HEADSHOTMANIA at Morongo, Palm Springs, California
HeadshotMania was the second ever conference focussed on headshot photography. In 2016 I was already part of the instructors team during the HeadshotCrewz going from New York City to Bermuda and back.
HeadshotMania took place at Morongo Resort & Casino just outside of Palm Springs, California. I took me 22 hours to get there and be ‘fashionably late’ to the welcome reception. My flight from Salt Lake City to Palm Springs was delayed because of a winter storm, so I walked in 15 minutes after the welcome reception was scheduled to end. However, the welcome party was the place where some people met for the very first time in real-life and was still going strong when I got there. So kudos to the crowd for keeping it going and waiting for me!
The HeadshotMania classes
HeadshotMania was a 3 days event of hands on workshops to give people the opportunity to leave HeadshotMania with the knowledge, confidence, and inspiration to take their portrait business to the next level. With 15 Rounds of classes, 5 hours of designated shooting time, daily contests with thousands of dollars of sponsored prize giveaways and the option to partake in off site photo excursions there was never a dull moment!
Dominating the digital arena
My first class happened on the first day of HeadshotMania. I explained in detail how a photographer can structure and create content on their website to start dominating the internet space in their city and be seen as an expert within their community. I created 120 slides in my presentation and after being hooked up to a mic it was time for action! I’m never big on rehearsing, however I managed to finish my jam-packed talk right to the minute of the 90 minute timeframe.
I had the nerves before this talk for days.. Even hours, but the nervousness disappeared as the time of my workshop got closer. A million things where crossing my mind, but most importantly I was unsure if the information would resonate with the crowd. Is it too simple? too advanced? Too technically? Will people be able to follow along and put it into practice?
The Social Media Smackdown
On the final day, it was time for my second talk. In the Social Media Smackdown workshop I shared my social media strategy. How I use and re-use content and posts to share my brands story. How every single post you share on social media is a building block for your brand and why every single post you share on social media should be evergreen. I explained how created a strategy like mine makes you be ATOMIC – Always On Top of Mind In your Community at minimal effort.
The feedback blew my mind
Just after the first talk, I was minding my own business and hydrating my voice, Peter walked up and told me ‘Your talk ROCKED’. People were happy, inspired and motivated to start putting the information I laid down into action. A sense of pride and achievement got the better of me.
Later that day, people who weren’t even in my class walked up and gave me compliments about my talk. The level of appreciation from the group was overwhelming. If there was ever a time to not doubt the level of information and the skill to explain it, it was then. Cloud 9 is mine!
The amazing community of the HeadshotCrew
The support within the community is like no other. As a solo-entrepreneur you’re mostly ‘stuck’ in your studio or flying solo on location and it can get lonely. There are no colleagues, someone you can share the business and photography struggles with as a photographer. But the HeadshotCrew is just that; besides learning from other photographers at different stages of their career and getting advice, the most important thing is that everyone is in this game together. It’s one big team, an extended family as some even say. It blows my mind every single time how supportive this group of likeminded individuals is when events happen, either online on the site or in person during events. This is the support and appreciation that I feed off.
Being away from home
The most difficult bit of traveling is always being away from home. Fortunately, Apple created FaceTime and being able to share the experience with the homefront pretty much put me to tears of joy and pride. Talking to the one you love at home and taking you out of the bubble, puts things into perspective, even when or because she’s 8000 miles away. I really did pulled it off. I can ff-ing do this!
If someone told me 5 years ago I’d be a topnotch headshot photographer and teach people to become better I would most definitely have send you to the looney-bin. Today this is fact, not fiction or future. And i’m grateful and thankful for the opportunity to do so.
I’ll never forget the day and the moment I was on FaceTime talking to my girlfriend when I realised this. February 21st 10:15 PST. It’s in the books!
HEADSHOTCREW, THANK YOU!
HeadshotMania and the experience I had wouldn’t been possible without Peter Hurley and Alaina Lutkitz for organising the event and the other instructors: Karaminder Singh Ghuman, John David Pittman, Damian Battinelli, Mike Schacht, Ryan Parker, Pedro Jorge, Levy Moroshan, Ben Marcum and Tommy Collier with their inspirational and in-depth classes and obviously everyone who attended to help make this a successful event!
Thank you for making me cry on the casino floor and on the phone calling home; from pride and the amount of gratitude I received. I feel very fortunate to be part of such an amazing group of people, all the appreciation I received after my classes means so much to me. Thanks a lot for that! Thank you so much for all the love, great days and the opportunity for me to share my knowledge at HeadshotMania!
Last, but definitely not least, also a HUGE thank you for Picr for sponsoring my class.
This has certainly fired me up to start educating more of what I know. On that note, to be continued and until next time!