Amazing. Inspiring. Generous. Meaningful. Unbelievable. Brilliant. Shock. Awe. Powerful.
I couldn’t quite find the words to describe the experience I’ve had this past week, so those above are all stolen straight from the #aippevent hashtag. All of them put together go a short way to translate the impact of attending this year’s installment of ‘The Event,’ an annual conference for all sorts of photographers to converge upon. Organised by the AIPP, this year it was held in my backyard at Cypress Lakes resort in the Hunter Valley. Lasting four-and-a-bit days, it is filled with everything a photo nerd such as myself could ever want. Presentations from some of Australia’s (and the world’s) best photographers, a trade show to play with the latest photo toys equipment, and a few networking events for uh, implementing and sustaining essential business relationships. Not parties. Don’t call it a party. It’s all for work, I promise. I usually fly the red flag of Canon, but as the lead sponsor I spent the week with a Nikon lanyard around my neck. It felt a bit treacherous, to be honest.
I tried as best as I could to absorb all of the information being thrown at me, from industry colleagues and friends right through to photography legends. It occurred to me what a strange lot us photographers are – all in competition with one another, and yet willing to meet and share what we know for the mutual benefit of us and our clients. I think it can only be explained by the shared passion we have for the craft. We aren’t just interested in the photos we make for ourselves, but also in the quality and appreciation of photography as a whole. As Matt Ebenezer quoted during his presentation, a rising tide floats all boats.
I’ve returned from my experience recovering from a severe lack of sleep, and with a voice that almost disappeared through overuse. And yet, I’ve also returned with an incredible burst of motivation and desire to shoot better than ever before. My wedding season kicks off in two weeks and it couldn’t come soon enough.
You’ll note from the images below that I exercised all of my willpower through the week to not take MySpace-inspired selfies with every attendee. So, you’ll have to settle for a mix of the beautiful landscape we were in, along with a few Instagram shots for good measure. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make it to the Event next year (it’s in Hobart), but you can be sure I’ll be trying my level best.