The BLINK Conference from the Diary of Silver Lane December 02 2014, 0 Comments
With Lightroom Retouching Toolkit and Life. Camera. Actions., I have had the opportunity to attend around 50 conferences and trade shows. I have experienced conferences as massive as 20k+ photographers and as small as 100. Earlier this year I was exhibiting at SYNC Seniors and I had the pleasure of meeting Ike and Tash who run the BLINK Conference. They are very energetic and sharp folks so I checked out their website when I got home. They have a intimate, boutique style conference with a killer speaker line-up including Vanessa Joy, Amanda Holloway, and Zach & Jody Gray to name a few! Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it this year because I had to travel (it was sold out anyway!) but I really wanted to be there. So what could I do other than get ahold of someone's personal diary of their trip? I reached out and found a very talented photographer named Silver Lane who was willing to share her experience with the world! Silver writes about both the conference and the overall experience. She depicts what I know to make a great conference - excellent teachers, lots of likeminded people, and an overall amazing time! I am hoping that I will be able to make it to next year's conference and I hope to see you next November at BLINK!
Thank you, Silver, for sharing your experience with us (and congrats on your BLINK Award!)
-Brett Jarnagin, LRT Creator
"Imagine a place where you are surrounded by people who “get you”, A place where those same people want to see you grow and wish to inspire your photography business. A place where people ignite the creative fire in your soul. That place is The BLINK Conference.
When I originally signed up for BLINK, I knew no other photographers that would be attending, and I walked away BLINK with more friends than I can count. To the people wondering how, after three days, I could call these people friends, to them, I say “what is a friend?” Someone who cheers you on? Someone you can call on for help? Someone who smiles when you accomplish a goal? When I departed BLINK I took all of that with me and more.
There is just so much about BLINK that I want to share. So, I’ve decided to allow you into my BLINK Diary. It was not written with the intent to be shared. Please know this is a personal look at BLINK, through my eyes.
From the BLINK Diary of Silver Lane:
12:23 am Thursday November 6
Today I arrived in beautiful sunny Scottsdale! I shared a SUV from the airport with Suzanne and some fellow BLINK attendees. We hadn’t met before but had chatted in a private blink group. She was sweet enough to wait for me at the airport. Hotel Valley Ho was breath taking with such interesting architecture and an old school vibe. I’m really digging this place. I checked into BLINK as soon as I arrived at the hotel. I received a swag bag filled with goodies! A BLINK shirt, water-bottle, a BLINK magazine, and discounts and freebies galore!
My room is gorgeous! I can’t wait to show my kids. They’re going to flip! I ordered the zu-zu burger from the room service menu and just relaxed on my patio to prepare for the Kick-off party.
The Kick off party was on THE ROOFTOP and it was a blast! There was a large BLINK logo projected onto the side of the hotel. I felt like it was a scene from Batman, and I was some kind of super hero photographer, exactly where I’m supposed to be, almost as if I’ve been called here to fulfill an unrevealed purpose.
With all these amazing photographers walking around, sharing, and having fun, it really was like a scene from a movie! The rooftop party was rocking with a live DJ, a cash bar, and a photo-booth from Snap. I have to say the photo-booth was my favorite part of the night. The booth was set up to allow me to text the pictures straight to my phone! (legit, I know) OhSnizap sure knows how to throw a party! I was surprised to see many of the speakers hanging out and talking with the attendees. I can already tell this is a conference I am going to like!
9:52 am November 8
I didn’t get to write yesterday, so I’m playing catch up this morning. Yesterday (Friday Nov 7) was so busy and full of information. I awoke at 6:30am and wasn’t back in my room until midnight. The actual conference activities were from 8:30am-7pm. The rest was mingling, networking and fun. Although I already have a core group of girls whom I like to hang with, but I’m trying to branch out and meet everyone here. I love meeting people and hearing their stories. BLINK is filled with talented artist.
Yesterday’s conference began with Vanessa Joy and her husband Rob. They were full of information, what I liked best were the tools that they shared. I love when people are willing to share what works for them and what they actually use.
She showed us how Lightroom tool kit works, her presentation was met with “Oooss and Ahhs” from the audience. I was left pondering how I’ve never heard of such an amazing tool before this conference! Then she showed us “scripts” and my editing life will be FOREVER changed!! I can’t wait to get my hands on those products! With a slew of other tools and a blow your mind wedding workflow, Vanessa Joy set the tone of my first learning day at BLINK with practical tools and great applicable advice for my business.
My first breakout session was with Kaci Luvi and Latasha Haynes. They set up the breakout similar to “The View”, as it was more of an ongoing dialogue of questions and answers. We were able to hear both perspectives and each answered individually. The group covered everything family photography from educating our clients to styling our shoots.
After the breakout, Mr. Ross Oscar Night spoke on MOMENTS. He really helped me to learn how to truly connect with my clients. His work is AMAZING. He is unlike any other photographer out there. Ross is a truly genuine person, and I’m so happy to have gotten the opportunity to meet him.
After Ross’ inspiring speech, we all headed outdoors to a beautifully catered lunch. I equate the set-up to that of a wedding reception. Each round table had a beautiful centerpiece designed by Supposey. The food was delicious, the scene was beautiful, and the company was great. With all of the sharing and learning taking place, we were a little behind on schedule, so we hurried on to hear the next speaker.
The Boudoir Divas were up next. Kim and Marissa covered how to take a client from beautiful to GLAM. They covered the photographer to client dialogue that will most make a client feel comfortable, confident, and beautiful. They also spoke on poses and wardrobe. They are quite the duo, and if I had to sum them up with one word I’d say adorable. They were sweet enough to offer us a special discount code to their shop. I will definitely be taking advantage of that.
My second breakout was with Alex Evijen. Alex is an amazing stylist. I was excited to hear her speak on all things Pinterest. She discussed how to gain followers and post attention getting pins. She backed her speech with statistics. I will definitely be implementing her suggestions when I get home. I wonder how many followers she has on Pinterest?
After my 2nd breakout I headed back to the main conference area to find sangrias, snacks, and the spa staff. For a brief moment I questioned if I had walked into the right room! Then, Latasha announced we were welcome to choose from the custom spa menu as to what fit us best. I decided on a much needed back massage I could get use to this!
Our day closed out with Amanda Holloway speaking on “marketing the experience”. Amanda is a great speaker. She is captivating and informative. My biggest take away from Amanda was to “stop thinking like a photographer”. I love hearing how others conduct their business and why. What a great way to close out the day.
11pm Saturday, November 8
This morning was wide open for me. My stylized session wasn’t until 3:00 so I spent the morning catching up with friends who happen to be local. Other “blinkees” had their stylized sessions taking place throughout the day. There was also an awesome vendor market happening all morning.
After time with friends, I headed to the main conference area to cast my vote for the “BLINK awards”, as well as check out the vendor market. I moseyed around until the BLINK staff challenged us to a Lunch Scavenger Hunt. Before I knew it I was in a black mustang full of blinkees that I had never met before! It was so out of the ordinary for my personality, but I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences of my life. I will never forget standing on the sidewalk, and being waved down to join a car full of girls: Ambrea, Shannon, and Yasmine. Off to lunch we went documenting our “scavenger hunting” on Instagram. I now have a connection with theses amazing photographers that wouldn’t have happened otherwise, and for that I will forever be grateful. BLINK is amazing in that it nudges you out of your comfort zone just enough to move whatever is holding you back out of the way.
I will never forget that lunch, but the day had to go on! I headed back to Brook McDougal’s stylized-session. I really connect with her style. I loved hearing her pointers on how her team likes to work. Our shoot took place mid-day so it was great practice shooting in to direct sunlight. I am in love with the images I was able to capture. The models were perfection and the whole experience just rocked!
Jackie Nwobu spoke on what editors look for in a magazine submission. Her advice was great. What I really enjoyed about her presentation was hearing her story of success; her story of a dream and the struggles to get there. She is so inspiring.
We ended the day with a pool party! Mentorships with some of the instructors were given away at the pool party. If you were too sad about not winning, there were root-beer floats there to cheer you up.
Sunday November 9th 10:22pm
Today I shot with The Boudoir Divas. They are so sweet, and I am happy to learn from such caring people. There were two gorgeous models! I love how they included a plus size model. I appreciated how the models were selected not only to help us portfolio build, but also to give us examples of real women and the different lighting and situations that we will experience with our clients. Marissa walked us through how she plans a session and executes select poses.
Here are some of my images from the small group session with the amazing Boudoir Divas:
After Lunch were THE BLINK AWARDS!! I was honored to take home one of the 8 awards given out!