So we finally got a chance to make it to one of the big annual Photography conventions we’ve been dying to get to these past couple of years. Once we heard that Imaging USA 2013 was going to be in one of our favorite cities this year (Atlanta), it was a must that we book the tickets to make sure we were definitely in attendance. Imaging USA is an annual convention held in various large cities across the country where thousands of photographers from every background imaginable come together for three to six days of classes, workshops, exhibits, networking, and the like. In fact their own website describes it as such: “the largest annual convention and expo organized by pro photographers, for pro photographers! Thousands attend from around the world for a level of learning and networking you just can’t find elsewhere.”
Classes are held by some of the biggest and most creative photographers in the business. After the very first day, we immediately knew if we had to go home that day, we had more than got our money’s worth, and had taken in enough information to last us for quite some time.
Tiffany was quick to point out that we were now “official” since we had our official name badges!
Once the morning classes, (which started at 8 a.m.) were complete on the first day, the expo floor opened and it was amazing to see so many people under one roof ready to set their eyes on some of the latest and best tools in the industry.
Ok…..so this is when we turned into little stalkers. The gentleman on the left below is Mr. Denis Reggie, the wedding photography that is known to be the “father” of the ever popular photojournalism style. This little blog is not capable of describing just how much this man has affected the photography business over the years. Lets just say he has been interviewed by names such as Oprah, Katie Couric, etc….his clients include Mariah Carey, Vera Wang, Rudy Giuliani, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc. The gentleman/photographer on the right is Mr. Scott Kelby, and chances are if you have every picked up a book on Photoshop, Lightroom, etc, this man probably had something to do with it…in fact early on we purchased a number of his great publications, which we still refer to from time to time. Now we enjoy just reading about his journey in the business by stopping by his blog a couple of times a week, it is a source of great info.
Checking out some hot new wedding albums designs and……..multitasking using both of our iPad’s.
At the end of the first official night we attended the big welcome party and had a blast, especially after taking advantage of the 2 complimentary drinks provided Funny thing is the welcome party was full of music and food, but once you put a couple of models on stage with a bunch of photographers in the room, it did not take long for us to begin randomly shooting. Can you spot Tiffany in the picture just below???
Some of our fellow photog friends we met while sitting at one of the tables during the party.
Now we have come to Joe…thats right we will just call him Joe, that is the only name needed for Mr. Joe Buissink who you see pictured below. In case you are wondering who Joe is, just take a quick peek over at his website and you will quickly see that Joe is an industry giant. He has photographed the weddings of names such as Stacey Dash, Christina Aguilera, LeAnn Rimmes, Christina Applegate, Jennifer Lopez, Keisha Cole, should we continue…..we think you get the point.
We had the opportunity to attend a class Joe was speaking at one morning, and to say that it was a huge boost & motivator to us in our business is an understatement. Among the many things that Joe shared with us is the extremely personal, yet public knowledge that both of Joe’s boys have been diagnosed with autism and how that is something he has embraced and become a spokesman for. His oldest son (pictured) does not normally travel with him but for the first time he was with Joe and to our surprise sitting right in the audience. As if that wasn’t a touching moment, he then mentioned that the mother of his children, pictured on the screen to the far left, very recently passed away. It was this tender moment that he captured of her nursing their son, that inspired him to drop out of school in pursuit of his PhD in psychology while in his mid 40′s and turn his attention to documenting people’s lives. Boy are we sure glad he didn’t waste all that talent on psychology. By the time Joe finished his class I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a dry eye in the room (including Tiffany’s).
We almost chickened out but decided to wait in line to be able to get a picture with Joe. Joe is not only a great photographer, but after having multiple opportunities to speak with him, we could tell he is an all around genuinely nice guy who loves people.
Since we were feeling brave now, we decided to get a picture with some other familiar faces that we recognized. On the left is half of the husband & wife trio of Dave & Quin based out of Toronto, Canada. The gentleman on the right is Jerry Ghionis who’s class we had a chance to attend on the very first day of the conference and boy did we walk away with a lot of insight. Jerry has photographed weddings for couples all over the world, literally, and has probably won just about every photography award imaginable over his 17+ year career. He did an onstage live shoot inside of a packed auditorium and made it look easy. We love you Jerry!
These last couple of shots sort of sums up all of the personalities that were under one roof. As Tiffany and I were about to walk outside for a few minutes, the girl on the right yoked me (Bernard) up and asked if I could take a picture of the group with her camera. Of course I took the picture, but then the guy you see taking the picture below, hopped out of the picture and told me to get in, so Tiffany being quick on the draw took a picture of what was going on.
Then the guy taking the picture tells me to go ahead and wrap my arm around the lady on my left and said it’s ok, “the baby she is pregnant with is not your”…..of which everyone got a kick out of it and the result is the picture you see.
This is a random picture we took right before getting into an elevator across from the Georgia World Conference Center where Imaging USA was held, we know its random but we liked it. We must say that we thoroughly enjoyed our trip and cannot believe it took us so long to get there. Next years Imaging 2014 will be in Phoenix so stay tuned, although our next big photo trip will be WPPI in Vegas. Until then…….