This weekend (Feb 5-7) we spoke at the AIPP Hair of the Dog photography conference. As well as hosting two hands-on workshops to teach how we use video in our business, we were also asked to deliver a keynote talk to all the attendees.
For us, it was our first time speaking in front of a large group of photographers. The idea of standing up in front of 250+ of our colleagues and peers was seriously daunting. But, it was the responsibility of delivering the final keynote of the 3 day conference, after a stellar line-up of speakers, that sent our freak-out-o-meter to an all time record high!
What? Us? Isn’t that kind of like putting U2 (the other speakers) on before the local band that practices in the garage (us) across the road from your house?
When you believe in someone, you help bring out the best in them. To the organisers and attendees of HOTD, we have to say thank you for the belief and trust you placed in us. By doing so, you’ve revealed something of ourselves to us that we didn’t know was there.
We started our keynote by showing examples of how we use video in our business. Mid-way through, something unexpected happened. Katie threw out the script and spoke from the heart. The message was raw and honest.
Too many photographers are sacrificing what matters most in their lives at the alter of their photography business. They are sacrificing their health and well-being. And they are ignoring the people who should be #1 in their lives (husband/wife/kids/friends/family).
Being a photographer really is one of the best jobs in the world. Photography may be what we do but it is not who we are. It should never take the place of the people we love.
By telling our story, we hope that we have in some small way helped others to see what is most important in life. It’s a story that is of course not unique to photographers and it’s one that we hope to have the opportunity to share with many more people.
To be totally honest, the outpouring of emotions during and after our talk is still something we are trying to come to terms with. It has hit us both pretty hard. It will take a while to get our heads around the response we have received and the stories we have heard from those who were touched by our story.
That our talk had the impact that it did, is only because of the foundation that was laid during the days before our talk. That is … the team of volunteers behind the scenes who ensured everything ran so smoothly. And the other speakers who shared their stories and knowledge so passionately.
Thanks also to our couples … past, present and future. Because of your belief and trust in us, we get to live an amazing life.
This year is off to a cracking start. And with 25 weddings booked already for 2011 for wonderful couples in Brisbane, Byron Bay, Mission Beach, Inverell, Tamworth, Hervey Bay, Mt Alford and Maleny, plus Florida (USA) and three weddings in the UK … it’s about to get even better!
At the moment, we’re taking a few days off at the Gold Coast to recuperate. It’s been a huge few weeks for us and we feel it’s important to take a few days to count our blessings and to practice what we preach by spending time with each other as husband and wife … and not as photographers.
Now, before you start thinking that we’re at risk of taking ourselves too seriously … enjoy this spoof video that we played at the start of our keynote talk. It pokes fun at some of the wedding photography cliches and the sometimes silly things that wedding photographers do.
~Matt and Katie.
p.s. This is not our new promo video
Behind the scenes at the hands-on workshops
Day 1 models, the gorgeous Hayley and Roger
Day 2 models, the super-cute Breony and Ryan
Q1 building – the view from our room
The ferris wheel we can see from our room!