I'm very happy to be among the blooming trees and blossoming flowers of spring in Charlotte, NC, this weekend as I hear it is snowing today in Maine!
I'm in Charlotte as a faculty member for the Southern Short Course, the oldest photojournalism conference for news photographers (this is the 59th year!). It's my first time attending and I initially thought it was connected with the Northern Short Course (I attended many NSC conferences in my journalism days) and NPPA (National Press Photographers Association, which I have been a member for 10 years) but I have since learned they they are independent of each other. Many people apparently make this mistake, too!
Marc Kawanishi, the conference's CEO, actually found me a few months ago through mutual friends on Facebook of all places. So never underestimate the power of online networking sites! He invited me to come and speak about News Wedding Photographers, my second business, paired with Grover Sanschagrin of SportsShooter.com and Photo Shelter.
I spoke about how popular wedding photojournalism is, the importance of being a wedding photographer (I think many people overlook how important a role we play as historians documenting the beginning a couple's family legacy on their wedding day), how I got started in weddings and why, and later about how to establish your own business. I showed a slideshow of images from members of News Wedding Photographers because I don't think everyone knows about the bold new world of wedding photojournalism and instead, think of how I used to think of wedding photography before I got into it: posed! I'm so thrilled that the journalism approach has trickled into weddings so that the stiff, traditional wedding photographs of our parents' generation will stay in the past.
The feedback I've received so far has been great. And it was especially fun to have former newspaper colleagues and even college classmates in the audience who I haven't seen for a long time.
Tonight, I'm participating in three hours of student portfolio critiques. Tomorrow is a long day of lectures and I'll have a table at a trade show to talk to folks about News Wedding Photographers. And later, I'll be a panelist in a round-table discussion on daily and long-term storytelling projects before another round of portfolio critiques in the evening.
I'll be one tired puppy when I get home on Sunday night, but very excitedly anticipating my studio lease starting on Tuesday!!