I had the honor of sitting down to dinner with Denis Reggie, Joe Buissink, and Gary Fong in Las Vegas the other night. These guys are kings in the world of wedding photography, and it was so inspiring to meet them and talk about life and work over an incredible meal. Yes, the meal was incredible. Jason Kiefer of Pictage treated us at Prime Steakhouse, and not only was the food good but also the wine... in fact it was amazing. It was great to finally meet Jeff Jochum - we had a great conversation about building community, something that he is passionate about. Jeff and Jason are visionaries, and it was truly exciting to hear them talk about their ideas and philosophy, and some of the behind the scenes workings of Pictage.
While in Vegas I was lucky enough to get one-on-one time with a handful of amazing photographers and business people... I usually get more out of individual meetings than larger groups, so even though my visit was short, this was perfect for me.
I went with three really big questions in my head, and these are the questions that I posed to everyone I met (their answers are paraphrased).
1. How do you stay true to yourself, in terms of artistic and business vision? In other words, how do you keep your heart in your business?
2. What is on the horizon of wedding photography? What trends do you foresee?
3. How do you maintain balance in your life?
Denis Reggie (he is so gracious!) on future trends in the industry: Denis sees green. As in Whole Foods. Organic, natural, local, real, honest, true, unembelished.... I think he's right, and it will be both exciting and interesting to see how the green trend is manifested in our industry.
Joe Buissink on staying true to yourself: "I work for myself". My clients are people who happen to like the work I am doing for myself, so they've hired me. I never take on work that I am not interested in doing for myself. Joe has such a peaceful zen personality - I can't wait to find an opportunity to do a workshop with him.
Pepper Nix & Mitch Burt, and Amber and Nathan Holritz, on working as a married 2-photographer team and maintaining balance: Define what 'success' means for you! Set your long term goals together, and then all the smaller tasks, responsibilities, and immediate projects will fall into place.
I can't wait to continue conversations started with new and old friends. This is a really exciting time in our individual businesses and also the whole industry.