This was the second year that I attended the ImageNation conference organised by the Advertising and Illustrative Photographers Association (AIPA) which is held at the Unitec Campus in Mt Albert Auckland.

The 2012 event had been such an inspirational event to me that I had high hopes of a repeat this year. For the most part the conference did live up to what I was expecting although I do admit that several of the speakers on the Saturday afternoon did not really impress me.

IMageNationI have listed below some the gems of wisdom that I gleaned from the various speakers.

  • Learn how to edit your images because if you do that you will work out how the shots before you take them.
  • Don’t try to shoot stills and video at the same time. All you will end up is two average outcomes.
  • Find the ideas or people that excite you and follow them. Try to recreate their images.
  • You can learn a lot about lighting from studying art paintings (especially the old masters).
  • When charging for work, charge as much for post production work as for shooting.
  • In putting together a portfolio, show what you have a passion for rather than putting in one example of each style. This will show your style. Be brutal in your editing and if you are not completely happy with an image, then leave it out. A portfolio should only contain 10 to 15 images at maximum.
  • If you know how to control daylight, you will know how to control any light.
  • Try to shoot images so that the viewer feels that they are in it, rather than simply looking at it.
  • Get in close and make it feel close.
  • A style will only develop through lots of repetition of what you are obsessed with. Repeat but make subtle variations in the repeat.
  • As soon as you have the shot, move onto the next one.

And my personal favourite, when asked to the Art Director what makes a good photographer he replied

“Take good photographs, and don’t be a prick doing it”