It's been a little over a month since ImagingUSA in Nashville, TN. This is the PPA's annual convention with speakers, trade show and awards. The organization invited FotoFacts Podcast to cover the event with daily interviews and social media interaction. We spent five days working on helping make ImagingUSA a great place for inspiration, knowledge and networking. I was planning to attend the convention to receive my degree of Photographic Craftsman during the awards ceremony, but it was a bonus walking around with a full access media badge.
I have been working on the merits necessary for the degree program for about 4 years. I would have received it last year, but needed one more point in speaking versus other merits. I was confused on the split. Speaking at the Fort Worth Professional Photographers Association in Texas awarded me the needed merit for the degree.
It has been a journey of self discovery that started over dinner conversation with two close friends, Ross Benton & Edythe Blackwell in Shawnee, OK. As I vented and complained about my views of the industry in Oklahoma, both quickly stated "You can sit and watch OR you can do something about it." While I believed in the idea of a national non-profit organization lifting the industry through education, inspiration and networking, I really didn't participate actively. I was a member, but not involved. That dinner changed my heart to push myself and help others. Thanks to them, I can see improvements in my photography and my ability to educate others that has spilled over to other areas of my business including my personal life.
This is how the PPA describes the Photographic Craftsman Degree:
Awarded for service as an orator, author or mentor. This degree shows that you have gone beyond the creation of images and dedicated your time to move the industry forward and encourage education.
I'm so grateful to have a support system of family, friends and peers that helped me push through my limitations and become more than I could on my own. The list would be too long to mention, and would bore so many to tears, so I will just say Thank You to everyone. However, I do want to give a special shout out to Terri, Jim Felder, Randy Taylor, David Edmonson & Luke Edmonson. Your advice and guidance is appreciated and valued as industry leaders.
After reading the long post, I'm sure you are thinking... "That's nice. What does this do for me?" If you are a client, it means my passion and craft received national recognition, but more importantly, I will do my best for you. If you are a photographer, I believe in our industry, I will continue to push education and help raise the bar so you can achieve your goals as a visual image creator.
Enjoy your day in the snow. The light is beautiful.