This past week I have been down in San Antonio attending the Imaging PPA conference.  Here is a run down of the great time I had while I was there.

On Saturday evening, I  met a nice gentleman from Arizona named Bruce Roscoe and several new PPA members. We got into a deep conversation about Bruce’s story of being a photographer. His story was a unique one.  He was a veteran, serving his country and protecting it.  Bruce created a way to bring history to the classroom to teach the next generation.  This man was on a mission and had a purpose to educate and inspire the youth of this once united nation.  Looking through his work, I, too, became inspired.

Later, I walked around the riverwalk, stopping off at the Irish Pub where I saw Lindsay Alder  too!  (If you’re a professional photographer… these names will ring a bell in the land of famous photographers).

Sunday opening night came so quickly.  I ran into Ross Magnuson and finally met several other outstanding Montana photographers, after finishing up a good class.

Monday became even more crazy!  Seriously, I was running off hardly any sleep, having moved to three other rooms the night before due to unmentionable circumstances!   Thankfully the day got better as it went on.   I met a photographer out of D.C. who asked me to hangout for dinner with her later that evening.  Having courageously attended this event by myself left me lots of time to venture out and meet  other photographers.  I was beyond blessed to be forced out of my comfort zone to find new people to sit by and talk to, as I walked from here to there….  There were so many great photographers to learn from in so little time!

I was one of those hungry photographers seeking out answers to many business questions. I felt  I had answers, but needed to search out a plan of action.  As a photographer, my job involves so much more than a photoshoot and camera.  It goes beyond.  Having built a successful business is only the first step.  I came into Imaging, concluding taking my business to the next level successfully begins with me.

Challenging myself to be motivated and not allowing myself to look around, staying focused on the goal will make me successful in whatever direction I choose to go.  Sometimes my focus looks back, instead of forward, which can be a problem! I am my own worse critic always looking back and finding the most intricate detail no one else usually sees!  Staying focused will definitely be a challenge motivating me to move forward.

Monday was a busy day, reaching beyond my expectations.  Attending workshops, back to back, left me to jot down key points from each speaker and moving on.  By the end of the day,  my questions were all answered.

Late that afternoon at the expo, I met my new friend, Bruce (the gentleman I met the first evening), and his friend.  Bruce pulled me over and said, “Let me introduce you to my friend… Ever met Joel Grimes?”  I replied, “No.”   I remembered seeing his name on the list of speakers.  Silly me blurted out the craziest words I would live to regret, “I am pretty sure I’ve talked and  bumped into a lot of famous photographers, wondering why I do not recognize them and stop to ask for a photo.  (Then I realized something) And let me guess… You’re one of them?”

Yeah, I was blunt. No filter during that momentous moment! Thankfully, Joel found humor in my response and busted out laughing.  Bruce took a picture of Joel and I together. When I went back to my room that evening, I looked up Joel Grimes.  I started listening to Joel’s videos, realizing I could really relate to this guy.  We had carried on a good conversation for nearly 30-40 minutes earlier that day.  Sorry, Montana… I just let him believe we have no internet, still riding horses to work, and no running water;)  Just kidding… well kind of not…maybe?

On Tuesday, I made a new world record, listening to all my favorite photographers speak all in one day pretty much.  I watched Ross Magnuson receive his certificate of accomplishment in photography. Congratulations, Ross!   This was like going to the CMA’s.  Following this was closing party night.  I finally met the rest of the Montana gang.   Did I mention, I ran into Bruce again?  He made sure to introduce me to more popular people…the PPA president, Dennis Hammon and his wife, Cheri.  I feel overwhelmed right now.  So many to do’s and so many people to meet… and where to begin?

Special thank you to the Montana gang who made sure I felt welcomed to join them and be there for me, if I ever have questions.   You all are the best!  Here are iPhone pics from all the randomness:

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