When I have a conversation with other photographers about the PPOC, generally the comments boil down to “what’s in it for me?” I’m going to tell you now 🙂
This past 2 weeks has been full of amazing changes for me. The Professional Photographers of Canada just held their annual conference in Ottawa, and I was thrilled to be able to join all of my peers at likely the best photography event I’ve ever attended. I know that when I speak about the PPOC, many people question what it stands for. I find myself explaining it often, but I have a new description to add. Comradery. There is a huge feeling of this when I am among a group so large, of people who have a common goal. We exist partly to help in “raising the general standard of photographic craftsmanship”. (quoted from our PPOC code of ethics). There are no “adolescent type cliques”, there is only a feeling of welcomeness.
My four days there were filled with learning from industry leaders such as Joe McNally, Drake Busath, David Williams (who made that incredible image of me laughing!!) , Joel Grimes, and Tracie Maglosky. It doesn’t matter how seasoned you are, we can all learn something from our speakers!! There was a two day Trade Show where you can connect with your favorite vendors and find new ones too. So much better to be able to see and feel products in person! I Connected with old friends and made several new ones. As usual, at least one night was filled with too much wine consumption but the memories made are unforgettable. And then there’s the Awards Banquet. This is always a very lavish affair. A delicious four course meal awaits us all. Up next is the awards. The recipients are always dressed to the nines, and when they walk through the crowd to receive their awards, their own excitement seems to fill the entire room.
I wish I had taken photos of at least one of the recipients as she found her way through the crowd. She had a look of almost shock, disbelief. I know exactly how she felt, because I was there last year. Pure humbleness. I didn’t get to take that walk this time, but those who did, deserved it immensely. Such an amazing honor to be nominated for Best In Class in the Fine Art category!!! Very tough competition!! I did however get these accolades during print competition (which I’ve been dying to share but wanted to wait for the ribbons 🙂 )
Judges Choice, Loan Collection, Excellence:
Dedicated professionals. Unity. Strong national identity. These are some words from the “About” section on the PPOC website. When attending the conference, you feel it. You see it. You ARE it.
Lastly, I just wanted to share a few words from one of our newest Ontario members, Melissa Roy.
“I just wanted to send out a huge thank you to everyone in the PPOC and those that helped organize the International Photo Conference – Congrès International de la Photo. It was my first conference and my first event with the PPOC after almost a year membership.
I have been on the fence as to the “value” of the membership and as to whether or not it was worth it to renew. I am generally a very shy person when it comes to meeting new people – but for the most part, everyone at this conference was so kind and outgoing, I am less fearful to attend future events and I see the value of a network that can help me grow in this industry.
I am thankful for the learning opportunities that were provided by the speakers, and for all of the people whom I spoke to that are so willing to offer a hand on pushing forward with becoming a better photographer, and (hopefully) getting my accreditation(s).
Well done everyone. I look forward to what the year ahead as a member of PPOC has to offer me, and I will be sure to put myself out there a little bit more”