St. Augustine Family Photographer | Danielle Brooks Photography
St. Augustine Family Photographer and Family Portrait Photography Studio. Specializing in Family Photography, Senior Portraits, and Head Shot Photography.

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St. Augustine photographer specializing in families, children, and seniors.

Imaging USA 2017 | America's Photographer

You guys! Life has been INSANE lately! I will do my best to blog about all of my most recent experiences. While it was not the first of my adventures, I would like to start by sharing about my trip to Imaging USA in San Antonio for the Professional Photographers of America conference. I love traveling by myself and yet I hate it.

I love it because despite the fact that I am an extrovert, I grew up as an only child and have introvert tendencies. I loved traveling alone, because for the first time in a long while I was alone. Armed with my study materials (more on that later) and a good book, I ate meals alone, discovered a brand new city alone, and was silent....alone. I talked to very few people and loved it. Don't get me wrong, I love people. 90% of what I do as a photographer is interact with current clients and perspective clients. But for 3 days, it was nice to just rest in the silence.  I hated traveling alone because my best friend wasn't with me. I always miss Rich terribly when I'm gone. We love traveling together, and experiencing new things together, and I missed that I was in a new city experiencing these things, and he wasn't with me to share them. 

My CPP exam. Oye. I just reposted about that goal, here. CPP stands for Certified Professional Photographer. Why would I want to subject myself to studying for a random certification in photography? Here are my top 3 reasons:

  1.  Myself. I never went to school to be a photographer. Heck, in high school I took a photography class and persuaded the teacher to let me paint a chair of a photo instead of taking more photos. Sure, I knew what I was doing on a photo shoot. I knew the poses, settings and angles, but I didn't know the science behind them. Armed with all of this extra knowledge, I am more confident than ever in my abilities to consistently produce great work.
  2.  Challenge. I felt stagnant in my work. By going through this process I challenged myself in a way that wasn't necessary and it made me better. I was no longer content with the status quo.
  3.  Competition. EVERYONE is a photographer. What makes me different? I now have THE LARGEST organization for photographers vouching for my work. This huge organization is telling my clients that I am worth what I am charging. In the sea of photographers, they point to me and say, "She is worth it! We can justify her work."
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Well as you may know, I PASSED my certification exam with an 86%! I am SO stoked! I was really nervous since they offer prep courses and pretty much prepare you mentally to fail the first time around since it's so difficult. I will say it was a challenging exam. It wasn't enough to know the definitions, you needed to know how they were applied in specific situations. I took the exam on the first day of the conference. I was always the kid who gave speeches first so I didn't have to have it looming over my head the rest of class. And lets be real, I wasn't going to study an more than I already had for it. I now have to submit an image portfolio that will go before a panel of judges to get voted on.

One of the other highlights from the trip was that I was practically famous! Don't just take my word for it. Here I am with a WALL OF ME!

I sat for the photo last year at the Imaging conference. They never let me know what happened to it so I just assumed I never made the cut for their advertising materials. WRONG. I was told that I am the face of their copyright movement! Every time they send something out about the movement, my image is on it! INSANE! It was surreal to walk around the conference and randomly see a 5xs life-size version of myself.

Another exciting thing about the conference is that I get to explore a new city! I cut out of one of my classes early and got to visit the Alamo! I've heard a lot about it, but never learned the importance of the history. Basically these super brave Texans stood their ground from encroaching Mexicans (there was a war going on at the time) The Texans were horribly outnumbered, but instead of surrendering, they fought until the death. Ultimately it lead to the American expansion in the west. It was inspiring to be there and hearing how despite the fact they knew they were going to be defeated, they never gave up.

Well that pretty much sums up my trip to San Antonio. While I wasn't being super famous, taking my CPP Exam, or seeing the Alamo, I ate some crazy good local food, and took some killer classes. I also set some pretty ambitious business goals for myself for this next year. Next up on the blog? Vegas and the Dirty Thirty.  Stay tuned.