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Public Speaking

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Calling All Photographers! | Wedding Photographic Society

I was sitting here working on a talk I'm giving in a few weeks at the annual Wedding Photographic Society convention here in Chapel Hill when it occurred to me that I hadn't yet announced to you, my amazing blog-readers, that I was going to be speaking! Yikes!!!  

Wedding Photographic Society Photography Convention

A little background: the Wedding Photographic Society (WPS) is a network of professional wedding & portrait photographers who collaborate online and in person on ideas, thoughts, and information in an attempt to elevate the artistic, technical, and business standards of the photographic community. Though the WPS is based in Raleigh, a chapter opened last year in Wilmington, and with nearly 800 members participating online from all over the world, there are rumors of new chapters in several locations. Are you a professional or aspiring photographer? Why not join us? Better yet... come to next month's convention at the Carolina Inn! The WPS has put together a stellar list of speakers that I'm honored to have been included on, including Neil Van Niekerk, Julia Woods, and Ann Monteith among many others, and because it's relatively small, you're essentially guaranteed the opportunity to meet and chat with lots of other photographers (including speakers!), which is QUITE different from the big conventions! There will also be opportunities to participate in live shoots, a trade show, personal mentoring, and lots of social events... it should be a fantastic experience!

My talk in particular is entitled Perfect [Business] Focus. One of the most important things we can do for our businesses is to distinguish ourselves from our competitors... especially in a market as competitive as photography. Unfortunately, a lot of photographers - especially new photographers - are drawn to what appears to be safety in numbers, and model both their artistic vision and their business tactics on those of other photographers who they perceive to be successful... a dangerous strategy at best. I'm going to talk about why finding and refining your own vision is a vital component to any photographer's business, then give ideas about how you can go about doing so in a way that will both satisfy you creatively and pay the bills.

So that's it! Come one, come all! I'm vacillating between excitement and terror at the prospect of speaking in front of a group again, but hey... at least this will be a slightly smaller crowd than last time  ;)

WPPI Speaker List

xox,

annemie

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Spring Fun Roundup Part 1 | Chapel Hill Photographer

So it occurred to me this morning that I hadn't yet posted about some of the exciting things that have happened for Megapixie in the first few months of 2012. If you follow me on Facebook, I apologize for the recap, but I wanted to put them here, too, just in case anyone missed them :D2012 WPPI Program First up, my Photographer's Ignite talk at the WPPI convention in Las Vegas. A quick bit of background: WPPI is short for Wedding and Portrait Photographers International, and the convention they host in Vegas every year is ENORMOUS... 16K+ photographers all in one place for a week-long party conference, including a huge trade show and dozens of workshops, speakers, and events. This year was the first time I made the trip, and my two objectives while there were to A: learn stuff and B: meet people. Seems simple, right? But I know how easy it is to get lost in a crowd of that size, so I wanted to figure out a way to make an impact and make some new friends along the way. One rather hare-brained idea I came up with was to apply for a spot speaking at Photographers Ignite, which is the big opening-night show. The basic concept is that there are fifteen speakers who each speak for five minutes on some topic related to photography. Since it's only five minutes, it has to be a pretty concise message, and it's a little tricky to fit a coherent, complete talk into such a short period of time. Making it even more challenging is the fact that you have a series of 20 slides running behind you that are timed at 15 seconds apiece, and advance whether or not you're running on time. Oh, and there are no cue cards or teleprompters... yep: memorized. Anyway, I applied with no expectation that I'd get a spot - most of the speakers are internationally-known photographers and speakers - but lo and behold, I did... and here's the evidence to prove  it:

Not TOO bad, eh? Given how nervous it made me to get up in front of a crowd of 3000+, I'd say the fact that I finished in one piece was an accomplishment in itself!

These next two images were from my super-awesome roommate and partner in crime, Victoria de Martigny of Creative Perspectives in Montreal... first, me up on stage, slideshow running:

Annemie Tonken Photographers Ignite

...then after the fact with Kevin Kubota, seriously the nicest, goofiest guy in the business... can you tell how relieved I was to be done?

Annemie Tonken Kevin Kubota

Thanks, Victoria!

Now although that by itself was plenty of excitement, there's more to this story... but that's probably enough procrastination for today ;) Check back in tomorrow for part two!

xox,

annemie

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