I made it through Click Away, had a great time, and met a lot of people in real life that I have spent years communicating with only online. I did not cry because I missed my family, which is what I thought I would do. That is probably because I was at least five years or more overdue for a vacation or a few nights away (that were not spent hospitalized or giving birth). There were some really great and inspirational speakers, and then some of the sessions I participated in were not very good. I was supposed to go to Click Away and clarify a lot of my plans and goals, and yeah, no. I didn't do any of that. I am hoping that by the end of this year, my business will be over the trickier parts that I am going through right now- determining pricing and packaging, deciding which types of shoots I want to say yes to (while I am agreeing to most of what people are asking for right now, I would like to narrow it down), contracts, website redesign (which I now need to do AGAIN to accommodate client work). I am also finding that the many years of photographing my family doesn't necessarily help a whole lot in the type of shooting I am doing now. Just the fact that I can tell people what to do, and then they do it- crazy. And actually, they are expecting me to tell them exactly what to do when I am shooting them. Which means I have to know what I am doing. And I do! Except for posing. So I have found some really great resources to study related to posing, and also related to interaction with clients during sessions, and I am feeling more and more confident in these areas all of the time. One thing I discussed with a friend at Click Away is that when you do a shoot for a client, it is important that the client feels good about the interaction from the first time they talk to you, until the end of the transaction when they have their prints or files in hand. If something goes awry, what ends up happening is that the client is always going to associate that negativity with those very personal photographs. Additionally, one of the speakers at Click Away (Tarah Sweeney) talked a lot about how the photos you are taking of clients are not about you, the photographer, and how you need to take yourself out of it to make sure it is really about the client. I am really happy that I have been fortunate to see this slant/ perspective at this point in professional shooting. My personal work is an entirely different story- that can be all about me. And of course client photos will include my vision and photographic voice- but most importantly I want to capture their truth and their realities and what is important to them. Whatever part of that they end up associating with me I want to be very positive, so that they have nothing but good feelings when they look at their photos.
And I never found a camera bag. There is no camera bag for me. I thought I would find one at Click Away, but instead I ended up wearing my camera the whole time and carrying my regular purse. Even in the rain. And it rained in Seattle, a lot.