Today, I am not the most productive person. There is a good reason behind this: I spent the last three days in what is best called “Masterclass Marathon” at the SWPP convention. Masterclasses start at 8:30 am and finished at 19:30 earlier on Sunday though). They last 90 minutes each. Hour-long breaks between classes are very useful to visit the trade show and re-fuel as needed. On the whole, this rather exhausting experience is totally worth it.
- Getting input by many experts. Often there is more than one way of doing things and no unique answer to a problem. Taking a look at how different experts produce their art and lead their career is not only interesting, it gives you a much better perspective.
- You get to pick and choose what you want to hear about. No point sitting through classes that are of no interest to you. (I am allergic to horses. As interesting as they surely are, why on earth would I want to know more about shooting equestrian events?)
- If a class does not meet your expectations, you loose very little in the grand scheme of things. It happened only once to me this year and I “minimised the damage” by leaving and going to another class. Best move ever.
- Sometimes, it’s just plain fabulous. Inspiring speakers who make you feel that you’re not alone with your fears about your new photography endeavours (Anurag Sharma), some with great style to admire and advices to follow (Nikki Hill, Jo Hansford), others with mesmerizing knowledge on difficult techniques (Andrea Nielsen) or invaluable business advices to help you get started/established (Michael Turner, Joe Photo, Martin Oliver).
The less nice side (no name this time, no worries!):
- Some speakers tend to use their masterclass as a platform to advertise their training products. While this is perfectly legitimate and somewhat useful (in small dose!), I did not go to any of the session planning to buy anything and sometimes found that this time could be used better.
- Some talk title and description were rather vague to say the least. You may be a well-known photographer but not everybody knows that you focus on one specific aspect of portraiture and that you will talk exclusively about this for one hour and a half. This is especially unfortunate when that subfield appears to be the one that I have NO interest for…
- The best part of a A4 notebook jam-packed with aspects of my photography and business to work on, strategies to implement, plans to make (and execute!) suppliers to check out, samples to order, people to get/keep in touch with, etc… Just when you think you are done with your mad 3-days session, you realise that you now have to get back to work very soon!
- A great sense of excitement about what I plan to/will achieve in 2012. This will be a great year!
- The sense that I now have a clue on how to get where I want to go. But also the sense that I have so much more still to learn… ;)
OK, enough said… I must get some beauty sleep if I want my productivity to be back to normal tomorrow! ;)
An inspiring picture to finish:
May 2012 be a year of growth and success for all of you! ;)