What I learned at my first visit to Imaging USA

The Houston airport is HUGE! Here I was hoping that my gates might be close. haha! My terminals were, what felt like, miles apart. I even had to take a monorail (!) to get from one terminal to the next. No, I’m not a seasoned traveler. I’ve never been out of the south. I actually used my passport for the first time ever on this trip just so I could actually pull it out. Quick!  Someone please take me on a trip out of the country before it expires in 4 years without a single stamp in it.:(

Taxi cab drivers really do drive like you see on TV. But, they can also be students who have 2 years left for an engineering degree.  Yes, I can start a conversation with just about anyone. In my defense, the ride was extra long because of so many road closures. There was a NCAA basketball game taking place Saturday night.

Take a buddy! Is it necessary? Surely not, but it did make it even more fun. Everyone needs a “partner in crime.” Once you start to mingle, don’t hesitate to hang out with new people. You never know where you might wind up. :P

You can’t just pick a class simply by the title. Research the presenter and their work. You might find that what works for them might not even be interesting to you.

Take notes during the presentations. You will not remember it all and valuable information is being given to you. WRITE IT DOWN!

As soon as you even begin to think you MIGHT want to take your photography hobby further, get into a business class. I’m having fun with the creative side. It’s the business side that is kicking my butt! One of my classes gave me the itch to come back and change everything. Well, almost everything.

If you are not used to walking or out-of-shape like me, you will get shin splints just from walking to class and strolling through the expo. Yes, it’s THAT big! 

If I am ever honored enough to be asked to speak at Imaging USA, I already know what my topic will be… “ YOU CAN be successful in a small town even when it seems like everyone is a photographer.” Seriously, if I heard it once, I heard it a dozen times, “I can’t do this because I’m from a small town.” “I can’t do that because I’m from a rural area.”  I live in a town with 5 red lights. Yes, 5. You just have to believe in yourself and what you have to offer enough to make it happen. Research your craft (find out what is working for others in your area,) educate yourself (learn your camera- get OFF auto, take workshops, go to conventions,) continuously strive to improve yourself, your skills, and your business. Does this mean that I think I am hugely successful??? Not yet, but I will be. The information that I learned this past week has boosted my self-confidence and given me the push to really make it happen. I believe enough in my God-given talent to invest my future in it.

Lastly, always remember to smile and be yourself. You never know who you might meet or where you might meet them.:)

Adrienne - January 21, 2011 - 11:06 pm

Thanks! I feel like I just got a really energizing pep talk. :) I’m glad you came back feeling so empowered.

Penny Eaton - January 24, 2011 - 1:54 pm

You’re coming here, remember? You’ll have 2 stamps!!!! 1 in and 1 out!!! Again, I LOVE all of your work. You’ve got it girl!

Jenna - January 27, 2011 - 4:06 pm

Love all of your insight to the competition, but kinda sad about the passport thing. I have been out of the country 3 times with mine and STILL don’t even have a stamp. What kind of mess is that?

Lonn - January 28, 2011 - 3:08 pm

I have to agree with you on all of this, it was so inspiring I am turning my look of my photography around and the way I operate as well. The shin splints and the walk I agree with you 100% and I was not that far from the hotel but my dawgs were killing me by the end of the day. I had so much fun I can’t wait to attend the next one. I went by myself to this one hopefully I can bring someone along on the next. This conference boosted my ego as well. God Bless

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