I just returned from Phoenix, Arizona, after teaching a pre-con class at Imaging USA, the annual convention and tradeshow for Professional Photographers of America that brings in thousands of photographers from all over the world. I had teamed up again with the strikingly talented Jesh de Rox to deliver a course we created specifically for this event: The Client Experience Workflow. We spoke to a fantastic audience, quite participatory, open-minded, interested and also just a really lovely group of people. Afterwards, there was a cool writeup about the class. Here’s a blurb…

It’s kind of amazing to meet up with so many industry friends, many of whom are actual friends and many of whom are virtual friends who then become actual friends – thank you, to my so-friendly facebook page and my fun-to-keep-current twitter profile :) :) :) Two of those friends who are now real, live ones are Jeff & Allison Rodgers of Allison Rodgers Photography, in Mississipi, who also spoke at the conference. We volunteered them to be our models, so that we could showcase some techniques. We didn’t spend a great deal of time shooting, but here are a couple images that were grabbed. Kind of a blended effort – Jesh set up them up, then I went ahead and photographed them. I then very quickly finished the images using products from Jesh’s new Enlighten – Life as an art form site, which showcases his new Colorshift Action Set (amazing stuff, beautiful effects and highly customizable! – been working with these actions for months now and am loving the look and ease of them) and, of course, the Fine Art Textures set, which I’ve already been happily using for the last couple of years. Both of these images were photographed in pretty poor conditions – terrible room lighting, 1600 ISO with the Canon Mark II, and the background was a projector screen… (you can’t really read Jeff’s shirt – it was pretty funny: What is another word for thesaurus?” :)

I also got a chance to spend some good time at the Expo, showcasing all things photography in the way of products and services. Was great to catch up with the vendors we use that do such wonderful work for us … and I also got to see some of my work scattered throughout the huge show, too. The first one I saw was the Buckeye Color Lab booth – they have been sponsoring all of my talks, so it was great to see my work showcased in their marketing, too. (these were all grabbed with my iphone camera!)

I then ran into Simply Canvas. They sponsor my workshops and talks, as well, and I loved the pieces they chose to showcase – and they did so BIG . I hope both Lydia (sweet pouty girl) and her mom, Deb, get to see how much attention she got at the Expo. And, of course, the beautiful Carrie – I know you’ll see this, woman! Did you know that you were life-sized in Phoenix this past week? :)

The next one I didn’t even know to look for – I was actually stepping through the Expo looking at some beautiful images of children, thinking of my own, when I suddenly saw them. My children, that is. And I saw them on high, to be exact :) They were this very large, tall image that was used for Pickpic, a company we work with to create customizable galleries. It was a sweet moment, to see them at the exact time I was thinking about them. And then to see that we were, all together, on their hand-out marketing materials, it felt very family-like. Me and my babies :) The image on the left is the poster on high – the second is what they were handing out…

I then found Amherst Media, the publisher of my book, The Art of Children’s Portrait Photography. I was thrilled to see a huge poster of the book in their booth, and they said that it had been selling like crazy at the show. (Yay!) They also shared that it was currently the 3rd bestselling book in their entire catalogue, out of hundreds and hundreds of fantastic books. That was a wonderful surprise. Such a feeling – for all that hard work to pay off like that. And I can’t really think of a cooler way to support such amazing organizations like Save The Children or World Wide Orphans Foundation. If you aren’t already familiar with these wonderful organizations, please do check them out!! – I know that I do post their sites often, but they really are doing that amazing kind of work that we could all be reminded of time and again :)

All in all, it was a terrific experience. This is a pretty amazing industry, with some wonderful people on all sides of it. And I am so very grateful to be doing the work that I’m doing :)