Jason Groupp January 9, 2018 Education

Let’s PAR-TAY!

Who’s ready for some fun at Imaging USA this week!? I’ll admit, I am really looking forward to participating as an attendee and exhibitor this year. The time and energy spent prepping for the show has been extensive, but the entire FFSF crew has high hopes you’ll be pleased with what we’re bringing to the table. To add to the anticipation….we get to finally share our brand new slideshow tool with all of you! I’m really excited about having the time to meet with all of you and PARTY! No more endless meetings, just high fives for days! WAAAHOOO!

A peek behind the curtain.

For those of you not familiar with how speakers are chosen at WPPI vs. IUSA, here’s a little peek behind the curtain (shhh, come in close.)

WPPI chooses its speakers via a proposal form that is reviewed by the conference team. When I was there, it was me and 2-3 others, but more or less, the decision-making process is left up to the person in charge (which was me – now it’s Theresa Raffetto). About 85 percent of the WPPI conference program needs to be funded via sponsorship. That means Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc. all help  pay for the speakers. This isn’t a bad thing, but it certainly doesn’t leave the “team” much to go on, as far as bringing in new talent each year.

IUSA has a board of directors that meets and chooses speakers each year. They each bring their selections, discuss (and from what I understand, fight too!) and then vote on their educators FAR in advance. Then, the team gives their choices to the conference team, who then reach out to the educators and build the program with the guidance of the board. There’s very little corporate involvement, and being totally honest I was always envious of this democracy vs. monarchy.

Ebb and flow

Now, you might be thinking that the IUSA-selected educators appear much better from the outside looking in. On paper, yes, but keep in mind that having industry people choose can lead to nepotism. It’s only natural, we want to see our friends succeed!

Both selection committees will continue to need work  “finessing” the process, and I know that each strive to do better. There are ebbs and flow with every conference; some years they get it right, others, not so much. That being said, I am impressed with this years IUSA program. Well done crew!

Jason Groupp’s Favorite IUSA Educators and why!

Without further ado, here are my favorite teachers for the Nashville Imaging USA! In no particular order, here goes! (eep!) I have chosen these sessions because I think they will bring the most value and education to the attendee. These guys/gals bring fresh, invaluable information that can benefit ANY photographer looking to not only stay in business, but thrive (and that’s coming from a former conference director AND 25 year veteran who ran his own photo biz).

Hannah Marie: The $2500 Family Portrait Experience – 

Session Time: Jan 16th 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm
Location: Delta Ballroom C, Level 2
Track(s): Business, Portrait

hannah marie bio pic

The $2500 Family Portrait Experience (Jan 16th 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm) is for the photographer who wants to build a thriving upscale portrait business, offering products to their portrait clients. In this class, you will learn the ins and outs of how Hannah Marie runs her Family Portrait experience and earns an average of $2500 per shoot!

(Jason’s thoughts)

If you’re not doing IPS (in-person sales) now, you should be! Hannah’s got a great program for family portraits and you need to be sitting in the front row! She’s got a fresh approach to teaching and you’ll learn from someone who is putting her techniques to use every day in her business.

Rocco Ancora – Image Editing Perfection

Rocco Ancora bio pic

Session Time: Jan 15th 5:00 pm – 6:15 pm
Location: Presidential Ballroom D, Level 2
Track(s): Technique

Rocco Ancora is one of THE renowned wedding photographers in the world, and his work is celebrated both locally and internationally. He is involved with the Australian Institute of Professional Photography and has been awarded their prestigious accolade, Wedding Photographer of the Year, an unprecedented four times in a six-year span! Rocco is also active in WPPI, Dallas PPA, and The Mid-Atlantic Regional School of Professional Photography.

(Jason’s thoughts)

Rocco is the man! Let’s face it, teaching edting in a large classroom format is not the most entertaining thing to watch. Rocco combines great humor and a wonderful Aussie accent that never disappoints! He’s also a veteran educator and a ridiculously talented shooter.

Charleton Churchill – Exploring Adventure Weddings

Charleton Churchill bio pic

Session Time: Jan 16th 5:15 pm – 6:30 pm
Location: Delta Ballroom B, Level 2
Track(s): Wedding

This class will rock your world! It’s time to put on your seat belts and take a deep breath as you challenge yourself and your talent! Experience photography on a whole new level – one where your heartbeat goes up with excitement and your couples go home with epic stories and amazing photos to share. During this class, explore the high-adrenaline, fast-paced world of adventure wedding photography.

(Jason’s thoughts)

Charleton is a rising star in our industry. I love how he has carved his own path (literally!) and is sharing it with the world! He’ll leave you inspired to go out and tackle your part of the world with great new tools to take home with you!

Lighting A Wedding Day From Start To Finish – Michael Anthony

michael anthony bio pic

There is no question that weddings are challenging. However, with the right knowledge, they don’t have to be. Like all photography, wedding photography is based on light, and with the right lighting techniques, you can capture beautiful images in any situation. The challenge with lighting in wedding photography is that you have to remain mobile while remaining within a small footprint. In this class, Michael Anthony will show you how to turn any location into a studio and create dynamic photos for all of your couples.

(Jason’s thoughts)

I’m not sure where Michael came from, but he is taking the world by storm! I’m so impressed how far he’s come in such a short time. You’re going to learn a ton from him and this guy really knows his lighting! IMO Michael’s class is a must not miss!

Drawing Personality – Capturing Character In Portraits – Kira Derryberry

kira derryberry

Ever see a portrait of a stranger and feel like you might know them? What is it about those images that make us feel so familiar with someone we’ve not met? In this program, Kira Derryberry will take you through the process of not just photographing a client, but drawing out that client’s personality through your lens.

(Jason’s thoughts)

Kira is one of those people who makes you feel like you’ve known her for years even if you’ve just met. If you’re looking for a great teacher who’ll help you take things to the next level – Kira’s class is for you!

SEO For Photographers: Google Is A Stone-Cold Bitch – Rob Greer

Session Time: Jan 14th 6:45 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: Delta Ballroom B, Level 2
Track(s): Business

rob greer bio

Do you want your website to stand out from the hundreds of other photographers in your market? If so, you’ll need more than a few pretty portfolio and a strong artist’s statement to captivate today’s clients. In this highly informative session, Rob Greer will walk you through the fundamentals of search engine optimization (SEO) how to build a better website.

(Jason’s thoughts)

Rob and I have been friends for many years and is one of the smartest guys I know. His advice and wisdom has been invaluable to me over the years and he is a wealth of knowledge. If you’re interested in the world of SEO, Rob is the expert in our little corner of the world.

How To Convert High Volume Clients Into

High Dollar Clients – Matthew Kemmetmueller

Session Time: Jan 16th 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm
Location: Delta Ballroom D, Level 2
Track(s): Business, Portrait

kemmetmueller bio pic

In this class, Matthew Kemmetmueller shares how he actively pursues and attempts to convert ALL of his clients from high-volume jobs into traditional custom photography clients.

(Jason’s thoughts)

Matthew will make you laugh until your sides hurt. You’ll even learn a thing or two, I promise! The body and I have had a bromance going on for many years. Don’t be jealous! 🙂

Become More Than Just a Photographer – Shawn Lee

Session Time: Jan 15th 8:00 am – 9:30 am
Location: Delta Ballroom B, Level 2
Track(s): Business, Inspiration

shawn lee bio pic

Shawn Lee will tell the story of how he thrived and exploded his business in Detroit at a time when the city was (and still is) the nation’s largest municipality ever to go through bankruptcy. It takes innovative thinking, relationship building, the creative use of photography skills and a NO QUIT, NO DIE ATTITUDE to build a niche that will thrive no matter the environment or economy.

(Jason’s thoughts)

“ROCK THAT!” Shawn’s signature tagline will leave you ready to ROCK THAT in your own world! Seriously, if Shawn doesn’t inspire you, you can’t be helped!

10 Ways To Create Videos To Help Increase Sales – Joe Switzer

switzer bio pic

Session Time: Jan 16th 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm
Location: Presidential Ballroom B, Level 2
Track(s): Business, Technique

All too often photographers turn down projects because they involve video production. What would happen, though, if you were suddenly able to say “yes” to those clients? After taking Joe Switzer’s course, you will!

(Jason’s thoughts)

Joe and his team are some of the hardest working people I’ve ever met. They work tirelessly and never complain. Quite frankly, it’s almost maddening to watch! (in a good way!) Soak up all there is to know from this very talented crew!

Power of Print: Time, Mortality, and Memory – Jerry Ghionis + Luke/David Edmonson

Session Time: Jan 15th 8:00 am – 9:30 am
Location: Presidential Ballroom B, Level 2
Track(s): Inspiration, Portrait

jerry ghionis bio pic

David and Luke Edmonson and Jerry Ghionis share the stage for the first time as they’ll give you an educational and inspirational look at why the power of prints touches everyone and how you can convince a “digital” clientele to appreciate printed products.

(Jason’s thoughts)

WOW! I mean WOW! How exciting is this? Having these three MASTERS on stage at the same time is going to be amazing. No need for coffee at this 8am session, you’ll be supercharged from beginning to end I promise!

….and many more!

I know I’m leaving someone out and I highly recommend you do your homework BEFORE you get to IUSA. Don’t be that person trying to jump from program to program! It’s disruptive to your fellow attendees and you’re doing yourself a disservice. I promise you’ll get more by sticking it out and getting all those nuggets each educator has to offer!

Finally! Make sure you say hi to us! Join us at booth #639 for some FREE SWAG and a great show special! See you there! Safe travels!