This post is part of a series of posts I will write as I reflect on the iHeartFaces Photography Conference for women which I attended the first weekend of October, 2013. To see the all posts, click here.
As a result of Hilary Camilleri‘s workshop, “Becoming a Standout in a Sea of Photographers,” I have chosen to share my reflections.
While a lot of professionals stressed this over the entire weekend, Hilary mentioned it first (for me). She explained to us the importance of recognizing our own strengths and to focus on what we have; that combination makes us unique and desirable in our communities. We jotted down our strengths. Here is what I jotted down on the page:
- I have a desire for simplicity.
- I am super sentimental; seriously, I’m a crier!
- I love marriage!! (Does anyone here recognize that I, like, never use more than one explanation mark at a time?)
- I like to make fun of myself.
- I am animated!
These thoughts helped me start thinking about who I am; this is something I have been doing a lot lately. Since this was the first workshop I attended at the conference, the ball started rolling.
Hilary said, “No two photographers can take the same picture if they are truly listening to the eye of the heart.” This line really struck a chord with me, as she also pointed out that no two kindergartners will draw the same picture at any given moment. And I began thinking:
Maybe I need to rediscover my own voice. If we all had unique imaginations and thoughts when we were kids, maybe we lose those as we become adults. Maybe we need to rediscover our own voices.
Toward the end of her presentation, Hil spoke about brand development and how we each represent our brand. While I won’t go into too much detail, we were reminded to recognize and respect the street value of what we do–whether directly for a client or as a winner of an award or other recognition. This makes me want to start participating in competitions, if even just for recognition.
Finally, she gave us seven suggestions for standing out in our communities:
- Create a Professional Network
- Develop Personal Projects
- Encourage Teens
- Join Associations
- Win Awards
- Create Visibility for your Business
I’m going to try to aim to do some of these things more often as a part-time photographer. Specifically, I’d love to encourage teens, volunteer, and win awards. I have done a little bit of this: I’ve donated photographs for my church, spoken to a specific teenager in class who loves taking pictures, and joined online professional networks. I’ve been searching for a cause that I feel passionate about–a cause to donate my time and art to. Mostly, the plans have just fallen through before they could come to fruition.
Overall, this workshop was super helpful. I’m so grateful Hilary was so willing to share with us some secrets to her hard-earned success. She truly is a gem, eh?