Nervous…Undecided…Scared

Okay, here goes nothing.  I always knew that eventually I’d have to write a blog post about something a little deeper than I’d normally discuss in a public forum (not that many read this blog…I appreciate those that do…thanks!).  The thing dominating my thoughts at the moment is the upcoming Google+ Photographers Conference being held in San Francisco between 22-23 May.  This event is the brainchild of photographer, author and media legend Scott Kelby and Google+’s own, Bradley Horowitz.

The event promises to be very exciting and judging from the schedule, two full days of non-stop activities, lectures, demonstrations and image/portfolio reviews (I’ll get to that last one in a minute).  When this was announced a few weeks ago, I was incredibly exicted…not only because it’s Google+ (dominated by the photographic community) and that some of my favorite photographers will be guest lecturers, but it just so happens to be a few hundred miles up the road in San Francisco.  I’ve never been to San Fran and it’s on the “list of places to see” while we’re stationed here at Vandenberg AFB.

So, how does the blog post title fit in with all of this and how is it ‘deeper’ than my other posts?  I’ll tell you…patience young Padawan (did I just give away my geekiness?).  I’ll first tackle Nervous.  I’m nervous because of the level of talent of the instructors, but within the audience as well.  The conference is limited to only 750 attendees (a very small number compared to a lot of the other conferences out there); if you do the math of number of instructors to attendees, it puts you in fairly close-quarters with those people in a way that most conferences/conventions can’t.  I suspect that due to the quality of this conference, the audience will be predominantly made up of pro-level photographers (since that’s who this event is geared towards).  It’s this group of folks that I’ll be interacting with the most and forging some kind of relationship(s) with (I hope).  That’s fine, the “networking” (I cringe every time I hear that word) opportunities are a big part of this conference and I really have to figure out my game, suck it up and put my best foot forward (something I’m really good at when I’m “in the zone”…it just takes me a little while to warm up).

Wall Beach, Vandenberg AFB

Wall Beach Overcast Sunset, Vandenberg AFB: Nikon D700, 14-24mm f/2.8 lens @34mm, 13″ @ f/1

Undecided.  Andrée saw that I was pining to go to this conference and suggested that I go ahead and pick up a ticket.  That was all the nudging I needed to make the jump…we could afford it even though we’re on a tighter budget than we were in FL.  I registered online and had to wait a couple of days for a response to see if I made it in time before they ran out of seats.  Lucky for me, I received an email from the fine folks at the Kelby Group with the ticket to the event attached…it’s official, I’m going (yea)!!!  Now that I have the ticket in hand, I started searching for nearby hotels and my heart immediately sank.  The event is being held in the downtown area, which means that hotels within walking distance are going to cost a premium.  Ouch!  Since we’re down to one steady income, it sure makes the wallet tighten up a bit and this unexpected turn of events tightens it that much more (especially when its added on top of taxes, parking, gas, food, etc..).  I think it’s just sticker shock…an unexpected slap in the face if you will…but I think once I get over it and look past the fiscal, I’ll be able to fully appreciate the opportunity and make the best of the situation.

Finally, the big one…Scared.  This conference has four blocks of time devoted for one-on-one portfolio reviews and I just signed up to have my work looked at (appointment pending).  As I mentioned above, this conference is targeting a more pro-level audience rather than serious and/or weekend hobbyists (though there will be many of those/us there).  That being said, I know my work isn’t in the same ballpark of what many will be showing…but we all must put our best foot forward and hope for the best right!?  When I look through my portfolio, I find myself struggling to come up with 10-20 images that I feel would ‘cut it’ at this level of review (at least within the same (or related) genres that folks conducting the review specialize in).  Looking at sites such as 500px and seeing the quality of images being displayed there (not only outstanding image quality, but quality of imagination, thought and execution) it really hits home that I need to get out there and keep plugging away and fine-tuning my craft…maybe one day I’ll be on the other side of the desk conducting reviews for those that are a mirror of me right now: nervous, scared and unsure.  One day…but there’s a lot of work to be done to get there.

Wish me luck guys!!

Until next time…

Cheers!