The Below Average Conference

So I just got back from WPPI.  For those of you who do not know what this is, it is a huge photography convention in Las Vegas.  Last year I didn’t go, this year I went because my trip was basically paid for by some friends in the industry.  Gotta love these kind of friends!

There was one main thing I learned from being there.  I want to be nothing like everyone else.

The print competition was a total joke, as usual.  A few good shots and a whole lot of crap!  I have no idea what makes these judges call certain shots award worthy.  Honestly, most are not at a professional level.  But if you buy a certain person’s Photoshop Actions you will suddenly score higher.  Or if you’re sponsored by an album company, even if you shoot really cheesy glam, you will be awarded for it!  I say this every year but this year was different.  This year I am encouraging everyone who loves all of what WPPI is about to embrace it.  It’s not for me, so instead of going on a rant about how much I think it actually hurts the industry, I am just going to let it be.

My response is that I am just going to do my own thing.  I am making the changes I want to see in my own business.  Everyone tells you how to run your business, how to book more weddings, how to use studio lighting and all of these other useless tutorials.  Go ahead, spend money on those workshops, get from it what you can. I am doing it my own way.

A lot of these conferences are about business, they are simply about selling a product to photographers.  I don’t need to buy products from a photographer for my business.  The color of my lens cap or my camera strap does not improve my skill as a photographer.  Nor does it enhance my vision of how I see my clients and how I present the final products to them.

I am working on my new website and I will be making even more, positive changes to my business.  Prices will change, and products will be what I want them to be.  I, more than ever, have learned that I am not part of the “herd” and I like to do things my own way.  I know I have been doing my own thing for a while now, and it has been working, so why stop?

I will never be considered a top photographer by WPPI’s standards, which is fine and why I don’t ever enter the print competition, I know they won’t “get it” when it comes to my work.  And I am okay with this, actually I’m kind of proud of it.  I do my own thing, I’m not a “Rockstar” photographer and don’t plan or want to be one.  I am just me, I am The Average Jim, I create my own kind of art and my clients seem to be happy about what I do.  If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!  I will elaborate more on my future plans very soon, I honestly cannot wait to see what my future holds!

Robyn by The Average Jim