We have said this before - and we’ll say this again. When it comes to growing your wedding business, networking goes a long way in making those lasting connections and benefiting from the leads they might bring your way. As a wedding photographer who’s been in the business for many years, there could be various resources available to you to grow your network and get business insights from. But if you are someone who’s just getting into the groove and looking for a firm footing in the industry, attending conferences and photography trade shows could be a great way for you to get an understanding about this dynamic industry and forge some new connections. Even for seasoned pros, conferences and trade shows of this kind open up avenues to absorb knowledge from other players in the industry. Be it fellow photographers, or other vendors such as designers, wedding planners, caterers, or DJs, if you want to keep a close watch on the changing industry trends and understand what others from the industry are doing to scale their business, a trade show is where you are most likely to find them all under one roof. So if you have your eyes set on the photography meet-ups to attend round the year, read this blog to find out more!
PHOTOGRAPHY TRADE SHOWS
With so many photography conferences and trade shows happening around the year, it could get difficult for you to decide on which ones deserve your attention. For your ease of selection, we’ve put together a list of must-attend conferences and trade shows that could offer you fresh business perspectives and key industry takeaways. Sounds like a great platform to us for exchanging those business cards and establishing professional relationships to collaborate on future projects! Plus, you can also take a look at conferences that are happening throughout the year to get a head start. So, let’s begin!
Throughout the year, several in-person conferences take place that allow you to travel to new locations. These conferences give you the opportunity to have face-to-face interactions with fellow photographers and vendors. They also provide classes with top speakers and educators. Some of the in-person conferences you can attend are:
WPPI is an annual conference and expo for wedding and portrait photographers. The event brings thousands of photographers together each year from all around the world. Held in Las Vegas, Nevada, WPPI is a great platform for learning and education. It features top speakers and educators from the industry, allows you networking opportunities, and guarantees entertainment. From informative sessions and parties, to wedding photography trade shows attended by wedding vendors, the event offers you a good exposure to get a detailed understanding about photography topics of your interest and expand your knowledge pool. Learn more about it here and plan ahead to include it in your schedule.
Quick Tip: One way to advance your skills during a WPPI event is to submit your images to the print competition and even attend it to receive feedback from the judges. Once you receive consistent images back from a wedding photography color correction service, like ShootDotEdit, submit them to the competition to continue to advance your skills.
PhotoPlus is a yearly photography and imaging show that happens in New York City and is attended by over 22,000 photographers. Throughout the conference, there are over 100 educational seminars, including topics such as lighting, shooting, workflow, business, and more. Classes feature top photographers in the industry, as well as Photo Walks, Master Classes, portfolio reviews, and an expo filled with hundreds of vendors you might want to meet and connect with. You can discover more details about the event here.
3. IMAGING USA
Professional Photographers of America (PPA) organizes this education-centric photography conference - Imaging USA - every January. This conference has long been known for focusing on the business side of photography education, and the 2022 event is no different. Slated to be held from 16th to 18th January in National Harbor, Maryland, Washington, D.C., the platform classes will offer topics instrumental for photographers’ success, from marketing to sales, in a setting where you are equipped to establish valuable personal and professional connections that will last long past the event. Whether you are a professional looking forward to building relationships or an amateur aiming to learn new business techniques and get familiar with the latest trends - this photography conference has something for everyone. Imaging USA also has a trade show, and attendees get tons of discounts they can use with vendors present at the event.
4. SHOWIT UNITED
Showit United is a conference for professional photographers, where you can learn from experts on how to create and maintain your business. United is a conference that happens in November in Tempe, Arizona. Throughout the conference, various speakers focus on topics that could keep you tuned in on the latest trends in the industry. From social media marketing and building a brand to understanding your customer life cycle, to work/family balance, there is an abundance of information at your fingertips. To stay up to date on their line of events, check out their website.
Related Read: 8 (Non-Wedding) Photographers To Follow For Inspiration
As a wedding photographer who’s got their hands full, it can sometimes be challenging to attend conferences organized in locations different than yours. This is where online conferences come in to make things easy for you. Online conferences can allow you to gain insights from pro photographers and industry leaders - without having to leave your office, or even better, your home! One such online conference that photographers can check out is:
1. TURN IT UP CONFERENCE
Turn It Up Conference is a free online event for wedding and portrait photographers. It is hosted by The International Academy of Wedding Photographers. Throughout the conference, top industry leaders share tips to help you move your business forward and achieve your goals. Speakers discuss important topics for your photography and business, including tips for natural light, posing, marketing, business, and more. Stay tuned to their Facebook page for any upcoming digital meet-ups.
WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS
You have a good understanding of the various aspects of photography and manage to wow your clients every time with your stellar images. That’s great! But it’s always good to keep adding to your knowledge repository and brush up on your skills every once in a while. Why? Because the photography industry is a fast-paced one, and tomorrow if you have a client walking up to you, requesting for a boudoir wedding photography experience, you might not want to turn it down just because you lack expertise in the said department! Plus, adding a new photography style to your skill set is good for your portfolio. Therefore, in addition to conferences and wedding photography trade shows, attending a wedding photography workshop could help you hone your photography skills. Many pros offer workshops on a wide range of topics based on their field of specialization. Some pro photographers who hold wedding photo workshops include:
1. JARED PLATT
As a photographer and educator, Jared has plenty to share with the professional photography community. Find out how you could continue to learn from Jared with his upcoming educational workshops and classes. Take a look at where he will teach next, how you can gain access to his photography education and training, and much more here.
2. ROBERTO VALENZUELA
One of the industry leaders in all things posing and lighting, Roberto offers workshops to help fellow wedding photographers advance their skills. Keep an eye on his site to stay up to date on Roberto’s work, details about his next educational wedding photo workshop, how you can take part in it, and much more.
Further Read: 72 Wedding Photography Quotes For Inspiration
Still wondering what benefits attending these conferences would fetch you? Well, the knowledge you gather from these events could help you customize your services to suit the needs of your potential clients and also help you stay relevant in the market. And as a photography business owner, you might already know that happy customers are key to taking your business to new heights and helping you grow as a professional. Therefore, to decide which conferences should be on your list this year and next, think about what you need to work on in your wedding photography business right now. Where do you need the most help, and what conference can provide you with the tools necessary? Once you figure that out, choosing the photography trade shows that are best suited for you could be way easier. So, go ahead and maximize your networking and learning opportunities by exploring the list of conferences and shows shared here. Do you follow or attend any particular photography event besides the ones mentioned here? Let us know about that too!
At ShootDotEdit, we are passionate about sharing tips and tricks that could help you grow as a professional wedding photographer and build your brand. And with our specialized photo editing services, we are here to share your post-production workload so that you can channelize your energy on the more important aspects of your business - tasks that could help you scale your photography business. To learn more about how we can help you, check out our pricing plans.