I've long understood the importance of making some room for a little Continuous Professional Development. Weddings and photography both evolve and it's important to keep up. This can come in many forms, and on many occasions I have done the easy thing and jumped in to Youtube or googled something that had recently grabbed my interest on the technical or art side of things. One source I have found useful is The Photographer Academy which amongst other things boasts thousands of online videos for photographers. It's a paid service, but pretty cool.. everything is there.
So when an old friend suggested a visit to one of the Photography Academy 'Big Photo UK Tour' dates, I thought why not! And it was free!! A no brainer really. Expertly run by Mark Cleghorn I found there was something for every professional photographer. From swift show of hands there were plenty of wedding photographers there, but also portrait photographers, and commercial photographers. It was a real mix. During the day there were 2 sample photo shoots where we were walked through Mark's lighting techniques, and ample time to meet other "Togs" (yes, I know - stupid name- but that's what we call ourselves!!) and browse the trade stands from Loxley, Kaleidoscope, 3XM & Elinchrom. Not only was it possible to properly view these products but staff were on hand to answer any questions. There were also further seminars on business practice and how to use Facebook (which sounds obvious, but this goes well beyond your own personal use).
Upon my return I was pleased to know that I had some fresh ideas, confirmation that I was doing things right, and pointers as to how to conduct my wedding photography business better. So all in all a worthwhile exercise. Now, back to the nitty gritty, I have some photos to process!