I’m getting ready to go to Nashville later this month for Imaging USA. I actually just got back from a trip and figure that if I put off unpacking my suitcase long enough, I will already be packed for Nashville. I am nothing if not a problem solver.
Now, I’ve attended my fair share of conventions, so when my friend, Brian, shared a link to an slrlounge.com article entitled, “5 Must Have Items When Attending Photography Workshops,” I got real excited to see if the items in my suitcase made the list.
Not one of them did.
And it shocked me. It was as though the article rubbed it’s socked feet against the carpet and touched my shoulder. Shocked. For the article states the following five items are must haves: a camera, lens, business cards, a notebook and a portable charger.
Please, not even.
Come…take my hand and let me guide you through the murky waters of packing for a photography convention. You can take the aforementioned items, but what you’ll really need are the following:
We are going to cut slrlounge a little slack, since the author might be male and not realize this. (But not that much slack, because he still has eyes and should have seen this. Unless he’s 100% visually impaired, and then he gets a total pass.)
Yes, every industry has an outfit which defines them and in photography, it is a pair of boots, usually worn with leggings and a long knit sweater. And a belt. It is the choice of female photographers everywhere. As the Vacation Bible School song says, “They will know we are Christians by our love,” but in our industry, “They will know we’re photographers by our boots, by our boots, yes, they’ll know we’re photographers by our boots.”
2. Credit Cards
If you think you are going to a photography convention without spending any money on “stuff,” think again. You’ll need to bring credit cards-all of them: Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Target, unused gift cards to Barnes and Noble and Chili’s…bring all the cards because many of the speakers will work into their presentation the need for a product or service they sell which will be offered at a one-time low low price JUST FOR ATTENDEES. And you will feel oh, so fortunate and lucky to be getting the thing you really don’t need at such a bargain price that you will whip out a credit card and hand it over gladly.
No, not the “rubbing” kind, although if push came to shove I would not take it off the table as an option. I carry a little sparkly flask with me and lovingly refer to it as “Missy’s Workshop Juice.” There really is no other way to get through some of the presentations and situations you will encounter whilst at convention. You can make it a fun little drinking game wherein you take a sip for every humblebrag or mistruth you encounter:
“I made a million dollars my first year in business!” Gulp.
“I photograph hundreds and hundreds of sessions each year despite being out of my studio for six months.” Gulp.
“I’m offering my $500 an hour coaching as a way to give back.” Gulp.
Trust me. You will want this. And you could easily be three sheets to the wind after just one program.
4. A sense of humor.
This is especially helpful when you and your girls are feeling the effects of strictly adhering to #3 and security is called to your room at 2am because of the noise level.
“Our room is too loud? Well, maybe YOUR hotel is too quiet. See what I did there, Mr. Security Man? Why aren’t you laughing? That was funny stuff. Hey, do you have any more Workshop Juice on you?”
5. Perspective and Common Sense
Okay, technically, these are two things but they take up no room in the suitcase so you’re okay. You’ll need both firmly in place upon arrival because you will need these two items more than any others while at convention. You will reach for them over and over again and will marvel at those who didn’t think them necessary. And if you find you forgot to pack them, or you lose them while you’re there, don’t worry…just find me and I’ll lend you mine.
Now, go have fun at convention! See you in Nashville!
About The Author
Lynn Cartia (AKA Missy Mwac) is a photographer/eater of bacon/drinker of vodka and a guide through the murky waters of professional photography. You can follow her social media links here: Facebook, Tumblr. This article was originally published here and shared with permission.