Each year, there's a very large photography convention at the Javits Center in NYC called Photo Plus Expo (or #PPE10 in the Twitter world). This year was particularly exciting because 3 photographers I follow on a regular basis were going to be speaking. Yay! How awesome is that!? I signed up as soon as I heard about it.
One of the photographers was Chase Jarvis. He was scheduled to give the keynote. He's a commercial shooter out of Seattle and someone I'd consider to be a visionary and a bit of a rebel. He's purposely gone against the grain of old school thinking. He actively shares what was once considered to be trade secrets. The week before the conference, he announced on Twitter that he was planning to have meet-up early in the week of the conference to get to know each other and for him to talk about his latest book/project called "Seattle 100". It was held at the Ace Hotel in NYC. It was one of those strange moments for me because I was able to meet and speak with a few guys that work for Chase that I've seen many times in videos. Super nice guys.
At the time I signed up for the event, I made sure I had the day off work so I could spend the day soaking in all that PPE had to offer. I took the train in from NJ and went to the first session which was with Joe McNally. Brilliant photog and has many credits to his name. This guy has shot everything and said to the crowd that he already had >150,000 miles on just Delta airlines so far this year.
Because of the way the schedule ran, I had to leave a few minutes early (sorry Joe) to get a good spot for the keynote with Chase. I was in the second or third row and quickly noticed that I was sitting behind Jasmine Star (CA wedding photographer I was scheduled to see at 3:45 that afternoon). It was again one of those moments like when you spot a celebrity where you feel like you know them but you also know that don't know you. Anyway, the keynote starts and in true fashion for Chase, he broadcast the entire keynote live and has a recording of it posted on his blog. For me, it was very inspirational.
During the next couple hours, I made it onto the expo floor to check out the gear and all the vendors vying for your attention. I had something to eat and walked back for Jasmine's talk. I was again toward the front and this wasn't a full session but it wasn't empty either. She's great. Such a full personality and so California. She reminds me of what I consider to be home since I'm a west coast boy growing up in California and Arizona. Her speaking engagements have been getting bigger and bigger and she s definitely getting recognized for her great accomplishments lately. She has a pretty consistent message which is Keep it real. There's plenty more to her message but that sums it up. The more you put yourself out there and keep it real, the more you will attract people that like you and repel those that don't.