Imaging USA 2010: Pure Chaos

But not as bad as last year!

We spent part of the second week of January this year in Nashville for the annual Imaging USA event for PPA [Professional Photographers of America]. We drove the whole way there from Virginia, and while it’s only one state over, it was about a 10 hour drive.

This year, we opted to go to some pre-convention training and it was very good, except that there seemed to be too many people. Once the main event started, it was clear there were WAY too many people – 3000 or so more than there should have been in fact. Almost 10,000 people attended this year, or so we were told. It was incredibly crowded, but even so, there were some gems to be gathered.

This year, unlike last year, we actually fared fairly well in both the Expo and the sessions – not getting overwhelmed by too much information, or buying too much [well, not TOO too much] stuff we didn’t need.

The most important things we picked up this year were several pieces of advice and new flash units for our lights. Oh – and we got a couple of new backdrops for a great price.

The most important piece of advice was “practice, practice, practice”. And I intend to do so with the new lights. If anyone wants to model, just let me know!

Of course, the best part of the conference for us was the chance to reconnect with someone who not only has very quickly become a dear friend to us, but now a mentor who we hope to learn as much as we can from: Angela Carson. In fact, we spent so much time with her on Wednesday morning, that is wasn’t morning anymore – we were supposed to leave at 10AM, but ended up leaving close to 1PM. It was well worth the time, though.

Step Four: Key West? Not.

On the last stop of our journey, we were to stop in Key West for a day of shopping and touring, which I was looking forward to. The coffee on the boat was substandard and I wanted to pick up some good coffee on land. We also wanted to wander the streets and possibly go shopping.

This turned out not to be the case.

When we pulled into dock, it started raining. And not just a little drizzle, but a full-on Gulf rainstorm. We attempted to leave the boat three times but were diverted or blocked each time.

We found out later that the people who made it off the boat ended up wandering in town in knee-high water in what was probably a 100-year flood.

It seems we didn’t miss much. Well, except Key West. Argh.

We then proceeded to head back to Galveston [joy] at full throttle.