Last night I had the opportunity to attend an event that had me excited from the first day I heard about it two months ago. Several of the Who’s-Who in photography are touring the country, encouraging photographers and promoting new ideas to take the photography world by storm. I had the privilege of driving to Charlotte, NC where the event was being held, to meet some amazing photographers and leaders in the industry.

To start the evening off, Promise Tangeman, an extremely gifted artist and graphic designer, presented her three core strategies for a creating a strong and unique brand. I felt like she was talking directly to me and telling me exactly what I needed to hear. She broke down the oftentimes overwhelming task of building a brand, website and blog, into manageable steps. What I loved about Promise’s talk was it was so practical and it gave me such a great place to start.

Once Promise finished her chat, Kevin Swan, from KISS Wedding Books spoke. He gave a quick overview of some new album software he’s been working on. I’ve used the software and I must say, it will change the way I do business. He spoke briefly on marketing your business and I don’t think I stopped writing notes the entire time he spoke. He said a couple things that really jumped out to me in the way I think about marketing and challenged us to find our strengths and use them to simplify our businesses. He recommended a couple books and I’ve already got my order in at Barnes and Noble.

After a quick break, we were back at it with Zach and Jody Gray of Gray Photography. I had heard several people say how amazing the Greys are, but had never had the privilege to hear them myself. They spoke about their business model and what has worked for them. What I loved about Zach and Jody was their background, where they came from, and how genuine they are. I especially loved that Jody is a Michigan girl herself, just transplanted in Tennessee! I felt like their message was the one I needed to hear the most. I liked how they care about their clients and it really came across in their presentation. They have a goal to really minister to their clients in a unique way and I hope I can implement some of the things they talked about.

To end the evening, David Jay presented some incredible software that he is hoping will change the way photographers do buisness. We’ve all heard of ‘the cloud’, right? DJ’s application utilizes the cloud to it’s fullest, meaning no more DVD’s to clients because all their digital files will be accessible online, anytime and anywhere, available for download. The application is appropriately named PASS and it is¬†coming to a city near you.


I had a great time in Charlotte meeting new friends and learning a new business model. It was an evening full of information and I hope I can remember most of what I heard. I took several pages of notes and even brought my voice recorder to listen back to the presentations. Hopefully I can implement some of these techniques immediately and the rest will come with time, I’m sure.