Many of you know that last week I was in Hobart for The Event which is the national conference run by the AIPP for professional, emerging and student photographers. This is the third time I’ve attended The Event and as much as I enjoy it there are also aspects of the conference that make me want to pull my hair out from its roots.
I’ll start with my highlights, in past years I’ve gone on my own but this year I travelled with my two friends Tess and Lauren. We had a wonderful time finding interesting places to eat (we all love good food), exploring Hobart (we would have done more of this if it wasn’t so cold and rainy) and hanging out in our hotel (a loft which was converted from an old Mill). We also had a great time hanging out with new friends (Katie & Matt) and debriefing about all the new things we were learning. My second big highlight was seeing Jennifer Hudson talk, it was wonderful…I really don’t have words to describe how much I enjoyed it (the image above is one of hers…freaking amazing).
Now to what I didn’t enjoy…unfortunately it’s the same things that I didn’t enjoy last year, and the year before that. It’s the way the old photographers bash the new photographers (not physically, just with harsh words)…I’ve experienced multiple times photographers from the stage making comments such as “if you aren’t a fulltime photographer you aren’t a true professional” or “shoot and burn photographers aren’t professionals and they are ruining the industry”. It can truly crush your spirit hearing these comments from people you respect and I’ve gone away from some sessions feeling about as important as poop on the speakers shoe. I work hard, really hard to make my business successful, my photos beautiful and most of all my clients happy…but unfortunately in some people’s eyes I’m still not what a professional photographer should be.
This post isn’t meant to bash the AIPP, it’s just meant to let people know how I feel…cause maybe you’re feeling this way too? If you do, I want you to know that you and your business have value, even if you aren’t working fulltime yet or if you only offer digital packages. There are always going to be people who put us down, but hopefully it won’t be people from our own industry for much longer.