Learning From Inspirational Photographers Part 1

I feel empowered.

I feel inspired.

I feel like I can take the photography world by storm and nothing can get in my way.

I feel – thanks to The NineDots Gathering.

I attended the gathering not only as a representative for JPEGmini, one of the sponsors for the event, but also as someone who had the unique opportunity to listen and learn from the world class speakers of the event!

I was armed with my new NineDots Gathering notebook and pen I received in the welcome bag so I decided to put it to good use and jotted down what I learned from each of the speakers. I decided to open my notebook and share my notes with you. I hope you enjoy.

Ben & Erin Chrisman

Sarah and Angelique's engagement session in Alaska.
Sarah and Angelique’s engagement session in Alaska.

Erin and Ben kicked off the event. This award winning photography gave a great presentation on how photographers can be better. They spoke about the mistakes they made, but more importantly, how those mistakes taught them how to live and be better photographers.

Ben and Erin both stressed how one should not be a good photographer, be a great one! Practice. You should be practicing everyday. Go out, shoot and work on your craft.

Ross Harvey

I was really excited for this presentation because I was lucky enough to meet Ross the night before at the pre-drinks get together. I was taken aback by how personable and down to earth this star photographer is.

What sticks out for me from his presentation are the three H’s – heads, hands and hips. When you take a photo of the couple, get their hips to touch. If you see a gap in between the couple, that gap is emotional. Get them closer together.

The other takeaway I had is that photographers need to be patient. Street photography can help you since you’re not in control. You can’t set up the shot like you can at a wedding. You have to use what you see in front of you. Sometimes you have to wait until you get the one great shot.

Benj Haisch

Benj gave a really empowering talk about the why and what in photography. What gets us out of bed in the morning? What motivates us? Knowing this will help you define your style and voice.

Your style and voice is what your clients will believe in. The goal is to make others believe what you believe in. This allows you to connect with your clients on a deeper level.

NineDots Team

Now it’s time for the NineDots Team to take the stage. Adam, Andy, Mick and Rahul are four of the most respected wedding photographers in the UK who are also responsible for this amazing event.

First to take the stage is Mick, who spoke about technique. The technique he is using now is compositing. By compositing two or more photos you’ll be able to create one fantastic image. Right now it’s the technique that lets his voice and style be seen.

Next to take the stage is Adam, who is all about not playing it safe. When it comes to photography, good enough is not good enough. You have to let your instincts rule. Taking safe shots might make you miss a true moment. Trust your instincts!

Next, Rahul takes the stage talking about client relations. To keep your customers happy you have to be responsive. Happy customers keep the referrals going.

To those who send you referrals, be appreciative. Send them a gift and let them know how much it means to you. After all, the customer is the center of your universe.

Finally, it’s Andy’s turn. He stressed the importance of following your own path in photography, and respect your client. When you really love your clients, you’re able to create the best images for them. So follow your heart, love your couples and love what you shoot.

To sum up quickly, the first day of the event was a real success. I now know that one should never be complacent with where they are as a photographer. You need to go out and practice everyday. Go outside and shoot. You can’t always set a shot up; you have to use what’s in front of you. This is how you’ll also learn the art of patience.

Never sell yourself short as an artist. After all, it’s your vision and style that your clients need to believe in. Once they believe in you, you can connect with them on a deeper level.

That’s it for Day #1. If you enjoyed this post, you’ll enjoy the next post from Day #2.