Friday, February 20, 2009

The NANPA Summit

A NANPA Summit is an amazing event. It is so amazing to watch the truly great photographers of our time present their images in either the large auditorium or the Breakout sessions. Not only do your eyes get a visual treat, but hearing about the images - how they were made, why they were made, the story behind them . . . I find myself inspired to go back out there and find those images that will be uniquely mine! I find myself educated about not only the techniques in making better photos, but also the photography business itself.

My schedule so far:

Darrell Gulin: Marketing Your Work in an Ever-Changing Photographic World
The good news - while stock photography has had its downward pricing pressure, there is still a market for those truly unique images.

Kathy Adams Clark: Professional Tips for Workshop and Tour Leaders
I've been to Kathy's trainings before - she is always knowledgeable and teaches effectively. One of my long term goals would be to lead workshops or tours. She really covered all the issues and things that you need to think about and prepare for to do this successfully.

Art Wolfe: Keynote Address: Between Heaven and Earth
One of the best nature photographers of our generation, I got to hear him talk about his early work climing Mount Everest and traveling through the Himalayas. His mountain photos are stunning. His portraits bring you face to face with people who live in such a different world - happy, sad, worshipful, clean, dirty . . . What opportunities he has had and what he has done with those opportunities! WOW!

Les Saucier: Macro Secrets: Advanced Tools and Techniques for the Macro Photographer
I've been to Nancy Rotenberg's macro workshop and learned a lot. He added a different perspective and slightly different tools. I learned when to use the 50D closeup lens (which I have) and when to use the 250D closeup lens (which I don't have) He also uses some interesting flashlights that I want to think about adding to my tools.

Grover Sanschagrin: Capture the Photo Editor: Best Practices in Photographer Websites
Grover is co-founder of PhotoShelter - I was most interested in his results from a survey of photo buyers as to what they like in a website and what they don't like. What keeps them checking your photos, what sends them away from your page perhaps never to return. The good news for me - my new website is close, but I've got to work more on it.

Bill Fortney - Keynote Address: America from 500 Feet II - the Rediscovering America Project
Another WOW! I was fighting tears as I watched this presentation. I found out at the lunch table that I was not the only one. His books: America from 500 Feet and America from 500 Feet II have incredible photography. The first was photographed from an ultralight, the second from a parachute plane. But what was so touching was how he told the story of these great adventures. He used music and shared the thoughts that went into the dreams and execution of this great project. Well worth ordering the sound track from NANPA. It can be downloaded as MP3. Get your hanky out and have one of the books nearby. As a Christian photographer, I was especially moved by how he was able to tell his Christian story humbly and movingly and appropriately for the setting.

Nancy Carrizales, Danita Delimont, and Jain Lemos: Textbook and Educational/Editorial Licensing in 2009: What Photographers Should Understand about Licensing Terms
This was somewhat technical, but it provided much needed information about licensing photographs in the educational/textbook markets - one that is still a valuable income stream for photographers. ASMP (American Society of Media Photographers) has been working for a number of years trying to standardize wording in licensing photographs. The Plus (Picture Licensing Universal System) is an invaluable resource in understanding what all the words in a 14 page legal contract mean. These ladies are truly experts in their field - well worth my time!

Bill Clark: Taking the Next Step: Bylines and Publications on a Part-Time Basis
So much what I needed to hear right now. This one will also be worth paying for the MP3 download. Using humor and practical ideas, he really spells out what to be doing in the current economy, to be ready when the demand for photos comes back. He gives good strategies for getting started as a professional photography and how to build a career - one small step at at time. I love his saying: "Don't just talk about going home and getting started . . . go home and DO it!" He's right, it is all too easy to get fired up at NANPA with great ideas for what we want to do and then get home and have the mundane world or procrastination keep us from accomplishing what we are capable of.

See what I mean - I get such a great education every time I come to a NANPA Summit. And . . . I still have one more day!

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