Skip to main content

My Societies Convention 2017 in a Blog Post

Well its Friday January 20th and I've been home since Monday but this is the first day when I feel alive and well enough to sit for an extended period at my desk. It happens to me every few years after the convention that I succumb to a virus that was likely floating around the air conditioning system. Its been ages since I've been properly ill and had lots on in the weeks leading up to the convention so a part of me figured I was due. Its inevitable when you plan a well deserved break after a busy period that your body thinks, 'this is a good time to be ill'. I'm always thankful though that I completed all my obligations prior to coming down with flu and the diary is empty for another couple of days to allow me to recover before being customer facing once again. In the meantime I'll begin with a review of my week at the convention.
My week began with judging the 20x16 Print Competition. This has been something I've been working towards for years and is the reason earning my Fellowship was so important to me as its the first requirement in being considered. I have helped Licentiate qualification panels for several years now and in June of last year I attended a 2 day course which kick started the qualification process for becoming a judge. Since then I've been observing online judging sessions while receiving additional training.With this all complete I was able to sit amongst several panels of judges as a junior judge. This was a huge honour and great privilege to be a part of and something that I hope will continue for years to come.
(One of the images created in the Superclass)
On Friday I then presented a Superclass on lighting. This I found very enjoyable as the delegates were very keen and receptive to what I was teaching. That can make all the difference, when you can see people learning and appreciating what you have to say. We were using the new XMT lights by Bowens which really are a pleasure to use since they are battery powered with a fantastic remote trigger that lets you control each light individually.
(And another from the Superclass)

For the remaining 2 days I presented Masterclasses on Photoshop for part of the day with the other part spent doing lighting demonstrations on the Bowens stand. I amazed myself at how much I enjoyed being that busy this year. I expected to feel worn out rather than exhilarated which was rather nice. (Although that could be why I am ill now). 

It always amazes both myself and most people I speak with at this event how quickly the convention comes around each year. It feels like an eternity before we can meet up with old friends again but before we know it we're right back there at that hotel again. And in a blink of an eye its all over. Someone said at the start of the week, I can't remember who as much if the week has become a bit of a blur, he said, 'this week will fly by at a snails pace' and he was right. There were moments that seemed to last forever, like those when I nervously awaited my turn to begin my judging career or as I lie awake in bed trying to quiet the voices in my head so I could sleep. Then all of a sudden it was Sunday night and I was having my last meal with friends before we all went our separate ways.
(Our besties for the week, Heather and Adrian, all the way from North Carolina. My husband and I so look forward to seeing these two each year)
(A great friend Panikos and his wife Joanna. I've met some truly wonderful people in this industry. Panikos is definitely one of the best.)
(Some more of my favourite people whom I only see physically this one week each year but who I count on for support and entertainment throughout much of the year)
(A few of the many weirdos I am happy to call friends.)
Like always I wanted to write a blog about the week and include some photographs. This time, now that I own a comfortably sized Fuji X-T2, I carried a camera with me everywhere just as I said I would when I blogged about my experience with this camera a few months ago. And I never felt inconvenienced because I have since bought the little pancake 27mm lens which means this camera now fits into a small handbag. All I had to do was get over the fear of pulling out a proper camera at an event full of highly esteemed professionals, most of whom never pull out a camera. I don't know what it is about professional photographers but events like this usually have us leaving our cameras at home. It probably has something to do with wanting to take a break from it all I suppose.
(Sunrise from my room)
And now as I sit at my computer it seems like ages ago I was sat around the bar chatting with dear friends. The image below is of the bar after the Awards dinner when so many hang out to the wee hours of the morning. With still another day of training I only managed to last til 1:30am. Gone are the days I stayed up til 5am. Probably for the best really but if ever there is a night I could stay up all night it is this one. Maybe next year.
Well its taken me a week to write this blog post. I turns out I wasn't properly well when I began and with a back log of work to catch up on when I did feel better this took a back seat for a while. But I'm back now and the post is written. I had promised myself that this was the year I would write 52 posts, one for each week on average and now I'm already behind on that promise thanks to getting poorly. I must try harder next month so I can catch up. Will this be the year I reach 52 posts? Well I am definitely going to try.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

I am Still Me: A Story about a Transgender Boy

  Meet Leo. Leo is 15 and currently going through an epic transformation that has momentarily turned the lives of himself and those around him upside down. A mum who once had the daughter she always longed for is now coping with the realisation that she will be living the rest of her life with a son instead. When your child is born you have certain expectations of the typical life they will lead but most of us know and accept that it won't necessarily end up the way we imagine. Not every person wants to marry, have kids or be involved with the opposite sex. Most of us have come to accept this and can adjust to whatever comes our way relatively easily. But few of us have expected to have to deal with a change in sex. Its not that we've hoped it won't happen, but just that it never occurred to us that it might. This is a new adjustment that we as a society are being presented with today, just like so many others that have come before. When I first heard that Phoebe

My First London Fashion Shoot

Well I finally did it. I bit the bullet and faced my fears and headed to London with a good friend, Mr. Panikos Hajistilly to do my first location shoot. We chose our locations together and Panikos organised a model and brought so much of his gear which he kindly shared with me. And probably most importantly, he showed me how it's done. I was so surprised to see just how much wonderful light was there, just waiting to be used. I am a studio photographer and while I understand the use of studio flash very well, I am very much out of practice and out of my comfort zone with using available light. Its one thing to place lights and backdrops around my subject in the comfort of my studio. Its very different to find the right light and the right backdrop in unfamiliar territory and to place my subject in it. That may sound simple enough but honestly it is not, particularly on a day with no clouds in the sky. One of our planned locations just wasn't possible as a result of the

Its a Dog's Life

When life gets tough I always look at dogs or my cats and think how lucky they are. I know not all are treated well but those lucky enough to be in a good home, like the ones who come into my studio, have a really great life. They look so happy and its a wonderful thing to see.  I honestly love photographing dogs. They are a joy to work with and its almost impossible to produce a bad portrait of a dog which does of course make my life a little easier. I am someone who really needs to love the work I create. I can't help but love the portraits I've created of all the dogs I've photographed over the years. And this shoot was certainly no exception. I found it a real pleasure using a lighter background this time too. I do often gravitate towards darker looks but seeing as this dog had a light coloured coat I thought I'd produce lighter images. This gave me the chance to use a canvas I painted a couple of years ago but never really used and I absolutely love it

Teen Portraits - Prom Season is Just Around the Corner

If your child is heading to prom in the next couple of months I'd say there is probably no better time than now to have portraits created of your growing teen. With the purchase of a new (and probably expensive) outfit wouldn't it be nice to capture this milestone with a portrait created by a professional. Across the pond this is a hugely popular time to create portraits, and although I am not American (I'm Canadian) I wholeheartedly agree that this is a special moment to record. My prom was a key memory in my teen years and in fact I myself had professional portraits created also. I think I'll go dig them up if I can, though admittedly I think my mother has them back in Canada. I wonder if I can get her to scan one for me. My daughter is currently making plans for college and in the running is one that will move her away from home, as many others are probably experiencing for themselves, particularly those who are 18. This makes it all the more important to

London in Spring, Whats Not to Love?

Well I know there is still a lot not to love but I'm choosing to see the great things about London at the moment. I am having a ball this year visiting London as often as I can. Which is unusual for me since I usually prefer the comfort of my own home, in rural old Leicestershire. Staying home and avoiding people has always been the easy option. But this year, possibly due to the wonderful weather we keep having, has me longing for venturing out. Again, just like my last trip, I headed out with my good friend Panikos Hajistilly . Living in North London he finds it easy to meet up for our shoots. This time though I had more of an idea of the sights I wanted to use as the backdrops for my portraits. With it being spring I was in search of colour, preferably flowers. Admittedly. I didn't quite get what I was looking for. The white fronted terraced houses with pink magnolia trees we did not find unfortunately. But I did make it to Peggy Porchen's which was a must see on m