Yesterday, I had the privilege to attend the amazing PDN Photoplus International Conference at the Javits Center in Manhattan. After jitters of excitement and tears of encouragement, I left so very inspired that I wanted to share what I learned with you. I attended three seminars by three of the most inspiring photographers I know. Here is a bit of each of their presentations – I hope what I learned can inspire you, too!
Chase Jarvis: Creativity and the New Social Art of Photography
Chase Jarvis has impacted the photography industry in countless ways. The main focus of his presentation was the idea of “social art,” a concept he admits is difficult to explain, but described as art that is “incomplete without the participation of the other.” He stresssed that we have a moral obligation to create and share how we created it with others, because it is simply more beneficial to everyone for the world to become more creative. He featured a panel of photographers who shared their stories of success (and failures) and who are not afraid to expose their “secrets of success” with other rising artists. I was inspired by Chase’s transparency and honesty in all that he has experienced to be where he is today. Although initially he was shunned by peers in the industry, his openness has only made him more successful. Chase features several videos and articles on his blog to help photographers through his own experience, and he often features other photographers and professionals to share their experiences as well. Chase also launched CreativeLive, where he broadcasts free live courses for photographers and artists over the internet. I have personally gained so much from these courses, and I hope that other photographers will take advantage of the resources made available by Chase. For more about Chase and his work, please visit his blog here!
Elizabeth Messina: Getting to the Heart of Wedding Photography
“Photography is the language of memories.” I know of no photographer who exemplifies this better than the person who said it, Elizabeth Messina. I was so privileged to hear her speak yesterday about the idea that as wedding photographers, we are storytellers not just of someone’s wedding day, but of their life. She challenged us to find bits and pieces of a person’s life on their wedding day and to photograph the story, not just the event itself. Elizabeth has exemplified this in her own work. I’m warning you, once you visit her blog you will be addicted. She is a very talented (and famous) film photographer, but she is also a mother of three, a wife, and a sensitive and loving person. After seeing her in person for the first time, I immediately saw her personality in her photos – soft, sensitive, warm and personal.
*Images by Elizabeth Messina
Jasmine Star: Developing Your Wedding Brand
Last but certainly not least, I finally met the one person who has influenced my photography the most – Jasmine Star. Jasmine is an inspiration for so many reasons. She built her business from nothing and became one of the top 10 photographers in the world within three years of launching her business. She believes deeply in transparency and in sharing her experience with others, which has made her a HUGE name in the photography industry. Recently, she shot an entire wedding LIVE in a project put together by Chase Jarvis just to be a help to photographers around the world. Yes, this means Jasmine is giving away her “secrets” to her competitors, yet she still manages to be amazingly successful. Jasmine attributes much of her success to the way she branded her business. In a time and place where photographers over saturated the market, Jasmine was determined to find a way to stand out without a budget to advertise, without fancy equipment, and without the experience other photographers possessed. Jasmine used the skills she had, namely writing, her personality, and her blog, to stand out among other photographers and as a way to connect with potential clients in a medium that was new to the industry. She encouraged us to use our own assets to bring out who we are to clients, and she emphasized the importance of branding as an essential element of a successful wedding photographer. Visit Jasmine’s blog for a daily dose of humor, education, love and gorgeous images!