But then, I’d barely brought the suitcase upstairs before heading out the door (at 6:00 am) with Breanna, my amazing daughter-in-law, photography mentor, and best of all: FRIEND to the international photography expo, Imaging USA. She had been telling me for a couple of years that this particular photography experience changed her life when she went a couple of years ago. She said it planted her feet on a track for success, and set her heart on fire for what she does. I knew it would be amazing — but HOW amazing? No. I had no idea! There were “classes”, but they were more like inspirational experiences, from some of the top movers and shakers in photography in the WORLD! My favorite two were photographers I’d admired from a distance for quite a while who are from Australia. Not only did their photography bring me to my knees, but their gift at eloquently communicating their passion had me wiping the tears from my cheeks on more than one occasion (not to mention how cool their Australian voices were 🙂 ). In fact, I ended my expo experience giving one of my Australian heroes, David Williams, a standing ovation along with hundreds of others in the room who were also wiping their eyes and clearing lumps in their throats. The ovation went on for such a long time that the speaker finally had to come out and say, “Well… ummm… errr… THANK YOU, but they’re telling me we have to get out of here now” as people were drifting in for the next seminar unnoticed by the Standing O-ers.So what was so life-changing about what I learned, and what I heard? Well, besides picking up great new technical tricks on lighting, posing, creating sales presentations, and creating great business models, I was inspired by the connection I felt with these top photographers in the world as far as what my own strengths in photography are. I realized that even tho I am really rather new at doing this full time as my livelihood, what makes these heroes in the industry truly successful are areas that I’m strong in too. It’s not marketing and advertising. It’s not the mathematical science of lighting. It’s not million dollar camera gear. It’s the ability to CONNECT — I mean really connect — with PEOPLE! I came away feeling like, “Hey… that’s me! I can DO THIS!” My passion for connecting with the beauty and artistry of the human soul is 2nd-nature to me. I can’t NOT do it! So as I listened, and incorporated the technical aspects of what I had learned, my head and heart were spinning with the possibilities for Sandy Powers Photography! In just a few days of sensory overload, I was already feeling differently about my craft. More excited. Even more passionate. More anxious to channel my passion into success. Not just in dollars-success. No, in something even more important: the satisfaction of applying my natural talents in a way that has an end result of the eternal: PHOTOGRAPHS! Photographs that hopefully will touch and connect with its viewers for all time.
Like I mentioned on Facebook after Day 1: Look out world, I am INSPIRED! And I am! I can’t wait to see the inspiration bear real fruit in my work, and in my relationships with the people I’m lucky enough to work with. Bring on the souls … I am READY!