Peter and I just returned from New Orleans, LA where we attended the Pictage PartnerCon. Over the past few days I have been thinking a lot about how Dove has grown, and all the changes that have gone on over the past few years with our business. My first thought is that I never imagined we would be where we are today. I never dreamed of owning my own business, let alone a business in wedding photography. It has turned out to be the best dream I could ever have had. The fulfillment that photographing weddings brings me is nothing I have ever felt before, and I still get excited every day about the new things we are planning and the goals that I can’t wait to meet!
What does all of this have to do with Pictage and with our trip? Looking back over the years, I can now see how Pictage has been essential in bringing our business where it is today. I still remember the first PUG (Pictage Users’ Group) meeting we had in Nashville, where I met Alison Bynum, Phil Thornton, Joan Evans, and Nathan Holritz, all photographers that I still see today. (Although it has been way too long Alison!) Alison was a great leader of our PUG, and Peter and I were honored to be asked to take her place when she stepped down to start her family. Here is one of my favorites from a PUG a few years ago!
The first PartnerCon we attended was several years ago in Atlanta. It was a smaller version of one out in LA, but it totally changed how we did business! I can remember coming back overwhelmed with excitement by all the things we’d learned. Since then, we have attended 3 more Partner Cons, each time coming back overloaded with information and ready to share what we had learned with our PUG.
This year was a little different for us, but we have come back excited just the same. This year we got to share what we have learned, through our years of experience, with other photographers. It was exciting to see the other photographers’ light bulbs come on. It makes me excited to see others leaving Partner Con with the same excitement that we have! Here are a few shots from our friends Sean and Mel of McLellan Style of us sharing at the Photographer’s Lounge on having employees.
Even though we spent a lot of our time sharing with other photographers, and modeling for a shooting workshop (some of that to come later!), we still learned a ton. Our favorite times were the shooting workshops by David Beckstead and Joe Buissink. We also got to meet some amazing people from all over the country and even new photographers from Nashville!
The CEO of Pictage, Jim Collins, is honestly one of the best CEOs I have ever seen in action. His excitement about the company, and the photographers they work with, is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. He really wants to know what they can do to help us become better photographers and business owners. On top of that, he knows how to inspire. It makes me proud to be a Pictage member.
We were especially grateful to be able to personally meet the people, at Pictage, that work so hard for us. Even though we have already met Emily Engle, one of the Pictage community leaders, she is always such an encouragement to us. Not only that, but she is quite the photographer herself!
I am already looking forward to next year. There is so much left of New Orleans to see, and so many more people to meet. The great thing is that we get to continue it in our Nashville community. If you haven’t come yet, please please please make it to our next PUG meeting. You don’t have to be a Pictage member, you just have to come! Our next one is this Thursday, November 12th at 6:30. We will be talking about Partner Con, and have a critique of Family photographs. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. I hope to see you there!