as when to call it quits. Yesterday, the day my blog didn't really go as planned, I left about two classes worth early. I was DONE. I had just spied the Corel booth at the Tech Expo, around 4:00 in the afternoon, and I couldn't even stop to check out the new Painter software, which was something I really wanted to see. I saw it, confirmed they'd be there today, and left... I couldn't take even one more creative possibility at that moment.
Yesterday I had my portfolio reviewed by Joe McNally. I had no idea who he was... just that they'd paired me with him because of the type of pictures I take. Turns out he's quite the renowned photographer. He had decent things to say about my portfolio. I actually had shown him our family photo book alongside my "formal" portfolio. He had positive things to say about my shooting, but what I took away was him saying, if you want to be taken seriously as a photographer, you need serious equipment. 'Da here that, honey!?? While he didn't say anything negative, per se, I didn't really leave the session ready to take more pictures. This could have contributed to feeling a bit overwhelmed yesterday!
Today, however, I had a much more positive day (not that yesterday was negative... I had great classes, but I was simply exhausted and overwhelmed by the end of the day). I slept in past the first round of classes (smart move, I didn't leave the convention center until 9:30 at night), and begun with two sessions on introductory Lightroom. Okay... I'll likely convert from Bridge. Then I took a class from a very down to earth instructor, and was blown away. He taught a class on channels and Lab color mode. Really, very cool stuff. I'm going to play around with it a bit later.
The very exciting part for me, today, actually, I should say gratifying... was after watching Joe McNally for an hour in the Nikon Theater (yeah, he's their main photographer for the D3), I hung around and asked a few questions of one of the Nikon reps about his opinion on how best to move forward in upgrading my equipment. Yes, it would be nice, I quipped to him, to buy a D3, but we'd just purchased a travel trailer and couldn't afford it this year. The conversation inevitably led to kids/travel, etc. As a proud mama, I whipped out our 2007 iBook family photo album, and he first asked about the book itself, and thought it was very cool (I agree)... then he started looking through all of the pictures (the vast majority taken with my D80) and was very impressed with the shots. "Lifestyle" pictures he called them. I gave him my business card and he said he'd pass it along to the person in charge of that kind of thing (marketing, I'd imagine...), and not to be surprised if I got a call from Nikon in the future... Okay, while I have to admit I'm on cloud nine... I'm honestly not going to count on it. I'm just so gratified that he thought so highly of my pictures. Hee hee!
Okay, I just realized the time. I'm beat, and have an early class in the morning.
Today's workshop was the On Location Wedding Shoot with David Ziser. I learned that I have a LOT to learn about flash photography. I did pick up some good information, and look forward to that challenge.
In David's opening comments, he recommended the following:
Compare the sameness and differences from your competition, then change the sameness into differences. You can sell differences a whole lot more than sameness.
I like this!
I am also learning that one of the best resources here is going to be the people I meet. I've already traded business cards with a few people and look forward to staying in touch, in one way or another.
So, I'm off to bed, after a 20 minute video chat with my family back in Bend. Thankfully Sam's pink eye has greatly improved!